"grace comes in different shapes and sizes, even the messy ones"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New York you have my heart...

This past November, Jeremy and I boarded a flight and headed to New York.  But this trip was different than the other times we've gone there.  That day we didn't fly into New York City, but into Albany.  A place we had never been to before, but had already fallen in love with.  As the plane began descending and we laid eyes on this city for the first time, the emotions were overwhelming.  I remember looking out the window and feeling a sadness I didn't expect.  Leading up to this trip, I had asked the Lord to break my heart over the city of Albany.  That I would grieve over the lostness that is so heavy there.  I prayed that nearly every day, and never really felt anything.  But as I looked out over that city, my heart was truly broken for the millions of people who live there and do not know Jesus or His saving power.  Jeremy leaned over close to me and we prayed for people we didn't even know. We asked that God would somehow use us to take the Gospel forth. As the sadness lifted, my emotions left me somewhere between overwhelming excitement and overwhelming unworthiness.  Who were we to think we could move half-way across the country and start a church? How would we ever begin reaching such a huge number of people with the Gospel?  But quickly, I was reminded that when God calls someone He never leaves them un-equipped.  I truly have no idea how this whole church planting thing will work, but I am more confident now than ever before, that God has indeed called us to Albany, NY. And He will faithfully guide and direct us as we walk with Him on this journey.  As we landed I was reminded of the words of one of my favorite worship songs....

"I love you, Lord
For You have heard my pleas for mercy, 
You've been nothing but good to me.
Not to us, not to us,
But to Your name be all the glory,
I was helpless and You saved me," 

This isn't about me.  It isn't about Jeremy.  It isn't even about church planting.  Its about Jesus! And all the glory belongs to Him! We had a wonderful two days in Albany, as we spent time touring the city with Sean Pierce.  We were able to picture life there for the first time.  And let me tell you, Albany is absolutely gorgeous, especially in November. I can't wait to call it home. 

^^^This is the capital building of New York. It is gorgeous, and so unique!^^^

We were so exhausted that night, but had such a wonderful day seeing the city and surrounding towns.  It was so neat being able to walk the unfamiliar streets dreaming about the day when we have them memorized. Confirmation would be theme of this trip.  So thankful that God gives us affirming experiences in our lives to allow us to know to keep trusting Him and following Him as best we can.  

The next morning we woke up early and headed to the train station! We took the 2.5 hour train ride into New York City to spend the weekend! The train ride was amazing!! It rides along the Hudson River the entire time, and the view is beautiful. Coming into NYC was so much fun! We checked into our hotel, and immediately went to our favorite lunch spot: Dos Caminos.  I can't even tell you how good their guacamole and quesadillas are. We had been dreaming about them since the last time we were there, and they did not disappoint! Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, shopping, and just taking in the city.  We had dinner in Times Square that night and then turned in early to get a good night's sleep! 

 ^^^Our view outside our hotel room^^^

^^^The NHL store was J's favorite part^^^

^^^It was so fun being there so close to Christmas, and seeing all of the decorations start going up! There were so many workers during the day all over the city getting it all ready for Christmas!^^^

Part 2 coming soon! 

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