Have you ever received an unexpected dream or vision from The Lord?
Well, meet my friend Heather. She sure has.
We met years ago when I lived in San Antonio. She had three boys right around the same time I did...our husbands have the same name...and we both love all things pretty & creative.
And she's a crazy talented floral designer (excuse me as I ask forgiveness for coveting that incredible gift of hers. The pics in the post are from events she's done).
Heather has been given an exciting new Purpose from The Lord.
A really big dream that is bigger than herself...so I thought I'd interview her and so she can share her story with you.
I’m a very visual person, so I think It’s fitting that God has spoken to me through visions and pictures throughout my life. Usually, I a get a very specific message or meaning with the pictures. When I get these, it’s like a picture or moving film-like clip pops up on the screen of my mind.
I also think one of the most powerful ways that God speaks to me is in the beauty He surrounds me with - a flowering tree, a gorgeous song, a child’s laugh, the smell after a rain.
I am daily surrounded by reminders of his love and creativity. I think beauty is a language that God is always speaking to and around and through us, reminding us of his Huge love and creativity and desire to connect with us.
Sometimes he speaks to me quietly in my spirit, like an inner conversation.
Other times, God speaks to me through other people. Sometimes I need a human to speak truth and purpose over me.
God gave me this vision of creating Found - a modern, creative place that reclaims an old and unused church building, turning it into a space for beauty and community.
I have a heart for all things creative, and I have a heart for people, specifically college students. I know now that when these two areas collide, that’s my sweet spot, where I feel most alive and energized and happy. So I got this vision 9 years ago, but it’s been in the past couple years that God has nudged me into action.
I think that God is really intentional in all things. I believe that He knew it would take me a while to process and pray about this huge life decision, and over time, it began to feel more and more right, and more and more something that I needed/wanted to do. A pivotal moment was one spring night almost two years ago.
(photo credit: Two Pairs Photography)
I had been working on flowers for a wedding, and my best friend and business partner, Katherine, and I had just set everything up. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, and our conversation wound back to our dreams.
As I began to talk about my hopes for England, Katherine said,
“Heather, you are great at this wedding stuff. You’re creative, and you do an amazing job. But this church is your calling! You should do that.”
Something clicked in that moment, for me.
Katherine actually isn’t a Christian, but I feel like God spoke so clearly to me in that conversation. She knows me so well and has since we were 18. I felt like God was telling me to get moving.
Firstly, I want to say that I don’t think there’s one right way to do church. There are lots of great ways.
This place will be different than most traditional churches in several ways...
For example, when people walk in, I don’t want the atmosphere to scream Church!
I want it to harken back memories of a cozy, favorite place you used to hang out. A place that you like to hear music, or meet people.
I want it to be an inspirational and quirky place of beauty.
A huge part of the vision is creating a place where people can come see bands/music groups of all kinds. The halls will also serve as rotating art galleries for local artists of all ages. I want to create a sense of home, so that college students, tourist, and locals alike, can walk in and feel like they belong.
In planning for this big adventure, a wise friend/mentor suggested to me that for the first year of living in England, we focus on settling, so that’s what I’m going to do.
It’s totally my personally to jump in to something feet first, starting immediately, but after hearing this advice, I’m making a conscious decision to focus on settling my three kids in at their new school, setting up our home, adjusting, and exploring.
Of course a huge part of the first year will be meeting people and hopefully developing relationships that will help establish Found, but I don’t have an agenda.
Something pretty freeing God has taught me in this is He moves most freely when I leave room for Him to do that.
If I plan too much, I’m taking over His work, which is definitely not what I want to do!
We will be missionaries in Europe, but on the down-low.
People in Europe, primarily know about God and the story of Jesus, so I feel it’s not about telling them The Story, it’s got to be about relationship and showing them through love, why God has shaped and made my life meaningful.
I think most people probably feel ill-equipped or under-equipped for huge dreams at times. But we must remind ourselves that feelings of inadequacy are never of God. I believe that God will never call us to something that we aren’t capable of.
That doesn’t mean that we are 100% equipped when given a dream.
Sometimes dreams are like a slow brewing pot of coffee.
They can take time to develop and grow and be accepted by ourselves and others. My dream for Found has stretched over years, and when I look back, I can see that God has actually been equipping and preparing me over my whole life in cool and very specific ways.
I also think it’s super important to remember that when God gives us a dream, we aren’t meant to do it all alone. His guidance and strength are huge, and other people can provide so much guidance and support and creativity.
"Sometimes dreams are like a slow brewing pot of coffee." Oh how I love that. And goodness how I agree.
I'm so excited how God's using my sweet friend. They're getting closer in their fundraising goal...but let's talk about the auction that hopes to get them closer!
So as you just read, Heather and her family plan to make their big move in the next few months and have been raising funds for this big adventure God has asked them to go on...a church plant in Oxford, England named, Found.
(Note: In case you're wondering, she is the church-planter. Not the pastor.)
This Wednesday (Feb 18th) an Instagram auction on our Instagram Page will go live.
Heather has some really fun donations going up to bid. Here are a few sneak-peeks!
So make sure you're following Hugs & Punches over on IG. Because I know y'all love pretty things with a purpose!!
You can also donate directly here.
And follow along in their big adventure through their blog here!