Yesterday, our church (Legacy) had a Celebration Sunday. It was a Sunday of Celebrating our wins. We were asked a few weeks ago to think about what our “big wins” have been this year. The Hubs and I thought of a few. (By the way, it was said about us yesterday that when our twins were removed and we didn’t “flinch” and I understand what was meant by it…we didn’t retreat into a deep depression and fall apart but believe me, we were flinching on the inside but we believe God is bigger than this world’s system and we KNOW He loves our babies even more than we do…we trust Him and we believe.). My first “Big Win” this year has been the Hub’s brother Peter. I count him as a win. He and Shelia have been faithfully attending our church this year and we have seen Pete fall in love with Jesus. That’s HUGE! The reconciliation that has taken place in our family has been incredible. For many years, I have enjoyed spiritual fellowship with my family. I am so thankful to God for that. I know, my parents, my sisters and brother-in-laws all share my faith in Jesus and when I need prayer or just want to share something, I can share it with them. The conversations will not be uncomfortable for anyone….it is a joy when brothers dwell together in unity (and it says in Psalms there is a commanded blessing!!!). With the Hubs’ family, things have been strained at times. My brother-in-law, Pete has been over to our house twice this past week and it has been so pleasant to chat, share ideas, dreams, etc. We get to go to church with our family and that is very important to me. (I would like to proselyte my family but I respect their pastor and church so I will refrain.) I celebrate this as a WIN in our family. If we were not attending Legacy, which isn’t all that far from where Peter and Shelia lived, and if we had not asked them to come then I’m not sure where they would have ended up or how long it would have taken them to find a healthy church. If I were a cheerleader, I’d do a cheer for Peter and Shelia because they have enriched our lives.
Another “Big Win” the Hubs was going to speak about yesterday but I believe we ran out of time is the healing that has taken place in our lives. Faithful readers of this blog (Thank YOU!! I celebrate you too!!! Almost 100,000 views on this blog!!! Incredible!), know that we had very negative experience with a church we were at…I would say “attended” but that really doesn’t describe our participation level, we were invested. I have written about the first time we attended Legacy Church and how, I felt God say to me, “Breathe” and that is when I realized I had been holding my breath…for a while. A few minutes after I felt God say, “Breathe” the worship leader, Katy, said, “Everyone, take a deep breath and breathe God in.” (confirmation). It was a breath of fresh air. Not long after that service, we had a serious “falling out” with the pastor of the church we had been attending. It was ugly. I don’t remember (nor do I want to…I’ve asked God to wipe away my memory of it all) the details but I remember the deep dread of confrontation and drama and how it all felt spiritually and it was so negative. Early this year, our new pastor was contacted about what happened (six months after it all played out). He stopped by to chat with us. Because of all that had happened, we hated to hear that our pastor “wanted to talk to us”…from our perspective these things all turned out so negatively. We dreaded “talking” to him. He told us a little about the communication he received. It all flooded back and I was fired up…again. Our pastor, lovingly took us by the hands and led us down a path of forgiveness and healing. I would describe us as being healed…in process. That’s big because I want to be healed and whole and a functioning body part in the body of Christ. I want to want to be healed and whole…there are many people who don’t want to “want it”.
The Word has been washing over us this year. Legacy had a series on Honor this year that was phenomenal. If you can get a podcast of it, it is worth listening to….listen to Kimberly Hill’s testimony….kind of puts it all in perspective. That series was a “Big Win” for our church because it isn’t a message that has been taught in honorable way in this region…it wasn’t about honoring your pastor it was about honoring the gift God placed in everyone; overlooking flaws and honoring the gift; honoring each other.
Another big win we have seen in a year is physical growth!!! It isn’t pc to talk about numbers but when we started attending in June of 2011 (Legacy kicked off March 2011, Easter Sunday), there were maybe 15 adults in attendance (yes, I counted…I wasn’t at all sure about attending another church plant. I like big churches like the one I grew up in). This past Sunday, I counted 45 (at least) not including the children and adults that were in Sunday School. Growth is important. Our pastor always says, “A quiet church is a dead church and we aren’t a dead church”. I always say (and I probably stole this from Bishop Phillips because he has all the good sayings), “If you aren’t growing, you’re dying”. Growth is important. I didn’t even get to meet all the new people in attendance yesterday. That’s big.
Think about what you can celebrate in your life. What are some of your “Big Wins” this year? Have you thanked God? Celebrate!
PS. There was handmade confetti and I am still picking it up from the floor in my house because we all seemed to bring a little bit home with us.