HOW THE LORD LED US TO THIS HUGE DECISION
Following the Lord is like chasing a wild, gentle tempestuous dove through a rambling garden.
He will dart and flutter and lead the way, scattering seed as He goes, leaving breadcrumbs for you to follow. You’ll meander down lush, wide-open paths and at times scramble over brambles and thorny patches. Your spiritual rhythms will seem simple and set and the next moment He will ask you to hustle and work and hunker down in shade and obscurity. He’ll disappear around a bend of suffering. Prayer and silence will sustain you.
Thorns will claw at your arms and your heart, but you’ll still follow. Because you know He’s not far. You know He’s still good.
But He is wild and unpredictable. His ways are not your ways. His love is vast, but He permits pain. He’s threading together an incomprehensible journey. You’ll see the flush of His wings and hope will renew.
He’ll leave golden drops of ripened fruit for you to gather along the way—precious friendships to collect, strangers to lead to the Lord, ministries to build and to tend, children to hold your hand and walk alongside.
But all the while you know He’s preparing you for a treasure you haven’t yet found, a tree heavy with harvest waiting strong and patiently for a willing servant or two. The Lord’s presence will alight at the top and preside over it all, beckoning you to climb, to ascend and pick, to reach and to gather.
Amidst the beautiful network of branches, you’ll find He has built a nest, perfect in dimensions and sheltered from view. A place to call home.
As you settle into this new abode, you’ll find He’s already prepared a thriving community. The tree is rich with life. There are other leaders already positioned, busy about their tasks. The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. But there are enough. And more will come. And your work begins, one precious, inestimable life at a time in this rambling high plains garden in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
After seven years of beautiful ministry in Northern California, we felt the Lord closing the door here and opening a new one for my husband to be a lead pastor somewhere yet to be discovered...
We journeyed through prayer, applications and interviews. It was a brave and terrifying and exciting process. We were searching for a place to call home, a place to stand beside one another and use our gifts and passions in the fullness of their capacity. A community to raise our four boys in with space and beauty and safety. We knew the answer would be obvious. We asked the Lord for perfect clarity and we trusted His process. We knew that when we found our people, the spiritual family that fit with our souls, the Lord would make it abundantly clear. He is always faithful.
Element Church in Cheyenne Wyoming invited us for a site visit. We knew before the plane even landed that all roads were leading us here.
We knew we would love the building and the city, the philosophy and the ministry, the worship and the outreach, the staff and the programs… but most of all the people.
The people who are hungry for depth, discipleship, for meaningful relationships and for spiritual growth. And the people who have yet to hear— the lost, the disillusioned, the hurting, the addicted, the shattered, the bitter.
We can’t wait to serve them all, to hold their hearts tenderly and point them towards the cross.
Would you commit to pray for our family as this new chapter dawns and we step into this wild new garden?
We know that in the Kingdom, goodbyes are never forever, but separation and change are hard. We have loved our people here fiercely. Their belief in us and encouragement over the last six months has given our dreams substantiation. You all know who you are. We are praying fervently that the winds of change will blow you straight across I-80 and back into our fold.
Words cannot express how great a gift our dear friends and family are. Distance will never change that. The Spirit who bonds us will keep us close until eternity dawns. I could fill these pages with hundreds of photos of our dearest friends, people so special they gift you with Wyoming Bucket Lists and books about how to grow flowers in Cheyenne. Friends who are so precious they make you a buffalo cake for your birthday even as it breaks their hearts to let you go.
The support from our Golden State Beloveds, this online discipleship community of Bloomies and all of our new Wyomingite friends means so much. I will make regular posts along the way of our journey so be sure to sign up for my email list here, subscribe to my Youtube channel @ 'Tara Hannon' and Buz’s ministry website, too!
People keep warning me that Wyoming has plenty of winter, that I will struggle to get my flowers to grow, but I remind them we are a family of spiritual gardeners.
We are called before all else to plant the Word into thirsty hearts and reap a harvest of hungry souls. There will doubtless be thorns along the way, but I’m certain we’ll find plenty of roses, too.
PRAYER POINTS FOR THIS SEASON OF MOVING
The hearts of all the dear friends and family we leave behind
Renewed vigor and purpose in the ministries we previously lead
Peace and efficacy over all the many logistical details of moving
Physical strength for our weary bodies as we pack and labor
Safety as we make the long drive out
Deep, meaningful relationships for each of our boys
Compassionate and impactful teachers in our new schools
Vision and creativity as we prepare to lead Element Church
Sustenance and energy for the staff who bridge the gap
A dear friend I mentored here once said to me, "I think the Lord moved you all the way from Oklahoma to California just for me." And I agreed with her that Jesus is in the business of going to extravagant lengths to reach just one person. His love is lavish and incomprehensible.
Turns out, that is one of our new church's core values, as well. In obedience to the Father, Pastor Buz and I would move across the whole wide world If Only for the One. Perhaps it's you??
We'll see you soon, Cheyenne. You are in our hearts and in our prayers.
Love, Buz and Tara
Learn more about our love story here! "I have found the one whom my soul loves."Song of Solomon 3:4