Dear Hoboken Grace Family,
I often look back and wonder if I truly had any idea of what this journey would be like. When we started Hoboken Grace 15 years ago, I was 23 years old and Chris was 28; we had been married for 9 months when we moved to Hoboken in March of 2007 — our dream was to plant a church here. At 23 moving to the hottest cities in the state as a newlywed, life could not get any better! We loved everything about this city – our tiny apartment, the people, the pace of life, the restaurants – ALL of it. Sure we didn’t have any money for that tiny apartment or for all those restaurants, but at 23 that was a minor detail.
As we would eventually find out, this journey of church planting, of following God wherever He calls you is most definitely an experience full of valleys and of mountaintops. As the years have flown by, some experiences and lessons have definitely shaped me, the way I look at the world, and the mission and purpose we find in Christ.
The first thing that comes to mind that I have learned, experienced, and seen, is that our God is a God of provision. I wish we could sit over a cup of coffee and I could share with you story after story of how I have seen God come through over the last 15 years. The stories would amaze you! We would laugh a lot and we would cry because eventually, I would tell you that I can see His faithfulness and provision in your life, in your story. I would tell you that you can trust Him because there is nothing about Hoboken Grace (or me!!) that exists outside of His grace and goodness. Hoboken Grace is here, after 15 years, because He is good and because of you. You stepped into this family and decided to be part of it. You have served, you have made sacrifices, you have shared what you have been given, and you have created a community unlike any other. He provided YOU and it changed everything. Thank you so much for being here, friend.
The second and most important thing I have learned, the one thing I hope you don’t miss in my story, is that I have come to know deep in my soul that Jesus is ENOUGH. He is ENOUGH for me. That lesson does not come in the mountaintop experiences, it is usually forged in the valleys. It is created in the moments when you question everything, when circumstances beg you to throw in the towel, when life is convincing you that following God is not worth it, or that you don’t have anything to offer. It is in those moments that your heart cries out with all your needs and He meets you there. Over the past 15 years, He has met me over and over again. That alone makes the last 15 years the best years. At the end of the day, He is the prize, He is the reward, and He is worth everything. My joy comes when I see you awaken to that reality and I get to sit back and watch Him use you. There is nothing quite like it.
The stories we’ve heard, and the changed hearts we have witnessed together are miracles. I can’t believe God has allowed me to see that and be part of that for 15 years now. His story is the best story and we get to be part of it!
Happy Birthday, Hoboken Grace. You mean the world to me.