Meet Max & Lily Wilder,

This year, I have become completely convinced that the Lord loves a good story. He builds them into all of our lives, sagas of giving our life to Him, or rebelling, or following Him to crazy places or whatever it may be, I’m learning how truly thankful I am for the drama of it all. God chooses to make our journey with Him an epic mystery, and in the midst of fear, I’m learning to be thankful that the stories He writes aren’t boring or predictable. 


When Max and I got married in June, we had a dream in our heart to listen to the Lord, and move to the place we heard Him speak on. It began as a broad dream, and as the days of faithful prayer and listening went on, the Lord began to make our steps more specific. He started with Los Angeles, narrowed it down to Long Beach, and then drew our hearts to the Garden. The Holy Spirit put a desire in our hearts to follow that gentle whisper, the adventure from the Lord we felt was calling us. So in January with fear and trembling, and a lot of tears, we packed our bags and moved to Long Beach with no jobs lined up, no plans, and only the promises of God that He was ready to use the “yes” in our hearts. 

The past three months, when I truly sit and think back, have been nothing short of an amazing story. God has revealed Himself to us and given us new passion for Him through this risk. He’s pruned so much pride and self reliance from our hearts, and is replacing it with peace that He really will sustain and provide for us. He’s showing us that He doesn’t just speak and then go silent, but that He’s still speaking, still giving us our next steps. At the Garden we’ve been able to break down past barriers put up against allowing the Holy Spirit into all areas of our heart and lives. I find myself now boldly praying over my coworkers, neighbors, and strangers-something I deeply desired in Kentucky but felt too bogged down by my passive habits. God has laid the foundation of a new normal in our hearts. This new normal is one of seeing God rightly, watching old habits and incorrect assumptions about God fall off, and walking in new freedoms. 

I’m so thankful for a God that will go to the extreme to walk his children into greater freedom. It’s only been three months of living out this radical story with Jesus and I know my heart has been transformed forever. The hurts, the joys and disappointments, the love, community, laughter, and nearness that God has provided has shaped this story we’re writing with Him, and given me a new found joy for the mysterious drama of it all.  

Do you want to share what God has been doing in your life? Share your story here!

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