If you read my last post, you will know that we FINALLY found our church home. Once the church was decided on, I knew I wanted to get involved, but I just needed to figure out in what way. My very first Sunday was only 6 days ago. Upon arriving, we were handed a ‘upcoming events’ calendar that listed all the opportunities to get connected (which to my surprise was A LOT).
Have you ever had one of those “ah-ha” moments where you knew the Lord put you in the right place at just the right time? Well for me, this was one of those moments. I believe God placed me in that church last Sunday so that I didn’t miss out on the opportunity to attend the Women’s End of Summer Night which was scheduled to take place a few days later.
With it being my first Sunday, I hadn’t had the time to meet all the pastors or form any kind of relationships within the church. Being brand new (literally) I wasn’t sure if I should or even wanted to attend the Women’s event. Uncertain of what I was going to do, I turned to the Word to see what light it could shed on my decision. Here’s what I found…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:46-47
“For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” -Matthew 18:20
Now, anyone who knows me, knows I am somewhat of a ‘social butterfly’. To my advantage, meeting new people and engaging in conversation has always come pretty natural to me (probably because my dad is also that way). While large crowds and meeting new people don’t usually phase me, that doesn’t mean that I never experience anticipation, hesitation, anxiousness or nervousness.
After finding some clarity in the Bible, I quickly signed up and paid $15 for my ticket before I could talk myself out of it or change my mind. The days leading up to the event I had this unsettling nervousness that I couldn’t seem to shake. I thought of all the scenarios that I could possibly be faced with at this event: meeting no one, having no connection or common interest, church members being “cliquish”, awkward silences, terrible food, uninspiring sermon. Yes, I literally thought of everything, not giving any thought to the positives that could come out of it.
The day had arrived. I took a shower, got ready and drove to church unsure of what came next. When I walked up I was greeted by the amazing, charcoal aromas of Hawaiian steak, chicken and pork (if that alone isn’t reason enough to go, then I don’t know what is). I checked in with a friendly lady and made my way into the building where there were tons of tables, cute decor and glasses of pineapple tea (which if you’ve never had before, is truly LIFE CHANGING).
I noticed a few tables already had people sitting at them, so I blindly, unknowingly and randomly picked one. The women, wives and moms I met at this table were some of the most friendly, welcoming, warm people I have ever met. You could tell right away that they were filled with the love of God (which is so refreshing, beautiful and infectious to be around). We shared laughs, told stories, took selfies and stuffed our faces with the most delicious meal (prepared and served by the lovely men of our church).
Ice cream serving station and all… My kind of HEAVEN!
After we gorged ourselves, Pastor Tami, the women’s pastor gave a beautiful message: one that any woman, of any age, in any season of life could relate to (which isn’t always easy to do). She shared her story and allowed herself to be vulnerable in front of so many people, which reminded me that at the end of the day we are all the SAME. We all have daily battles and struggles that we must face, but we don’t have to face them alone. There were 250 women in attendance and other than the seven ladies at my table, I hadn’t met any of them. I didn’t know their names, their families or their stories, but just looking around this room full of interesting, joyful, happy, God-filled women I felt an overwhelming sense of relationship, friendship, connection, community, sisterhood, strength, support and love. And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be – where God wanted me to be.
Sometimes the unknowns can be scary and daunting. We become so comfortable in the normal and familiar, so much so that when God does call us to step out and be bold in our faith, we are so quick to run away instead of running towards. As human beings, we think of all the things that could go wrong, instead of focusing on all the possibilities of it going right. This event is just another example of how God continues to push and challenge us to step out of our comfort zones and away from our safety nets. As I write this blog post, I think of all the opportunities I would have missed if I had not attended the Women’s Night event. All the yummy food that I would’ve missed out on, all the connections I may have never had otherwise and the awesome sermon that I would have never heard. These are all things worth far more than feeling comfortable, playing it safe and settling for mediocre.
God has SO much He wants to give us, so come forward, step out and reach for MORE!