Praising and Serving in a New Place
One thing that was important to me when we started this journey was not becoming disconnected from the body of Christ. Let me go back, it really was my Spirit that urged me not to become disconnected.
This was the second big move in our marriage. When we moved to our previous home we took a major break from church. I think I can say we didn't know where to go. We knew what we didn't want, but we had never really seen what we did want. This time around I knew before we moved that we couldn't go that route. We aren't the same people that we were 9 years ago.
To stay connected with some believers, we transferred our Community Bible Study membership. Again this truly wasn't my doing because I was going to just wait it out until the fall, but I was obedient and joining these ladies weekly has truly been a blessing. As I said before, this move is a faith move. Every day we are moving in faith. One foot in front of the other trying not to look down or lose focus.
Before I go on to the next point, I want to give you guys a little background about my marriage. My husband has always said that he trusts me. He trusts my judgment. He doesn't believe that I would intentionally do anything wrong to hurt our family. I really didn't understand this earlier in our marriage because I felt like I had too much control. Or that I had to make all of the decisions or whatever. There was an internal battle there because so many places you read that husbands are leaders and this is what it should look like, but it doesn't look the same way for everyone or every marriage.
Now, we visited two churches. The girls liked one and I liked the other, and he said either works because God is at both. Well, we decided we would go to both. One on Saturday and the other on Sunday. We did that for one week. Last week, actually. I thought we would do it for a few months because I really do believe in allowing the girls to be a part of such conversations. I know that they need to have faith for themselves, and that they may not always want to worship where we worship.
We are greeted with encouraging words and scriptures are painted on the walls.
I can say God, really listened to my heart and desires. Or maybe I was just listening to His. That "laidback-ness" which embodies my husband that I once complained about, I am really thankful for it now because he trusted the Spirit residing in me to lead us to a church that would benefit our entire family. My heart wanted connections with the other people that we worshiped with; our old church was too big. It was easy to become disconnected or just know the few people you serve with and that's it without any real outside interaction. I, personally, did not want to return to that. We really did learn a lot from our former pastor. He lead us to truth and challenged us to know God for ourselves.
Today for the first time our family served together for an entire day with other people from the church. My first desire had been answered. My second desire was answered when my daughters saw the meaning of my words when I spoke about connections, and they quickly changed to "Yes, mommy, we can go to this church." They loved serving. We cleaned, got rid of trash, and scrubbed floors. This is what made them change their minds. I am so grateful that we were surrounded by other adults who spoke words of life into our girls. After we served for 3 hours, the girls shared that they wanted to return to serve dinner to the homeless at a local day shelter. We returned. They served. They fix the plates. They interacted. They showed me that this home ministry is really doing a work in their hearts, and that His words do not return void. The last thing, maybe, is that my husband made real connections with other men while he served (Can I say that watching them scrub all the dishes did my heart good! I told him that I helped prepare him for such a time as this because he really does do dishes at home often).
In our everyday life, men are far and few between who really build each other up in God's word and name. This has been a prayer. I wanted my husband to have some of the same things that I have. I have awesome women who pour into my life. Some are online. Some are in bible study. Some are miles and miles away so we chat over the phone or through texting. I know the value of not doing life alone and having confidants that share the same beliefs.
Don't get distracted. Trust in Him.
I have learned that if you submit your desires to Him and yourself, believe, and they align with His will and way then your prayers will be answered. This package may not come in a cute, little bundle. We found this church through an ad in a local, free paper. This church shares a building with a beer brewery, and if they have a band we can hear it during Saturday night service. We could have easily turned around when we pulled into the parking lot a few Sundays ago, but we didn't. For this, I am thankful. He truly is everywhere, and He can teach you anywhere.
This is like my longest post, and I pray that it helps somebody somewhere :)