I was born and raised in a small town in southern Missouri. I accepted Christ at a young age because that's what I was supposed to do, but I didn't really understand the gospel until I was 14. The Lord allowed me to participate in a summer ministry in Houston, Texas, starting at age 14 that lasted throughout my college years. That is where the Lord began to stir my heart.
The summer after my senior year of high school, I began to really feel as if I were called to full-time ministry. I went to college at Southwest Baptist University, started touring with a local band and gained several contacts in the music industry. Thinking that must be where the Lord wanted me, without really checking with Him first, I started pursuing a career in that industry. I was planning to move to Nashville, Tenn., the summer before I graduated to take an internship, and then I would come back to school, graduate in December and move back permanently in January 2004.
The problem was my plans were not the Lord's plans. About a month before that summer, I realized I was heading in the wrong direction. A mentor of mine encouraged me to slow down, telling me that the Lord would unpack each day for me, and I only needed to be patient. I allowed myself to trust Him again, and He provided...like He always does.
Through a series of God-ordained events, I ended up in Sherman, Texas, for the summer, and it was that summer I realized that Texas was where the Lord wanted me. I went back to school and graduated as planned, then in January moved to Arlington, Texas, with no plans, no job and only a place to live.
I ended up at The Village my first weekend in town. I loved it. I started working part time at Barnes and Noble and used the rest of my time to volunteer at the church. In 2005 the church hired me as a part-time receptionist, which became a full-time job a few months later and eventually turned into the job I have now. Also in 2005, Eric Bowman began pursuing me, and we were married in 2006. I like to say that 2005 is the best year ever, because I started working at The Village, my husband and I started dating, and I was introduced to Mute Math (the best band ever).
In November 2010, the Lord blessed us with a baby girl, Evangeline (Evie) Shea, and we began learning more about another aspect of God's character through parenting.
As I look back on my life, it is so obvious that the Lord's hand was in every moment, even when I didn't realize He was moving. Every moment has revealed His perfect plan for me, and I love to see even the little things that He was working out in me that are now coming to the surface. He is continuing to change me and move in me even today, and I look forward to looking back on today years later to see His grace.
Hope for The Village Church
My hope for The Village is that we will be looked on as a place that the Lord uses to change lives. I pray that we would desire above all to glorify the Lord and foster deep, authentic community with each other.