When I think of our time in Toccoa, GA four words really describe our time there; “God Speaks” are the first two. As soon as we moved there, God began to call me to intense times in His word and prayer. The Word was definitely alive, “Living and active” as it is self-described. It truly cut into my heart, “Sharper than any two edged sword”. When we moved to Toccoa, my wife and I had this idea that this was going to be a time where we still went to church, but where we served a little more than we were going to serve. Selfish I know, but the truth is we had a baby on the way, I had plans for school, and we had just bought our first home. We found the perfect church with lots of people our age and great programs, the perfect match…so we thought anyway. That was not God’s plan though. As we both knew, God was stirring our hearts to something else. We attended another church, and then another, and then God brought us to Zebulon Baptist Church. It was funny because of everything about Zebulon looked like a bad fit, but we both knew that was exactly where God was leading us. It did not take long before we felt led to become members there. That’s when the fireworks started.
It was right around then that we began to realize the pay cut I was given with the company I was with at the time was not going to provide, but because of the weird hours, 11-8, it was hard to find anything else that could help us. It was also at this time that I was asked to fill in at Zebulon to preach. God’s timing with Zebulon never ceased to amaze me as I was asked to preach and lead music many times, our song director and pastor stepped down, and each time I was given $50. I can’t tell you how many times that money was a miracle in our lives, right when we needed it most. You might have figured out the other two words by now, “God provides”. Man did He ever! I will never forget our first Christmas in Toccoa. We had no money to buy that weeks groceries much less Christmas dinner, or presents. I prayed and I prayed for a Christmas miracle, and did we ever receive one. As we had poured our lives into the people at Zebulon during this tough time in the church’s history, they gave back to us in a big way. Stacy’s mom sent up like a million presents and all of sudden we had everything I had been praying for. I firmly believe sometimes God says no, but this year he showed us He was the God who could! To this day, I believe it to be the most magical season in our lives. I’ll never forget the woman who walked up to me in Wal-Mart and said, “You don’t know me, but I heard you could use this”. She slipped $100 bill into my hand, walked away and I never saw her again. As we come into this season of thanksgiving, I am so grateful that God gave us those hard times, because we truly learned that He is the God who provides. There is much more to this chapter in our lives, and it will have to be saved for another day, another blog.