So it's actually Day 22 and who knew I would fall so far behind so fast???
Well, probably everyone who knows my first and last name, but whatever. I am still thankful!
I often sit to write these posts, but I have so much more to say than I have time for, and I end up putting it off. Especially when my thankfulness is for something that is worth more than a few sentences ... like the gratitude for being part of a church family that loves the Lord.
Our journey in finding a church didn't take too long. We came to Grace Bible the very first Sunday after making our decision to leave Grace Fellowship. However, the spiritual and emotional journey took a bit longer. I wrote a little here and here.
Through the whole process we have found this to be true: Finding a church is hard.
It shouldn't be and I know the whole ordeal has been an incredible opportunity for growth and humility. Still, it is way too hard and no matter if or when we find ourselves on that journey again ... it will be too soon.
Our church isn't perfect. And those were the some of the first words we heard our pastor say to us when we met with the elders in October 2008. It was as if he thought we were looking for the perfect church!
(my tongue is in my cheek, just in case you didn't catch that)
He was right about our non-perfect church but thankfully since I am a bit far from perfect it appears I might fit right in. That whole "grace" thing plays a huge role in how I have handled (or not handled) the imperfections along the way.
We entered into a season of really digging for truth and understanding many years ago and much of that season involved a close examination of our present church in light of scripture. I found myself being very critical of churches that were missing components that we felt were non-negotiables.
Interesting how God has changed those non-negotiables without much consultation ... which has made things so much easier.
It wasn't really about me and my wants after all.
Or my children, my husband, service times, type of music, programs, building size, distance, or any other felt need that had seemed so crucial before.
I would encourage anyone in this same situation to really examine your heart in light of what the bible gives as the model for the New Testament church, careful to see the differences between convictions, preferences, and actual mandates given in the Word.
In doing so, you might find that your non-perfect church is something to be very grateful for.