An Open Letter to GFC

Hello, my name is Lindsey Davis and some of you may have no idea who I am. I am the wife of Preston Davis, the person who has served as GFC’s student pastor for the last 4 years. As some of you may already know we have decided to relocate to Nashville, TN and will be leaving our beloved Johnson City very soon. As we prepare to move our family I am filled with equal parts excitement as I look forward to the future and sadness as I think about the people we will be leaving behind. I have spent some time reflecting on our past 4 years here and I cannot leave this city or this church without verbalizing my gratitude and appreciation for each one of you.

This season has been one of immense joy and immense struggle for our family. We came here 4 years ago, newly married, no kids, away from either of our families. You all helped us welcome not only our first child, but our second child as well. So much joy and celebration to partake in. You showered us in preparation for both children’s arrivals, you brought food to us, you offered to babysit for us, you provided a community of moms for me to connect with. Again, so much joy. But you also got to walk alongside us as motherhood brought about crippling anxiety and postpartum depression in myself. You helped me learn what it looks like to “struggle well” and gave me grace when struggling well wasn’t something I knew how to do.

For me personally, I came to GFC as what I would call a “baby Christian,” Just 2 years earlier I had decided to be baptized and I did not fully understand the depths of God’s grace. My time spent here at GFC has been a cornerstone in my walk with Jesus. I learned what “grace” truly means and experienced what it feels like to walk in grace. I learned the importance of community, something I was pretty against when we first came here. My faith has been not only solidified but also developed during my time here and for that I am eternally grateful.

To think about how God met each and every one of our needs during this season is incredibly humbling and heartwarming. His provision and timing are perfect, and I am grateful that he placed us in this city at this church for the past 4 years. There are SO many people and instances I want to say thank you for, but I have mentioned a few below just to give you an idea:

  • Thank you for helping us prepare for and bring both of our sons into this world
  • Thank you for laughing with us as our second child whined and squirmed through the entire parent child dedication recently
  • Thank you for not judging me when I brought our 3-year-old to Kid’s Church without shoes on because I completely forgot to put them on him before we left the house (“Mom Brain” is real!)
  • Thank you for smiling at me at the coffee station and through the halls every Sunday (even though I may have nudged in front of you desperate for some caffeine). It’s a simple encouragement that warms the heart.
  • Thank you to the women in my small group for pursuing me even when I was slow to connect with
  • Thank you to everyone for being my community even in those moments I didn’t think I wanted one
  • Thank you for those that invited us over on holidays when we didn’t have family to spend it with
  • Thank you to M2O for giving me a platform to share my story about postpartum depression and connect with other moms.
  • Thank you for showing me what it truly means to “be the church.”

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. The next church we become a part of has big shoes to fill. But seeing how God provided for us during this season I know he will continue to provide as we move forward.

Thank you, Grace Fellowship Church. Keep being the church. I am just one example of the difference you make in people’s lives.

Lindsey Davis