15 May 13
It was a beautiful day for some outside painting and working around the house. Had today off before we run up to Owensboro, KY tomorrow to fix around a hundred chairs at a client’s office. That’s only 33.3 chairs apiece. No sweat, we got this.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Grace Church family? Ya’ll are some of the most loving, kind, generous, friendly and stubborn people that I have ever met, and I am proud to be a member. I’m not kidding either, ya’ll ARE stubborn! 😉
Seriously though, I have never had relationships with others like the ones that the Spirit has led me to here at Grace. I can walk up to any group talking in any part of the church and immediately feel at home and part of the group. Whether it is someone that I have known for years or a first timer, it is a place of refuge and holiness without being stuffy or overbearing. We laugh and cut up one moment while going into serious prayer for a need or lifting up praise the next.
I didn’t always feel this way about Grace. I have told this several times so bear with me if you have heard it. When we first visited Grace Church of the Nazarene, there was something about most of the people there that just made me want to hate them. I wasn’t saved yet, and was not sure why I was even there. I know now that what was repelling me so violently was the Holy Spirit in these people. They had an outward mantle of Peace that I desperately wanted, so even though I was repelled, I was drawn to keep coming back. I was so angry most of my life, frustrated and always feeling less-than everyone else. Most everything I did or tried to do was to compensate for that sense of being lost. I was a sheep that had found its flock, though I had never known one before.
Grace welcomed me in, and eventually I grew comfortable there. Then came a time of separation from this family. I had exiled myself, by my own actions. When I came back after being restored by the Lord, walking through those doors for a Wednesday night Bible study was one of the hardest things I had encountered. I expected to be judged, to be reviled and cast back out. But do you know what those Grace people did? They had the unmitigated gall, the outrageous and outlandish belief in the redeeming power of God, and those stubborn, stubborn people refused to give up on me and they welcomed me back into their midst and made room for me and loved me! They knew everything, every sin, every lie; they knew me for who I truly was and they still opened their arms to me. It still moves me to tears.
I know that the odds are that one day I will be called to another church, in another part of the country, and that I will make new friends, and add to my list of family. But there will never be another Grace family that lives in my heart like the people here.
Thank you, Clarksville Grace Church of the Nazarene for stubbornly loving my family and myself and refusing to give up on us. We love you.