Multiplication is a bittersweet blessing. Parting with beloved brothers and sisters for the sake of God's mission is never easy, but it’s my prayer that we as a family of churches will come to see God’s fatherly hand in the midst of that discomfort. In Christianity, in God’s economy, true joy and blessing are born out of sacrifice. The cross of Christ was the ultimate bittersweet blessing. So our multiplications are tangible gospel reminders.

This weekend, as Sojourn Heights and Sojourn Montrose celebrate the launch of Sojourn Galleria, we’re getting a crash course in Christian economics. The letter below was written by Michelle Williams, a long-time covenant member of Sojourn Heights and a core-team member of Sojourn Galleria. Michelle has come to see God’s fatherly hand in the midst of her discomfort.

My last Sunday Gathering as a covenant member of Sojourn Heights has passed, and I can’t help but reflect upon the last four and a half years. I can still see the broken, lost woman I was when I walked into my first gathering, even though I didn’t know it at the time. From that first Sunday, I knew this was where God wanted me, even though it took a long time to see why. His presence in our church was undeniable.

Jesus saved me at Sojourn. Through the people at our church, He taught me what true community is and what it looks like to follow Him. I was baptized at Sojourn, at Fitzgerald's, in a horse trough. I've attended weddings and gotten to watch our church family grow through the blessing of children. I’ve gotten to multiply with a parish, and now, with a church.

I couldn’t have imagined how much my life would be transformed when I walked through those doors all those years ago. I couldn’t have imagined how much I needed Christ, and how much I still need Him. I couldn’t have imagined how painful—yet how beautiful—it is to grow into His likeness and image alongside my church family. I am not the same woman I was on that first Sunday. And it’s all because a group of faithful men and women listened to His call to plant Sojourn and continue to be faithful to love and serve this church.

Helping to plant a church had never crossed my mind in the years I was at Sojourn Heights. Planting was for others; my mission field was in the Heights. But God’s sovereign hand over my life, expressed tangibly through Sojourn’s vision and passion, has made me eager to love and serve the people of Sojourn Galleria and all within that neighborhood.

Words cannot express how difficult it is for me to leave the only church home and family I have ever known; where so much of my walk with the Lord began and was sustained. But this is what He has been preparing me for, and I look forward with joy and with fear at the unknown, trusting that He will be faithful to complete the work He has begun in my life and in the world.

Leaders and fellow members, thank you for your faithful love and service to me, our churches, and the city of Houston. I pray for strength, patience, wisdom, and love for each of you as you continue to labor to see more people won for His Kingdom and His glory!

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Michelle Williams