There’s a beautiful field by the church I’ve been part of for the last 7 years. Many mornings I’ve walked by it before service. With much sadness, I walked by the fields of soybeans for the last time yesterday. So many years of wonderful memories. So much to be grateful for.
When I pulled up on that first August day in Trinity’s parking lot 7 years ago, I was fresh out of high school. I didn’t own my own car, I didn’t know that my future wife was living just an exit down the highway from me, and had no idea that I’d be spending the next 7 years laughing, crying, and building a second family with the wonderful people in this building.
Growing up my family bounced around a lot of different churches, never quite finding one where we felt like we belonged. I always felt like the outsider at most of the places we attended (in retrospect, it more our fault than any church’s- when you’re not involved outside of sunday morning it’s hard to make connections).
When I came to Trinity, I felt that I could relax and be who I am. There wasn’t any pressure or expectations. They love with Christ’s love everyone that walks in the front door, and I found it irresistible.
Trinity models to me everything that the body of Christ should look like. They have a servant’s heart, doing whatever they can to help in every situation. I remember coming in to the church one evening to find an 85 year old man using a walker sharpening pew pencils. Turns out that about 4 years ago he’d discovered that no one was sharpening the pencils in the pews. So he started doing it every week, painstakingly crawling across the pews to retrieve each pencil and then replacing them when he was finished. This others centered attitude is what makes Trinity incredible. It’s what makes it so hard to say goodbye.
Trinity, you’ve taught me more about how to love than anyone outside of my family ever has. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, for supporting me, and for encouraging me. You have been the feet and hands of Jesus to me, and for that I will always be grateful.
P.S. I want to recognize a few specific people who have been important to me over my time at Trinity:
Alex: thanks so much for being part of our lunch group!
Anderson Family: you all have been so kind over the years. Thank you for everything!
Baird Family: your encouragement has always meant so much to me. Thank you!
Betty: your perseverance with your illness has been absolutely inspiring. I love you and your family so much!
Busch Family: I love each one of you. You are each the spice of Trinity, and you make such a difference in the youth!
Dixon Family: You all model Christ to me constantly. I will always love each one of you.
Charlie: you always make us sound great- thanks for caring.
Dakota: while I feel like we’re just getting to know each other, I already think the world of you. Keep up the amazing bass skills!
Dennis: thank you so much for caring so much about the sound- you are such a talented person!
Ebert Family: I love you all, and think the world of Nick. You all are such a wonderful family.
Edwards Family: thank you guys for sharing your gifts and your laughter with me!
Fitzgerald Family: thank you for the amazing sermons and helping wherever there was a need.
Greg: your quiet humility and amazing leadership skills have helped make this move so much easier on me. Thank you for giving of yourself every day!
Hildebrandt Family: I love you all- thank you for sharing your gifts!
Hugh: You are an amazing listener and a talented guitarist! it’s been wonderful to get to know you over the past year.
Jay: you’ve got the biggest heart I’ve ever seen. Thank you for loving me and my family.
Jim: thank you being so passionate and lending your creativity to the group!
Joyce: I’ll miss talking with you. You are such a sweet person.
Kami: thank you for helping me coordinate so many events at Trinity!
Karol: I love your passion and your creativity- you are so talented!
Kyle: thank you for leading with such courage and compassion.
Leslie: I will miss our “fights” onstage so much. May you always stay thirsty.
Mark N: I’ll truly miss our “entrepreneurial” talks- I always felt we were kindred souls in that area. You mean so much to me!
Mark W: thank you for caring so deeply and for sharing so much of yourself with me and the band.
Melissa: I’m so glad that you started singing on the praise team- thank you for sharing your gifts.
Michael: you bring the overall “coolness” level up every time you take the stage. Thank you for rocking!
Mihelich Family: thank you for giving me a chance to play at Trinity 7 years ago!
Monica: I love your sense of humor- you are such a talented singer!
Obi: thank you for so many things, including the concertina!
Palmer Family: thanks for the many amazing sermons!
Quon Family: words can’t express how much I care about each one of you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and
Rich: you are one of the kindest, most talented musicians I’ve ever met. I will miss you so much.
Romine Family: thank you for being there for me and my family throughout the years!
Sharon: thank you for recommending me to Trinity back in 2007! You and your family are so special to me.
Stacy: you embody what christian grace should look like- thank you for singing for so many years.
Stephanie: you are such a special person. I care so much about you, and I know you’re going to be madly successful at your new career!
Tom: you all have been a huge part of my life from high school- you will always hold a special place in my heart!
Wood Family: it just wouldn’t be a Trinity service without at least one Wood in the building. Thank you for sharing your gifts!
To everyone I’ve missed: I know there are so many- please don’t feel like you aren’t important to me. I care about each one of you. You all have meant so much to me, and you are always welcome at my home in Nashville. Thank you for so many wonderful years, for giving of yourselves, and for loving me and my family.