The joy and the sorrow

In July of 2010 First Glance had our annual vision day.  I love vision day where we gather all the key leaders of First Glance and talk about the direction of the ministry.  We have a time where everything is on the chopping block as well as a time for dreaming.  The dreaming session is a time where any fun or serious dream can be added to a list.  It was this vision day in 2010 where Alicia Ley put down her dream of her husband planting a church in Kenmore.

I remember the first time I ever met Alicia.  I was walking through Teen Moms when it was still hosted at the Funeral Home (because we had no space at FG).  She was sitting on the floor with an itty bitty baby in a sling.  Karen quickly introduced me to her, and I shuffled along my way.  About six months after this first introduction I was getting ready to go on my 10 year anniversary trip and decided I would do two workouts a day back-to-back to get ready.  I invited five friends to join me each morning, and Alicia was the only one to come consistently.  This is how she became my work out partner and later my bike partner.

And so in July of 2010, this young woman who had been volunteering about a year is sitting in this meeting talking about her husband planting church.  We added it to the dream list along with a swimming pool on the roof of First Glance.

Fast forward to December 2015.  Alicia is now not only my bike partner but also my dearest friend.  She’s walked with me through First Glance leadership, depression, infertility, and everything in between.

The Sunday before Enoch was born the day was warm, and I asked her if she wanted to bike so that my bike app would hit 4000 miles (since I started using it).  This is what makes Alicia a great workout partner.  She’s willing to help make this short couple mile ride as it’s getting dark with all of her kids running around like crazy.  She gets my desire to hit 4,000 miles and is up for any adventure.  The night was fun.  We laughed a lot and hoped we biked the baby out.  We took this picture in the midst of this ride and oddly both posted it onto FB, which was uncommon for either of us to do.


The next picture posted online would be a handful of days later… It was this one of her sitting in the hospital bed next to me as I held my dead son.  The picture was heartbreaking.  I admit that I liked the contrast of the two: the joy of anticipation when biking, and the care and concern as I walked the hardest day of my life.


Months following there would be the next picture posted of the two of us online.  This one of Alicia and I hugging on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal.  Yes, that is the back of my head. Yes, I am famous, and you didn’t even know it.  The picture was taken because Jacob, Alicia’s husband, planted a church in Kenmore!  5 years, 7 months and 27 days after she first said it in our meeting, it happened!  Easter morning The Chapel officially planted a church in Kenmore and Jacob was the leading the way.   (Click here to read the full article).



What an exciting morning for so many reasons:

  • Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus raising from the dead!
  • I love seeing dreams come true.  Jessica who’s on our leadership team always says, “Welcome to First Glance where all your dreams come true.” Alicia put this dream down every year at vision day since 2010, and now it’s a reality.
  • As the director of First Glance, I couldn’t be more thrilled for a church and a leadership team that understands our community and desires for those in it to come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (along with the other churches we partner with).
  • I really do believe I get a front row seat at what God does. I’ve had a front row seat on this particular journey with the Ley’s, and so I was thrilled to be there to support them at their launch.

I remember, so clearly, the young Alicia Ley who sat in her first ever vision day and said her dream was for Jacob to plant a church.  Little did I know that dream would become a reality!   Little did I know the journey that would happen in our friendship over time.  I am truly so grateful for this community and for how God interacts in our lives.


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