chest pains + church planting

The new Exodus 14:14 print in our shop 


Saturday morning I woke up with chest pains. 
In the sleepy space between waking up and actually prying my eyes open, I tried to figure out what the achy pains were. Did I have mastitis? Was it early bronchitis? It hurt, whatever it was. I groaned a little to Nick, "My chest hurts, love".  By this time, my eyes were open and I was about a minute away from web-mding it. It didn't take long for me to place the tale-tell feelings of anxiety. Woosh, well at least it wasn't mastitis. 

The truth is. I'm scared. I'm terrified. 
I am very much in a season of faking braveness in multiple endeavors, putting on a stoic, excited face and plunging ahead like leadership is second nature for me. 

I encourage women and other believers to do brave things that the Lord might call them to, but I think my brave button is worn out. Choosing to host the conference last year was terrifying and I wasn't nearly ready it for it. I learned that leadership meant vulnerability and accountability and critique and not having a clear path of footsteps to follow. Writing the eBook was scary. Launching the network was terrifying. Moving to Fort Wayne with three weeks notice was scary. And y'all, as blessed and beautiful as having a fourth baby was - it shook me to my core. I remember driving to the hospital that morning, with no other options but to put one foot in front of the other and see how it all shook out. 

One thing you should know about me is I absolutely do not approach any situation with confidence. I can put on a mask of "can do", but my greatest fear in America is being found out. Being found as incompetent, being found as not enough, being found as plain old me. There was nothing in me that looked at 2012 and said "Alright, let's do all the things!". Instead I felt like I was always three steps behind the Lord - dragging my feet and wondering when we could take break for water. 

So all that being said. Church planting. Swallow. Swallow. Gulp. Gulp. 
My husband told me back in September that the Lord was moving and it was time for us to plant. It took me till November to tell any of my friends and till March to talk about it online. It's not because I'm not excited - I'm so excited. It's not because I don't think we are called - I really do, in the gut of my heart, know we are. It's not because I don't think Nick is ready or I worry about fundraising or I don't feel like planting. It's none of those things. 

It's because my brave button is wore out and my bones ache with insecurity. 
I want to be called to something that is easy and 3 steps can be completed and given a gold star. I long for middle management where the leader tells you what to do and cheers you on and the lower tier looks at you in awe and hangs on your every word. But it isn't always that easy, is it? 

That night, hours after the chest pains had subsided, I looked at Nick with tired eyes and said, "I'm scared. I'm scared we can't do it."
And nothing was more encouraging than him squeezing me as tight as humanly possible and saying, "We can't. But He can. And He will."
And I was so glad that my brave button is worn out.
Because where Jessi's ability runs out, Christ is there - being more than enough. 

My husband and I are currently fundraising to plant a church in Charleston, SC - we move NEXT MONTH. You can read more on Nick's blog and I'll keep sharing here about our transition.