A few months ago, my husband and I made the difficult decision that it was time to leave our church, where we had been members for over 5 years. We had put a lot of love and energy into that church, but some things happened, some things DIDN’T happen, and we realized that we had arrived at the place in which we could no longer call it home.
When that happened, I was left with a very lost and sad feeling. I wasn’t sure what would happen next, what God could be doing in all this, and how we would be able to find a new body that would allow us to grow in our Walks in a way we desperately needed. I was scared about how long we might stay there, what it could mean in relation to Scott’s job (if we were to move closer to his job, could we still stay at the church… probably not), or how well we would mesh with a new group of people for a potentially short time. Simply put, I was lost, terrified, and feeling intensely aimless.
Enter Image Church. My mom was encouraging us to try out this cool little church nearby. My parents had tried it once in their recent church, but it wasn’t the right fit for them. She knows us very well, however, and I have to believe that God was giving her a big, gigantic arrow pointing at Image because that’s where we needed to be. So we went to check it out. And we loved it. The teaching is dead on, the worship is loud and proud, and the people are so warm and eagerly welcoming. But I was still scared. I didn’t want to let these people in if we were looking at the chance that we could be moving soonish. You NEVER know!
I guess it’s a good thing that God knows what He’s doing. I know I sure don’t! After 5 months of “testing the waters,” we went to our first Pod (small group) meeting tonight. I guess it’s a good thing we love our Pastor (check his blog out here), because this dude’s in charge of our group!
To those who know me, “shy” isn’t exactly the first word anyone would use to describe me. “Crazy B,” maybe, “take no prisoners,” but not “shy.” But when I’m first introduced to a new groups of people, a new surrounding, that’s exactly how I am, and sometimes it can take me a while to warm up. You know, I guess that’s where Squish gets it from. She takes it all in, takes some time to observe, and then dives right in, heart wide open. It’s inspiring! But I digress…
Tonight, I was a little reluctant to open my mouth. I’m in a new group, IN MY PASTOR’S HOUSE!!!!! (Nevermind he REALLY IS a very cool dude!) And most of the people in the room don’t know me. I really don’t want to look like an idiot or an arrogant twit in front of them. It’s funny how pride can do that do us, huh?
Instead, when I had the opportunity to say something, I was humbled and amazed by how I was encouraged and encouraging in my response. For the first time in probably many years, I felt like I actually had something to offer. It made me so grateful for this group of people that I’m having the opportunity to get to know, and I am believing more and more that God has placed us here for an incredible time of blessing and rest. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this kind of peace…