A lot can change in the space of 12 months.

Around 2009 I began to sense that God was calling me to devote my life to the local church, regardless of what the context would be, I had a deep certainty and passion to help followers of Jesus, encouraging them and leading them. One particular aspect of church life that particularly excited me was the idea of church planting, to start a new and fresh expression of church in a local community, building relationships and showing who Jesus is and His enormous love for the world.

Since then I’ve been looking at possible options to church plant but they did not sit right with me as the right next step. At the end of 2017 my pastor asked me to consider and pray into the possibility of starting a new location in the city centre of Edinburgh as part of our multisite church, Destiny Church Edinburgh.

After several months of praying, God seemed to give the green light to say yes. Over the following two years there were several periods of waiting until we were finally able to agree a launch date and venue for our very first launch event of the City Centre location, Monday 16th March 2020.

That date is now known for something else, it is the day when the Scottish government announced the first national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement came an hour before we were due to meet for the launch meeting.

My expectation, as well as probably the majority of the public, was that the pandemic would affect us for a couple of months before normality resumed again. As I said, a lot can change in 12 months.

This lockdown began a wave of uncertainty for the whole population, and for me personally. In September, after seeing that there would be no quick return to normality and the consequences of that, we decided that we would put a long pause on any plans of launching the City Centre location. While this was the right decision there was indeed a deep sense of grief and confusion.

Over the past six months my soul has gone through each of the stages of grief, some of them multiple times: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance; as well as wrestling with questing such as ‘Did we hear God right?’, ‘Do I even have a purpose?’, ‘How can the dreams and plans suddenly be over?’.

While this hasn’t been easy I do know that throughout this time I’ve had to trust God in this journey and I’ve tried to see the moments of confusion and uncertainty as invitations to trust that He is bigger than my current circumstances and the plans that God has for me are HIS plans and I am called to be faithful and obedient to the best of my ability to whatever I understand God has spoken. The journey I’ve been on and the changes I’ve navigated are part of His work in me and through me, and if this grows me to be more like Jesus then I say ‘yes and amen’ to that. He is Lord.

The plans that God has for me are HIS plans and I am called to be faithful and obedient to the best of my ability to whatever I understand God has spoken.

A lot can change in 12 months and I am excited to reposition myself to where God wants me to be, and do what He’s asking me to do. I still love the church, I am still passionate about encouraging other followers of Jesus and the prospect of church planting in the future. I am developing some leadership and discipleship responsibilities and opportunities as well as leading our student and young adult group, Authentic.

12 months ago I would not have expected to be where I am right now but I am extremely grateful that God is good and fully trustworthy in times of confusion and uncertainty, I am full of hope that the best is ahead. God’s plans are always better than our plans!

God’s plans are always better than our plans!


Reflect

How have you responded to unexpected changes to plans that you have made? How would you like to grow in faith in God with things that are uncertain?


Thanks for reading, please share in the comments your reflections or any questions that you have about navigating uncertainty, I’d love to hear from you, Dan 🙂

Further reading

Dream Big by Bob Goff – if you’re wondering what the future holds and wondering how to take a step forward in your dreams then check out Bob’s book.