Sometimes God has us to do things that are not necessarily pleasant. For instance, He might have you change churches after almost ten years.
I’ve personally never been through a divorce, but I can imagine switching churches feels very similar. Especially for someone like me, who gets bent out of shape if I have to sit in a different seat. I grew up baptist, what can I say?
We visited a few churches, but nothing seemed to fit. It was incredibly awkward to go from being in the center of things, to being unknown. I was used to greeting any new person I could find, and I felt myself suddenly feeling somewhat shy. Those who know me, know I’m anything but shy. It was humbling to say the least.
Steve said he felt God was calling us to go to a nearby church called ONEeighty. I have to admit, it wasn’t my first choice. No particular reason, other than, maybe it was just too close by. However, the first time we visited, I knew Steve was right. We were right where God wanted us.
We own a flooring store called Hawk’s Hometown Flooring, and we’re located directly across the street from ONEeighty. I tell people that apparently I stared at it so long we just decided to go. Anyway, our store looks like a cute, little cabin with rocking chairs on the front porch. On pretty days I’ll sometimes leave my door open or sit on the porch.
One day I was on the phone with one of my best friends, Sabrina, and boy, were we chatting it up! I must have been PMSing, (that’s always the perfect excuse to be mean right?) because something was mentioned about a person of whom I’m not very fond, and I called her a really ugly name. Not to reveal just how much I was in the flesh, but it rhymes with itch.
I have a great stage voice. One that carries really well. In other words, I talk very loudly. At least that’s what Steve tells me. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “you said that SO loud! You have no idea how your voice carries!”
Well, in my, not so nice conversation with Sabrina, I suddenly became extremely worried that I had said that horrible word way too loudly, because the minute I said it, I looked up and there was our new preacher!!! *Insert dramatic music.
I was standing on the porch at our store, and when I looked up, he was right beside our store in his truck. Why was he driving by? Was he about to come in and say hello until he heard my potty mouth? Was he going to look at some flooring? I don’t know!
I immediately went into panic mode. Sabrina tried calming me down. I called Steve to tell him I had most likely ruined our chances of ever being involved at church. I’ll never forget what he said to me. First, he assured me that Gresh, the pastor wasn’t like that. Then he said, and I quote. “You don’t feel guilty that Gresh heard you say that. You feel guilty because you know you shouldn’t have said it no matter who was listening!” Ouch! That one hurt!
Last week Gresh preached on integrity. Doing what’s right even when no one’s watching. That day, on my porch, I let my integrity slip, I mean, like I had stepped on a banana peel! And it felt horrible!
See, when you do the right thing, you never have to worry about who’s watching or listening to you. And you never have to go into panic mode worrying that you’re going to get kicked out of the church you hadn’t even joined yet!
We have since joined ONEeighty, and are trying to find where God wants us to serve. We’re doing a few things here and there and we are perfectly at home. God knew what He was doing when He sent us there. We love the people, and they have given us tremendous support in dealing with the situation with our son.
Hopefully, if Gresh did hear me call that lady that ugly name, he’s now figured out that I do really try to be a person of integrity, but that I fail miserably sometimes. And maybe he, or anyone else there won’t hold that against me.
Proverbs 2:20-21 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it …and you will also remain in your church! *that last part was mine 🙂