God’s 3rd Choice: Troy and Penny Maxwell
Nearly 9 1/2 years ago Troy and I started Freedom House Church. We knew God spoke to us to leave all we knew in Richmond, leave our family, leave our friends, leave everything and go to a city we had never been to before.
We started Freedom House with two other people besides our family. We didn’t have a launch team, we didn’t have the money and we certainly didn’t have the expertise to start a church from scratch. No money. No people. Unfamiliar city. No jobs. Three little mouths to feed. What were we thinking?
Some of the greatest pains and the greatest joys have come from being obedient to what God had spoken to us in starting Freedom House. We just built our first (of many) church building on nearly 30 acres of land right off of the 485 beltway. It has definitely been amazing watching a dream become reality. We also have an office building on that same property. Oh and I can’t forget the beautiful acre pond filled with bass and brim. (That’s my kids favorite part.)
Each week the lobby is teeming with people and the services are packed with those who came to be touched by the power of God.
But I have to tell you the truth. When God called us to Charlotte, when he called us to leave all we knew and come to a land we were unfamiliar with, we weren’t his first choice. In fact, he told us that there were two others he asked to do it before us but they didn’t do it. The price was too high and they didn’t go. We were his third choice. A little humbling isn’t it?
Now let me back track a bit, our church has grown leaps and bounds! Do we have an amazing, gifted staff? Yes, that is not why we are seeing what we are seeing today. Do we have the best volunteers on the planet? Yes, but that is still not why we are seeing an explosion happen. Is my husband gifted at leading and teaching? Yes, but that is not why Freedom House has touched so many.
You see God wanted us to know very early on that Freedom House was ALL about Him before things grew he wanted the record straight. The only thing Troy and I did was say YES! He asked two others before us to do it, they just didn’t. You know, in the midst of all of the explosion, it’s real difficult to think you’re all that when you know if you don’t do what you are supposed to, he’ll just get someone else to. It’s hard to have an ego or think it’s about you and your gifts when you know he can even make a donkey talk to get his will accomplished, if need be. Growth is to bring God glory, not to think anyone’s gift or talent landed them there. It’s about HIM, always has been, always will be. The only big deal is God.
I thank God that not only did Troy and I say yes, but that our staff and hundreds of volunteers say yes each and every week. None of us HAVE to do what we do each week, we GET to do what we do each week. Troy and I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve God in the capacity we do each and every day of our lives. I don’t want him to have to ask someone else to do something he asked me to do.
It often crosses my mind what would have happened if the others who were asked to start Freedom House before us would have said yes. To me, it doesn’t matter which order I was chosen in to fulfill this part of God’s plan, I’m just glad I am. We may have been asked third, but it was our first.
What do you need to say yes to? Don’t let someone else live out YOUR opportunity! Just say YES even if it’s hard!