Posts Tagged ‘Vineyard Community Church’

I have to say that yesterday was the best Easter I’ve ever had. I couldn’t hear or feel Jesus at all Friday or Saturday, making the Resurrection that much sweeter.

After the disaster that was Thursday night, I went to Good Friday service with some people who are precious to me and whom I really miss having in my life. It was powerful, painful, what I needed. When I went to talk with Jesus on Saturday, I felt like He was wanting me to fully experience what like is like without Him, what it would be like for all of us had He not been resurrected. To experience the majesty and the mystery of Jesus just to have it ripped away; there is no hurt so deep.

Yesterday I rose at 6:00 to read the story of the resurrection, to savor it, before my morning run. I left the house about 6:30 when it was just starting to get light outside. It was dark and cool, and I had time to just praise my risen Lord. Sunrise was at 7:16, and I was at the top of a huge hill. Between the slash pines, the red-orange fireball rose, blinding me. It was beautiful.

On the return trip, I saw bunnies. I watched families do their morning Easter egg hunts. I smelled the intoxicating aroma of turkey baking. The scent of fresh laundry greeted me around one corner, and I was reminded of someone precious in my life (love it when that happens). I love my Sunday runs; they give me time to process through things I was too busy for the rest of the week.

I came home and we made our way to church. It wasn’t a typical Easter sermon. We’re in a series about the lies we believe, and the message was about our value. You should listen, it’s pretty amazing. My buttons were pushed bigtime, so I got up and sat on the floor in the back. For some reason, that made me feel better. 🙂

After church, we went to a picnic hosted by the church founded by the people whose small group we were in for nearly five years. It was nice to be together again with people we love.

The Music Man took the kids out for a while and I had some time to myself. I finished reading Redeeming Love for like the fourth time (gets me every. single. time), met with Jesus, and spent some time doing my counseling homework.After the kiddos were in bed, MM and I had some time together, which was nice. All in all, the best Easter I’ve ever had.

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Wow, it has been a packed week! Three birthdays to prepare for (my Joyful One is turning THREE tomorrow!), the baby isn’t letting me sleep (nearly delusional from deprivation), and the usual busyness of life seems to be overtaking me. And y’all know about counseling, which is already kicking my butt. Things are just a bit tough all around. Not bad, just complicated.

Anyhow, on Thursday God woke me up at 3:21 am. I prayed, I sang worship songs to myself, I watched my baby’s sweet face and murmured mama love to her for three hours. Somewhere in that time, God spoke that we were about to leave our church, the ONLY church I’ve belonged to as a believer. He showed me a picture of deep roots, gnarled together, knit tight. Community.

My first thought? “Um, no.” Seriously, I thought I was losing it because I’ve been just so sleep deprived. Not wanting to miss what God might choose to speak to me, I asked the Music Man to be listening for anything the Lord may want to tell him during the day.

He came home and said, “I feel like I’m supposed to ask you if we’re changing churches.” Gulp. Well, ok then. We were in agreement, but felt we needed to wait for one more confirmation because it is such a hey-uge decision. It came first thing Sunday morning.

We discussed a list of possible churches, and the top of the list is another Vineyard church, just 30 miles closer (each way) to our home. On paper, this close Vineyard looks perfect. There’s just one leeetle issue, and that’s that the “new” possible church is the church the Not-So-Casual-Observer belongs to. So she and I will have to have a chat to discuss what that would look like.

After church, I went into a meeting with the women’s ministry team and was absolutely blown away by what I heard. Ransomed Grace just came out and asked if I had anything to say to the team. I told them what God was saying to the Music Man and I, and time stopped as I awaited her answer.

She said, “Well, the reason I’m not upset (I was crying by this point) is that God’s already told me that it’s time for your family to live in community. And I think you’re supposed to stay in the Vineyard. Community. Vineyard.”

Did I mention that the church we’re most considering is called the Vineyard Community Church? I see God’s fingerprints all over this situation. I’m giving up my leadership position, my teaching, essentially all my service, but I have perfect peace.

I’m so sad, but feel like this mourning is a good thing. I’m feeling something, and that’s better than I was doing when I started counseling four months ago.

We went to talk with our pastor today, because we feel strongly that we should not leave our current church without his blessing. I want to be sent out, for there to be no question that we’re following God’s call. I want my old pastor and my new pastor to be able to have a chat about where we fit into church life. I feel like I finally understand why the Bible says “A good name is better to be chosen than great riches.” I care so much about maintaining my good name, and want to be bridge builders within these two churches.

After talking with Johnny, the plan is to do a week on and a week off at a new place, then talk with him about how we feel after we’ve gotten the lay of the land. This is sacred ground here, and I want this to go exactly the way God wants it to.

We’re so excited, even though this comes at great expense. Please pray that God would help us know that we’re home the minute we walk in the door, and that our kids would transition seamlessly.

It’s time for a new adventure!

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