Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Season Begins

Today, I cried like a baby in church.  They were happy tears, thankful tears.  This morning marked another season ending and another one that is beginning.

Nine months ago, I wandered into Mosaic Church grieving, scared, confused, and as broken as I have ever been.  The most fiery trial of our lives had begun, and I was seeking refuge for a Sunday in a nearby church where no one knew me while my husband faced fierce persecution back at the church we had been serving at for over three years.  I'll never forget my first Sunday at Mosaic, because it gave me hope when the world I knew was falling apart.  That Sunday at Mosaic, Dustin, the lead pastor, was teaching that the Gospel was the best thing that can happen to you, even if it ruins your life.  I sobbed on the back pew knowing that it was true but hurting all the same.  I saw the same Gospel that we were being persecuted for thriving and living around me as this church brought in people of all races, ages, and backgrounds into a packed out skating ring.  It was the most unconventional church I had ever been to, and I loved every minute of it.  We sang a worship song that had offended lead people at our other church, and I stood in awe as worshippers around me joyfully sang it.  As our ministry was ending in one church because of the Gospel, I saw another ministry thriving because of it.

Mosaic Church has welcomed our family into it during this transitional period.  Since Bryan has been an interim pastor at another church in the same city, I have been attending Mosaic to have a time of healing from our last ministry.  The staff and members of Mosaic have loved and served my family and me well this past year.  I will forever be grateful that God allowed me to be part of a congregation where no one knew me or my story and where I had the privacy and space to grieve and heal.   I couldn't be more grateful for their partnership with us now as we plant Church@The Square.  We are weeks away from Church@The Square's public launch service.  Sundays from now, Bryan will be finishing his interim time at his current church and will be plunging full-time into his role as the lead pastor of Church@The Square.  It's a huge leap of faith for us in every way, but we have anticipated this coming day with great expectation.

Today was bittersweet, and the service couldn't have been more custom fit for my last Sunday morning at Mosaic.  Dustin, the lead pastor was out of town, so Sean, the community pastor, was preaching in his place.  His message was about the Gospel and suffering through trials.  I think I cried the whole time he was speaking, because I kept thinking about how far God has brought my family and me this year.  God has been so good to us.  He has brought me from a place of desperate brokenness to a place of healing and joy.  Only God can turn your worst nightmare into your ultimate dream.  When Sean finished speaking, the worship band closed the service in the same song that started our trial.  At that point, I sobbed again.  This time, not in anger or grief as I had many months ago, but in complete praise to the God who is our Healer.  In what seemed to be the Gospel failing as we were rejected by a church, the Gospel was actually prevailing.  We were being released from a traditional church setting and sent out into a community that desperately needs to see the Church body working in a way that speaks to their culture.  Our "failure" in one ministry was really just the birth of another.

I am so thankful that God never abandoned us.  His silence during our persecution felt like He had forgotten us, but I know now that He was purifying and preparing us.  He was strengthening our faith- teaching us the endurance we would need to do something radical and out of the ordinary.  Though I grieved then, I rejoice now.  I look forward to our future at Church@The Square.  God is faithful.  He will accomplish His purpose for us in His time His way.  Here's to a new season of life as we plunge full-time into church planting.

1 Peter 1:6-9

New Living Translation (NLT)
 6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

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