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I am your tabernacle, I am your jubilee...

Cried most of the way home this past week from choir practice at church.

It was our last session of the season, but that's not why I was crying.  The sky was darkened, but still sunny... night falling and rain threatening; gorgeous.  But that's not why I was crying.

After we all ate the food and sang our song for Sunday and then visited the new, soon-to-be-reality sanctuary... we all stood on that stage, that holy ground because of two or three or thirty standing there and God standing with us.  We raised simple voices to a simple hymn of grace so amazing and then prayed.  Prayed with thanks, prayed with hope, prayed for the untold stories to come.  And I felt a tear slide away.

I don't think I can adequately express how much I love the people who make up my, finally, forever church home.  After I joined the choir, a close friend of the family told my mother in-law, "I'm so glad she's able to be part of the choir.  They are like a family."  

A family.

And even though I have parents and siblings and nieces and nephews.  And even though I have amazing in-laws and extended family.  And even though I have a wonderful husband and handsome boys of my own... even then... even then the blessing of a body of believers, a church family... it is a gift.

I got home, all teary and touched and sat next to Aaron on the couch and spilled my heart.  I told him why I was crying all the way home and why I was so thankful and how I'm so grateful we moved here nearly a year ago.  It hasn't been an easy transition.  We moved when Travis was only four weeks old and I was overwhelmed and lost and knew very few people.  I was disconnected and lonely and stressed out.  I had a new house and a new baby and a new world to learn and I was newly exhausted by a newborn.  And trying so hard to be all and make all and perfect all.  It hurt to breathe most days.  I fought hard to keep my head from going under.

And some days I just didn't have it in me to fight and not just go ahead and sink.

When I stumbled through practice and shakily wobbled my first solo a couple weeks ago, it was so huge for so many reasons.  Not only because I was willing and ready for whatever God called me to.  Not only because I was ready to dream big and follow-through.  Not only because I was ready to stop thinking and start doing.  It was all of that and more.  And when I was embarrassed and bright-faced and I hung my head in defeat... those people?  That choir?  That new family?

They didn't judge, they didn't condemn, they didn't replace me with a more secure, bold soloist.

They just prayed.

They didn't care about my performance.  They cared about my heart.  They were more into what God was doing and would do through me and less concerned with what I could or couldn't accomplish that night with nerves so stretched and the fear and the taunting voices so loud.

I wish we were all more family that way.

We all really should be.

And last Wednesday the prayer was offered up for all of the untold stories yet to come.  All the hearts to come in those doors... it broke me down.  Because I was once brand spanking new and I was once overwhelmed and sitting in those same purple chairs.  And that first Sunday God met me there.  And I know He meets more there all the time.  Has plans to meet us all.

In our weekly welcome video, where we boldly display our convictions and values, towards the end the message rolls, "Today you've chosen to sit yourself in a very safe place..." and every Sunday that makes me smile and every week that reminds me of my very first Sunday, back in 2007 when I watched that video for the very first time.  And I cried right then and there because I knew it was a very safe place.  I knew that was the truth and I had been in that sanctuary for all of ten minutes.

And now that this is home and now that it is "my" church and now that I'm part of the choir and check books out for my kids from the children's library... now that it's home?  It continues to be that safe place.  Just as God's family should always, always be.

There should - and are not to be - any orphans in God's house.  Ever.

"I will not leave you as 
I will come to you."
~  J o h n   1 4 : 1 8


  1. I'm so happy for you that you have this kind of community! *hugs*

  2. Thank you so much, Brenda! It is definitely a blessing!!! <3


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