Miranda Telford is our Marketing and Sunday programming Director. She is a native Texan, wife of 12 years to Jason, and has one son, Drew (aka Drewbie). Her favorite thing to do at the West Nashville Dream Center is to drive the van to pick up kids, beep beep, and hang with the kids after service on Sundays.
There have been few moments in my life when I’ve heard God speak. It’s not an audible voice, but an overwhelming realization that He is with me and whatever He has placed on my heart and mind screams, “PAY ATTENTION!”
6 years ago, I experienced one of those moments. A passion and what I considered a calling I received at 18, collided with my 28-year-old self.
And this is why I am part of the dream.
Flashback to 2001. I was 18, about to begin college as a psychology major, hoping to be a counselor. My experience with my parent’s divorce inspired me to help others. The death of my uncle, who was an alcoholic plagued with bipolar disorder always haunted me. I wanted to help people who were stuck, controlled and eaten up with mental disease or addiction. The Summer before I left for college, I went on a mission trip with my church and served at a community center with after-school programs, free counseling and supplemental meals. I was so intrigued by this model and overwhelmed as I imagined the healing that took place there.
After serving, I was certain God showed me that I would start a Community Center like that one day.
I told my boyfriend (now my husband) and a few friends about the crazy plans I felt God had laid on my heart. But as time went on, my path changed and I thought God had shifted those dreams to someone else. I became a Communications major at college with dreams of working in public relations for some big Music City company.
Fast forward to 2011. I was 28 years old and Nashville had been home for 6 years. I was on staff at Cross Point Church, working in the Creative Department doing marketing and music. I was on a high professionally, but I was also burnt out ready to leave ministry.
That Summer, after much hesitation and fear, I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. My experience serving others in extreme poverty brought back my dreams of starting a community center. I shared this with a dear friend and she replied with much confidence, “I believe this is still something God wants you to do. Don’t give up.”
One month after I returned from that trip during a vision meeting at Cross Point, our Pastor shared dreams of starting a place called the Dream Center. With an after-school program, free counseling, supplemental meals and more.
The dream God had given me was AWAKENED, given PURPOSE and points of ACTION. God was speaking loud and clear.
I began a new adventure at that time. I switched jobs, from the Creative team to the Missions team at Cross Point and was the Local Missions Coordinator alongside our very own, Ryan Bult. I helped connect people with local mission opportunities in middle TN.
I was there when we were given the blessing of renting and renovating what is now the West Nashville Dream Center.
Fast forward to today. When I walk the streets surrounding our center, I walk with certainty that God wrote these people and this neighborhood into my story, long before I understood what it meant. I often feel closest to God when I’m here because I know that Jesus would be with us, and IS with us, talking to drug dealers and protecting children.
I now use my marketing background to bring awareness to the needs of our people and the goals of our center. It is my greatest joy to give a voice to hope and tell the story of the West Nashville Dream Center.
What I’ve learned most being part of the dream at the West Nashville Dream Center is that when God gives you a desire, it demands obedience. And when He speaks, you don’t want to miss it.