This past weekend I went back to North Fort Worth for a few days. Josh, my intern that worked (and lived) with me all summer wrapped up his time in Austin last Thursday. When we were planning the internship, I intentionally planned to take him to DFW and see a variety of multi-site churches. We planned to visit both Fellowship Church (the Grapevine and Fort Worth campus) as well as the Fort Worth campus of Life Church. These are some of the leading multi-site churches. However, the multi-site church that I knew best was Cross Timbers. Although I had been to DFW 3 or 4 times since being let go last November, I hadn’t actually visited the church since November.
I made arrangements to visit a few churches, have lunch with the Children’s Pastors at Cross Timbers and actually visit all the Cross Timbers campuses. We drove into town and had about 90 minutes to kill before our dinner appointment. Since the restaurant was in Southlake, we visited the Keller Campus of Cross Timbers. I expected the building to be locked down for the weekend, but I was surprised to find it open. I took Josh on an extended tour of the building that was once Anchor Church (the church that brought me to Texas) and then merged into Cross Timbers. Sara and I had a many happy memories in that church building. After taking out little tour, we let Titus go and hobble around the lobby (I say hobble only because he walks like a drunk man right now). I turned to Sara and said, “Isn’t it a little surreal to see our little boy walking around in this lobby?” It was while we were at this facility that we were childless for over a year and then went through the journey of two miscarriages. Sara began to tear up. I know this may sound bad, but there are some churches that I’ve worked at that I don’t totally “miss.” I was grateful for the experience and there are people we totally love, but we don’t completely miss the church. We do miss Anchor though, there is certainly still a pain in our hearts over that loss. So much has gotten muddied with mergers, new campus pastors, staff turnover, but many of those who were a part of Anchor are still around (actually, that’s who we were having dinner with a few minutes later).
On Saturday Josh and I took tours of both the Argyle Campus and Denton Campus. It was certainly refreshing to see some huge improvements that had been made over the past 9 months. The preschool hallway no longer looked like a dark and nasty pit. Ha! It looked bright and friendly. Good job Argyle. Afterward we went on up to the Denton campus. I had not seen the final product yet. Cross Timbers had just purchased the facility a few weeks before the layoff (one of the key reasons for the layoffs) and I never got to see what they did with the building. It looked fantastic. Miguel (the CP at Denton) has been doing a fantastic job with his new facilities.
It was fun visiting Cross Timbers this weekend. It was great to reminisce. There were a lot of memories formed there. It was also great to see improvements that had been made. It always feels great to see things done that you had either planned or hoped for. I can’t say it was also a little frustrating to see things that still hadn’t been done. Things that were promised initially, but never followed through. I did get to see a few people I hadn’t seen since November. For some of these people, it was so good to see them. For others I only have one word… awkward. Awkward only because of the nature of my departure. If my leaving had been under other circumstances, coming back for a visit would feel very different. There were a few people I really would have loved to have seen that I didn’t get a chance too. Maybe on my next visit. There were a few people that I didn’t see that I’m kinda glad I didn’t. Still a little awkward and still some things to continue to process in my heart… if you know what I mean.
Closing thoughts: Sara and I both felt it on Saturday. We love Keller and North Fort Worth. We could totally live there again some day.We had so much fun being there, eating at our old joints and hanging out with close friends. However, by the end of the day on Saturday, we were really ready to get home. Ha! That sounds kind of funny. We were anxious to get back to Austin… our home.
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Dude, next time you are up, we gotta hang! B and I would love to see you guys, and maybe even Jacob and Titus could hang out! I totally know what you mean about this post. There are some places I totally miss, and some I don’t. But I do remember that God had me at each place for a reason, to learn and grow in ministry. Take care bro, and keep in touch and up to date on the happs in A-town!
It’s been almost 18 months since I left Dallas, and I’ve yet to be back. I still talk with many from the church, but I just never have a reason to be in Dallas. And the awkwardness would be overwhelming…