Everyone has been posting their photos and sentiments from the opening of Second Chance Church yesterday, and I haven’t posted mine yet because I can’t find the words. I’m going to try, but whatever words I find will not be sufficient to express how I feel. This was going to be an Instagram post, but it got too long.
Five years ago we packed up our lives and moved to SC because we were so compelled by the vision of church that God had given Perry Noble. Then 2 and half years ago, when Perry’s life very publicly blew up, we got a devastating view from the inside of what happens when a church refuses grace and leaves someone for dead. A few months later we sat down for lunch with Perry and began what would become one of the greatest friendships I’ve ever experienced.
Shortly after that, we lost our church (that we moved here for), Ed’s job at that church (a complicated story that maybe one day we’ll tell, actually it’s not complicated at all, just detailed), and a lot of “friends.” At the time, we didn’t know if Perry would ever start another church, we just wanted to be his friend. And honestly, I was pretty happy to never step foot in a church again after the pain we had witnessed and experienced.
The only thing I knew for sure for a long time was the presence of Jesus. Everything else about church and Christianity was doubtful. But Jesus didn’t give up on me, and He didn’t give up on Perry.
It has been a true privilege to witness the vision of Second Chance Church be birthed in you and walk with you as you’ve taken and continue to take brave steps of obedience throughout the process.
I am so proud of you not only for that but also for the steps you’ve taken in your personal journey of healing and restoration.
I can honestly say you are an even better pastor and leader than you were before, and more importantly, a wonderful friend.
I am so grateful that God is allowing us to help build a place where grace and empathy win over condemnation and judgement. Where people like us can find other people like us and find a God who loves us more than anything exactly as we are.
Thank you for accepting me with all my doubts, fears, and anger. Thank you for not trying to fix me, but just being my friend and letting Jesus do the work in my heart.
I can’t wait to see what this next leg of the journey brings.
We love you, friend.
And the best really is yet to come!