Today I’m Thankful for my Church!

I’ve missed a few “Thankful Till Thanksgiving” status updates again… Going into the weekend, I knew it would be a fantastic weekend, but its defied even my own expectations.

Today I am thankful for a church that defies expectations, that doesn’t let me get a handle on it, that doesn’t let me fall into step along side, but that always leaves me chasing, arms wide open, outstretched, with reckless abandon and hope filled exhilaration!
Have you ever found a place, that simultaneously accepts you, loves you, needs you, entertains you, challenges you, teaches you, and calls you out of yourself… the real you… the you even YOU weren’t sure existed? It’s an adventure everyday….. it never get’s old, and you never know what to expect next.
My soul craves adventure! It’s why I always new I’d someday move out of Michigan, and why when the opportunity came around to turn our lives upside down again and move to Virginia, I jumped at it. Sure there was some anxiety with both moves, and things I’ve missed about both places I’ve moved from… but with each move I learn a TON more about myself!
Michigan to Texas proved I could do it. I was strong enough to make it, and while that first year was anything but easy, calling and crying for home more than a few times, I got stronger.
This time around, I knew I could do it… and I changed the mistakes I’d made the first time, that had made that first move so miserable in the beginning. I didn’t wait for friends to find me, wait around for my phone to ring, and then get depressed when it didn’t because surely that meant no one liked me. This time, I plugged myself in everywhere, to everything, and everyone and then waited to see what stuck. If I was bored, or needed to chat, I called someone… I know…. novel idea, but it took me awhile to come up with, believe it or not.
This move, its quite obvious, its my faith that’s growing by leaps and bounds. I went from critic, to skeptic, to euphoric…. From “Love God, just not his fan club”… to “there is no way this is for real…. but why would they make this up?”, to “wait a minute… this is for real… I want a piece of the action!” Until you push yourself over the edge of an adventure, you never get the chance to figure out how you’re going to stick the landing. I’m still free falling in my current adventure, and honestly in no hurry to pull the rip cord!
We’ve all, at one wedding or another, heard the famous Corinthians verse that ends in 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”, DC Metro takes this to the extreme! I had thought about not sharing the numbers here that my church is believing for, out of my own fear that if they don’t come through, that failure could reinforce someone else struggle with a lie that its just not possible. However, I didn’t start to overcome that lie, until I started seeing proof positive that it happens…. so hoping this step of faith pans out for someone else!
So are you ready for this…. you can come back on Sunday Dec. 4th for the results as that’s when they’ll be announced to us….
For a church with a membership of 1200 people…. with a diverse economic background, centering around average…. meaning not 1200 millionaires… uh… duh, cause we go there… SO not a millionaire! The belief is that in ONE week… ONE… we can raise $500K, and have commitments for another $5M… That’s FIVE MILLION DOLLARS, to come in over the course of the next year.
Stop right there, I know what you’re thinking cause I thought the same thing…. “commitment” so easy to write a great intention on a piece of paper but not follow through… In a generation where we can barely get a 50% response rate to an Evite for an event occurring the next day….”commitment” is a scary word. Not in my church… No sir… not today ;)!
From a self proclaimed critic then skeptic, I am now euphoric because I truly do believe… no reservations believe…. I’ve graduated from the “Yeah, I believe… in theory that sounds fantastic”… to “It WILL happen… just you wait and see”. You wanna know the best part about it? I used to be nervous saying something like that… because, well what if it doesn’t. You know what, if I ended up being the only person that gave to this drive (which I already know I wasn’t) I know God would use those funds to accomplish all he had planned anyway… he’s got his sights set on a building, and if that building was $5M right now, and all we got was half that…. then when its time to buy, the selling price on that building would be $2.5M!
Can you feel the euphoria baby?!? Call it delusional… call it what you will… but I’m happy, truly over the moon in LOVE with every aspect of my life and all the people in it… can you say that?
If you can’t… why don’t you try throwing yourself into a new adventure… shake up the church routine, check some new ones out, go across a denomination or two, until you find one that speaks to YOU…. they are NOT all the same, growing up Catholic, I can say that WITHOUT a doubt! But God’s in all of them somewhere, so go find him!

One comment

  1. mountainmeli says:

    Julie, life just jumps out from the page when you write! I love your boldness and passion, evident even when you were in h.s., but it makes me smile so big to see where God has taken you!

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