Six years ago, Jenny and I lived in Alpharetta, GA. We had a small house with green carpet and a purple bedroom that I called “Purple Rain.” The older woman before us who had owned it had what I believe interior designer’s call “Thomas Kinkade Palette.”
We had young kids that were in that intense age where it’s impossible to leave the house, you destroy restaurants when you show up and you get roughly 92 minutes of uninterrupted sleep at night. In many ways we were in the survival years, but in others we were just starting to dream.
Every few weeks, we would drive to a planned community called “Vickery.” In addition to a collection of beautiful homes with the kind of sidewalks that beg for bikes and trikes and memories, it had a small downtown area. Shaped in a horseshoe, there were a handful of businesses, art galleries and restaurants. In the middle was a courtyard and a small gelato shop.
On nights when the hour commute home had not completely worn through my humanity, we’d visit Vickery and push strollers and hope around the pathways. We’d talk about living there someday, planning a future that would most likely require a meteor made of money to land in our driveway. We’d say, “Someday, it’d be amazing to live to here, wouldn’t it?”
That was six years ago and as I write this today, I’m sitting on the third floor of a brownstone overlooking that little gelato shop.
We didn’t buy a place here. That was not to be, but we experienced one of those round about, full circle moments that reminds you what a sense of humor God has.
Four years ago, though it feels like 14 at times, Jenny and I went on an adventure and moved to Nashville. It was a rocket ride of opportunity and challenge we will forever be grateful for. A year ago, God nudged us to do the same thing again. To dare anew, to dream again, to step out. Was it perfect? Nope, it was messy and beautiful, with mistakes and wins and ups and downs and all the things that always accompany stepping out.
And yet, this morning I laugh with God. I find myself doing that a lot more with him lately. For though we never bought a house in Vickery, we did get to join a family here. Reggie Joiner and the Orange Team, who I get to work with and dream with, have their headquarters in Vickery. While Jenny and I were walking these same sidewalks six years ago, his team was building their dream in this very same place unbeknownst to me. At least once a month I find myself spending the night at this townhouse, overlooking the gelato shop, across from the building where close to a hundred members of the Orange Team do amazing work. The townhouse is a creative space used for brainstorming, dreaming up projects, writing books and in my case, sometime reminding people who need a place to crash after a day of work that God has a wonderful sense of humor.
So I laugh, with a God who brings things full circle.
I can’t say where I will be writing from in six years from now, but I can say who I will be writing with.
A God who writes better stories than me. A God who calls me to build his kingdom not mine. A God who invites me into adventures and will not leave me alone in the fear that inevitably comes with doing anything worthwhile.
I hope you get to laugh with him in six years or maybe six days.
He’s got a better sense of humor than you can possibly imagine.
And he loves when we dare to dream with him.