I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY CHURCH…
Not because it is perfect. Not because it’s better than any church out there. Not because it’s made up of perfect people – it’s not, but because it is filled with imperfect, real people with real problems, who’s genuine greatest purpose in life is to show the love and hope of Jesus to EVERYONE!
In 2016 I was in a place where I didn’t really want much to do with the church. I still believed in God and Jesus but some devastation and destruction I’d experienced in the church, an extremely painful divorce, and some other heartbreaking experiences had caused me to not want anything to do with Christians or the church. I was immensely raw and broken in so many ways. I was in one of the darkest places I have experienced in my life. Any attempt I made to go to church during this time was extremely difficult and made me sad and scared. Having grown up in a Christian home and being a pastor’s kid a good portion of my life, this made me very sad. I knew something was missing in my life, but I was so depleted and depressed I felt I couldn’t do anything about it. So, I went on just barely surviving. Barely living.
I was out playing a show when a fan who had come to several of my shows mentioned the church where they play guitar and invited me to come. I quickly disregarded this invitation, but after some time it began to nag at me. I finally decided to go one Sunday. This was around the same time I met a man whom I also tried to push away because another relationship was something else I wanted nothing to do with. That didn’t work so well...It became very clear very quickly that this man was a gift from God and that he was here to stay. Forever. The timing of meeting this amazing man and finding this great church was no doubt a God thing,
The first time I walked into the church it was refreshing. It felt so alive. Everyone was genuinely welcoming and kind. They were passionate about worship and God. It felt like a family. The teaching was excellent. Not pretentious. Not fake. Not judgmental. But I still wasn’t ready for it.
I went a few times and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until after I got married and after we attended sporadically for a year that it became more and more important to us. To all of us. Even the kids. We began to grow in faith as a family and individually. Over another year of really getting to know more people, getting more involved with volunteering, and hearing message after message that offered real, tangible, understandable life application, and experiencing how much this church cares about loving and serving each other and the community, it became something we didn’t want to miss. Then became something that we hated to miss. This church - the pastor, and the people have brought so much healing to our family.
The peace, love, joy, and hope this newfound family has brought to us is immeasurable. The knowledge and passion for Jesus the pastor has led us to is immeasurable. I am so thankful God brought me to this church, and back to Him through such a dark time.
I share this because I know many people have been hurt by the church. The church is people and we have all been hurt by people, and we ourselves have done the hurting. So, when you find a church that really gets it, that really gets who Jesus was and how he loves, and how we are supposed to be like him, you find something incredibly beautiful and amazing. When you find a church that focuses on loving and saving people no matter who they are, no matter their life choices, it is a gift. This church has been a gift.
If you have been lost in life. If you are longing for peace. If you are feeling hopeless because of decisions you’ve made in your life or because of things that have been done to you, I want you to know that it is never too late. There is hope in Jesus. You are immensely loved and wanted. You are priceless. Wherever you are in life there is something to be gained from gathering with other imperfect people to learn, grow, and love.
You can experience this with me at Destiny Community Church in Newberry, FL. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have for me. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.