We met Eric & Liz in a park about a year and a half ago, right after we moved to Clarksville. We were grilling burgers and sharing the Gospel with people and he came to see what all the loud music was about. He ended up hanging out, then heading back and downloading the music we had been blasting that day (Lecrae: Rebel). During the following year, Liz and Eric went about their lives and had a baby while we started the church. They didn’t know where to find us until one day they saw our sign. The following Sunday, they showed up at Awaken for church. We talked a little about what was going on and that they wanted to get married. They came back next Sunday, September 19, but that day was the day everything changed – Eric gave his life to Jesus! Liz had made that same decision years before, but at that point, it became real. My wife and I sat down with them the following Friday and I told them that I wouldn’t be able to marry them because they were living together…unless something changed.
We talked through some options and they committed to sexual purity until the wedding day. So, for the 57 days leading up to the wedding, Eric gave up the comfort of their bed for the discomfort of the couch…and sometimes the floor. They committed to stay accountable to Jenn and I and to stop living like a married couple until they really were a married couple.
What Jenn and I witnessed over those 57 days was incredible. We watched a complete transformation in 2 individual lives and 1 couple. We watched as God began to shape them and their relationship into something that really honored Him. We watched true repentance as they recognized their sin and quickly began to live in a way that would honor the Lord. We met with them a few times over for some pre-marital counsel, and once they get settled in, we’ll sit down for a few more meetings.
Eric kept telling me his coworkers thought he was crazy. Of course they did. As they rattled off all the things they they did with their girls the night before, Eric told them he had met with his pastor and slept on the couch. They thought he was crazy, and he loved it.
Eric convinced his best man to come to church with him one Sunday and he rededicated his life to the Lord that morning!
It was a privilege to watch God transform lives that had been so far from him. It’s also so encouraging that we’re STILL seeing fruit from those first 2 months of ministry before the church opened its doors!
Stay tuned tomorrow for a post on how God used their wedding ceremony to plant seeds of the Gospel in the lives of their family members!