Tuesday, May 18, 2010

our most recent answer to prayer

ben and i have struggled for a loooooong time with the church department.  we knew exactly what kind of church we were looking for, we just couldn't find it.  we had been going to our small town methodist church for years, and were really involved.  ben was the youth pastor at one point, and we have always continued to work with the youth.  (our town is so small that all of the youth from the different churches attend the same youth group. ben was teamed up with the youth pastor form the baptist church.)  even though the methodist church became home to us, we weren't happy with their style of worship.

every time we visit my family, we always visit a very large church in the area.  we loooooooove it.  we love everything about it.  we love the pastor, the way he preaches, the music, the campus, the facilities... everything!  when i'm in a service, and i feel the holy spirit, i often cry.  well, every time we go there, i cry.  every. single. time.  we are always depressed the whole 3 hour drive back home that we can't be members and attend regularly.

i was brought up in a non-denominational church, so i like things very contemporary.  when we started dating, ben jumped ship, and liked the contemporary settings as well.  (i'm pretty sure he also did that because he knew that was how i was most comfortable.)  when we felt like the time was right, we left the methodist church and started going to a contemporary church 30 minutes from our house.  they are a very mission-minded church, and reach out to many with addictions, the poor, etc.  we got involved there, too.  i started teaching pre-school, ages 3-4, and ben started helping with the children ages 5 and older.  we quit helping when i got pregnant, because i was often sick and not able to attend church.

after austin was born, we got to really thinking and praying about where to go to church.  we felt like we weren't supposed to go back to the contemporary church, and we were a little upset with this decision.  if we didn't go to that church, where would we go?  so back to the methodist church it was.  it was convenient for us, having a new baby, and it only being 10 minutes away.  after church we could just go back home, so that i would be able to nurse her, and take naps.  the congregation felt like family, so i wasn't worried about her crying out during the service.  she was often the only child, so instead of leaving her in the nursery, everyone would pass her around.

ben and i made the decision really fast that it was not fair to austin to grow up in a church being the only child most sundays.  she wouldn't have opportunities there like she would if we went to a larger church.  she wouldn't have children her age to play with.  she wouldn't have lessons taught to her.  after my own church experience growing up, i couldn't imagine her going through that, but we didn't know what else to do!

one random day several weeks ago, we were headed to lunch, and i stopped and got our mail.  in it was a letter from the church that we love (that's 3 hours away!) saying that they were starting a new campus close to us, and if we were searching for a church, they would like for us to join them!  my heart probably skipped a beat.  i immediately knew that this was our answer to prayer.  all of these years wondering what to do, wishing we could be a part of this church, praying for answers... here they were! 

we had 2 "core group" meetings and now all of the core group is in small groups.  we are meeting through the summer, getting to know each other, and waiting on our facilities to be renovated.  the church should open this fall.  i'm guessing around september.  when the doors open, we (the core group) will be the ones doing all of the work, welcoming, and inviting everyone.

we've had a few little things happen that we felt like were extra confirmation from God that this was the right road for us.  just to name a couple... our small groups were randomly chosen.  our campus pastor just went through the room pointing to people to join different corners of the room, and the group we ended up in, the leaders have adopted, and she is just over a year old.  i was sitting in my seat the whole night praying that we would be in their group, and there ya go!  another thing is that on the way to that meeting, ben was saying how sometimes he felt out of place if there was no one that knew about farming.  we do have sort of a different way of life, or schedule i should say, than others.  well, another young couple that's in our group also farms.  she actually works as a therapist (occupational, if i remember right), and his family farms.  he currently works experimenting with crops with mississippi state.  i know ben was so excited when he learned that.  that was his little answer to prayer.

i won't keep rambling, but just wanted to share that.  if you're praying about something, and seeking answers, it may take years, but God will answer you!  one way or another!!


Veronica said...

Ashia...I was so excited to read this post! I have experienced so many of the things you shared here and would love to have a home church! Your post gives me hope and I just love how the Lord sends confirmation so that we know that something was from Him! My hubby has the hardest time feeling like he fits in in certain places and I can totally get what you mean about yours feeling different if there isn't anyone he can relate too.

So glad the Lord worked things out for you guys! Can't wait until we can share this same testimony! :)

Julianna said...

That's so wonderful to hear the whole story about the church! I didn't know all of that whenever we were coming home from jackson that day!
The 8 month post was PRESH, as always! I love reading her new accomplishments and seeing her big eyes & sweet smile! SHe's a doll.!

Keep your heading for awhile...i know how you like to change it, but Mom & I REALLY liked the other one, and this one is cute cute cute too!

Love youuu.