Written by Rev. Tambi Swiney, Spirtual Wellness Coordinator
As summer gave way to fall in 2002, the “wild, praying women” were hard at work finalizing a proposal to present to the leaders of First Baptist Nashville that would transform an empty building the church owned into a transitional living center for women in crisis. This proposal would have to successfully navigate the Baptist procedural gauntlet before the congregation would have the opportunity to vote. This meant that the church staff, deacons, Missions Committee, Property Management Committee, and Finance Committee would all have to give their blessing to the idea before the congregation could determine the future of The Next Door.
I remember the excitement and the anxiety of those days. I was excited because I sensed that the Spirit of God was doing something spectacular in our midst. I was anxious because even as the wild, praying women were finalizing their proposal, efforts were still being made to lease the empty building for commercial use. The huge “For Lease” sign at the corner of 8th Avenue South and Demonbreun unsettled me every time I drove past it. What if a business decided to lease the building? Would all of our efforts be in vain?
Obviously, my fears were misplaced. God has been transforming the lives of women in crisis through The Next Door for 16 years. Looking back, I now realize how God used that series of events to teach me about faith. Time after time in the intervening years, the Spirit of God has pointed me back to those days to remind me of God’s faithfulness, provision, and perfect timing. God is still at work at The Next Door. Let us trust God with the future.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)
Published on July 13, 2020