Bill & Traci
I don’t remember not knowing Traci. We met at the tender
age of five. I’m not sure if the word ‘tender’ applies to us
though. We came from two very different worlds. I was
born to missionary/evangelists which meant that my home
had either wheels or wings and I was in church more
nights than not. She grew up in a mobile home with a
couple of cool Austin hippies. I remember hanging out at
Traci’s while a scratchy record of Frampton Comes Alive
played in the background. She remembers coming to our
trailer where we had the Gaithers rocking the hi fi.
My parents moved into this old Austin trailer park and the one open spot they had was near my future wife. Thus we were next door neighbors in this low budget commune in a time when Star Wars was still in the theater, old bicycles were learning to be ridden, and disco was having its five minutes of cool. We grew up as friends, best friends, and a pure childlike love grew into me proposing to her on a cool February night in downtown Austin.
So there you have it. We met, grew up writing letters, shared a love of God and mission, and got married at the tender age of 18. I’m still not sure the word ‘tender’ applies to us though, because after a couple of years of Bible College we signed on to help plant a church. And there’s nothing tender about birthing a church. It wasn’t the only thing birthed at the time. We had two amazing kids during the 90’s. It’s funny how some dramatic adjective is expected when one talks about his kids. If it’s there, as in “amazing kids”, it sounds trite. If it’s not, as in “…kids”, it sounds cold. Either way, it’s lousy writing. But in this case, our son and daughter absolutely exemplify the requirements necessary to warrant the term “amazing”. They are, without question, two of the coolest humans we’ve ever known.
Austin was home, and has a piece of our heart, but there’s a global mission that we’ve been called to that is consuming. We love empowering people to reach a destiny that enables them to live out the dream on God’s heart. You know the Scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, on that refrigerator magnet that you got in that sympathy gift that one time? “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God has dreams about you that the enemy, life, circumstances, the choices of others, and the choices you regret, have all conspired to tattoo an indelible “disqualified” on your heart and soul. But the Spirit can never be disqualified and He’s been given to you as a gift of grace. You are the highest imagination of God in history, the greatest dream of God realized. It is who you become when you submit to the voice of his Holy Spirit that ultimately determines your identity, and that’s what we want people to see. Traci has seen it in me and refuses to see anything differently. And that’s the heart of love, when you remind people of who they are when they themselves have forgotten. It’s our heart that the body of Christ become the empowering force, fueled by love, that launches people into their destiny, the destiny that is the dream of God.
Grace and Peace