6. I am thankful for my church. It, and the people in it, feel like home. They have been there for me since I was a wide-eyed 23-year-old, six months in to working at my first “big girl” job in a new town, back when I didn’t own any furniture, when the thought of being an adult was totally foreign and when I could count the number of friends I had on one hand. I am thankful for the women who invested in my life, for the pastor who first handed me the reigns to teach, and for the people who have walked with me through struggles, illnesses, death and breakups, and also celebrated with me in some of my very best moments, who have traveled the world with me, who cheered for me as I walked the aisle to marry Mr. Right, and who continue to encourage us now as newlyweds.
I have made my sweetest friendships at church. With those friends I have cruised to Mexico, floated the river in Gruene, run a half marathon, hiked mountains in Colorado, and visited Italy, Greece, Spain and Croatia (along with napped in the airport in Brussels). I have found friends who were willing to live an adventure with me, who helped me decorate my Christmas tree and who taught me how to throw a football.
I met my husband at our church… fittingly, it was in the coffee area before Sunday School. So I’m also grateful for those who serve behind the scenes taking care of silly details like coffee, which happened to change my life.
My church and the people in it have changed my life, and I am grateful. I am grateful for our head pastor and his team of ministers who give of their time and energy to love and lead the rest of us. And I am grateful that my church chose to hire Mr. Right and provide him with a huge blessing and learning opportunity as he plugs away on that seminary degree. I can say that I love my church even more after hearing through my husband just how committed our church workers are, and watching with a front-row seat how they love Jesus through loving his people.
May I encourage you that if you don’t have a church family, if you’ve felt distant from your church, or you feel like you’re alone – be brave and try again. We were not created to be silos, we weren’t created to serve alone, or to suffer alone, or to celebrate alone.
If you come to mine, I’ll save you a seat.