I recently read over a few old blog posts and they all seemed to have a theme to them. God asking me to do something and me being resistant. Yet every time I finally did what was asked of me, lessons were learned and blessings flooded into my life.
Well friends this post isn’t going to be any different. Recently I felt God speaking to my spirit that I needed to visit the churches of my community. If I’m going to be honest this was the third time I believe God has asked me to do this. I’ve been resistant to this particular request because it makes me feel uncomfortable. The thought of walking into a building with unfamiliar faces, not knowing what the service would be like, my “shy” tendencies, and fear that my own church family would feel like I was leaving them gives me anxiety!
My husband has also told me a few times that he thought I should get out and visit the different churches. So I was not only giving God a no but not listening to the council of my husband. You see I know that I have an evangelist heart in me but how will anyone else know that if I never go outside the comforts of my church home’s walls.
Over the past few months God started putting a desire in my heart to know what he’s doing in my community. I don’t want to just take someone’s word for it. I want to experience it. I started noticing churches and thinking to myself “What’s going on in there?” I also started noticing that when I would introduce myself to people in my community at different events I would often hear responses such as “I know who you are” or “Yes I know you.” Yet I didn’t know them. It finally clicked that people felt they knew me from Social Media. My community isn’t large. I should KNOW the people of my home town.
Believing in my heart that someday my family and I will travel for ministry purposes and clearly hearing God speak to my spirit “How can I send you into the world if I can’t send you into your own community” pushed me to finally give God a YES!!! This weekend my children and I went on our first visit to the Fairview Mennonite Brethern Church. It is one of the larger churches in my town. In my mind the whole town was going to be packed in there and I was going to feel completely overwhelmed. That’s not what happened though.
First off one of my sons had a huge meltdown because I asked him to wear shorts with a button and zipper (he only wears athletic attire). Then my youngest child refused to get out of the vehicle for a good five minutes because this wasn’t HIS CHURCH! Luckily my daughter was thrilled about the experience!
I took a deep breath before walking in to calm my nerves and was instantly greeted by smiling and welcoming faces. I felt immediately at ease. People who knew us and even some who didn’t came right up to us to let us know they were glad we came. We received “welcome gifts” and my boys quickly snagged a spot in a back row pew.
I loved the music which was a mix of contemporary and hymns. The sermon was great. Speaking on finding your lonely place or a place of solitude just as Jesus often did. I was already a fan of this soft spoken preacher. He’s a genuinely nice man and I’m always impressed that from the very first time he met me (a few years ago at an event) he has never forgotten my name. To remember Pastor Marlin’s name I’ve had to tell my brain “Marlin like the father from Nemo not Merlin like the Wizard”. (Haha welcome to my brain)
Sitting in that back pew allowed me to look around and observe. I realized there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of people in here. There were actually some empty spaces. So if you are like me and have taken one look at that full parking lot and said “NOPE”, I ask you to reconsider and give this church a visit. Every preconceived notion I had of this church has been washed away.
I was recently told that God has blessings waiting for us on the other side of fear. I’m already believing that to be true. I’m excited for this journey my crew is taking over the summer. I’m not sure what lessons we will learn just yet but I know our lives will be changed, our faith strengthened, and we will find ourselves blessed for choosing to go on this “Season Of Wandering.”