I have to be careful in writing this. I have had to decide which approach to take, I have chosen the one of sheep to Shepherd, as opposed to sister to brother. For truly, Ron always knew which was which, and so did I.
But since he stepped down, we, and myself in particular, have been in a crucible. Those that know me, know that I love my brother, still have some hero worship going on, etc. And more than one person said, you will not like anyone as pastor who isn't Ron. So much so that it nearly became a point of contention at times.
Let me now say that Calvary's pastor has been so very kind, compassionate and loving towards Dave and me, it has touched my heart. I am just writing about the furtherance of my journey, that is all.
That said, Calvary slowly has become "not" Calvary any more. And with every change, my heart hurt a little, which I attributed to my natural resistance to change. I hung in there, continued to attend and had/have a pretty good relationship with the current pastor. But ever since Ron stepped down, something was missing...and the something got bigger and bigger as time passed. It got to the point that every time I would go, just being in the building was painful, memories would flood my mind and tears would well up. So after much prayer and soul-searching, I felt the Lord release me from Calvary. Dave has other reasons he wanted to attend, and did so. We just went forward waiting. Then the job came and that pretty much decided things.
So, Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA was suggested by a friend. I looked at their web page, found it interesting, but thought it would probably be too big for us. I always said i'd never attend a huge church, and this is a HUGE church. Never say never.
Time was getting nearer for Dave to start the job, but he had nowhere to stay. I thought, we are all the body of Christ, I will contact this church and see if they have anyone willing to rent a room. I received an email asking if they could contact our pastor, so of course we gave them the information, and they did. They contacted us again to say that they had a bedroom and would be glad for Dave to come stay. I think this is really big. I don't know that I could do that, that was my first clue that this church might be really good.
So Dave moved and began going to Crossroads. And would call me so I could hear the music...my heart leapt within me! So then I found I could watch the services "live" on their web page. Well, first time, I just sat and wept. I knew, this was home. The worship was the kind that ministers to us, lively, "rocky", loud. I mean, they are appropriately soft and slow when it is called for as well, but how we missed the other. Then I heard Pastor Daniel for the first time, which is what prompted the tears. He positively radiates Christ, and his messages are very much like my brother's, filled with heart, compassion, humor, grace. I could go on and on, having felt like that sheep without a Shepherd for so long, my heart is at rest. And it thrills me to wake up and remember that there's church (even on a computer screen) and look forward to it so much. I got to go in person last Sunday, and the minute I walked into the sanctuary....peace. I got to meet Pastor Daniel, so very, very sweet.
Last night's sermon was so very needed and i'm thankful for it. It seems that the DA in Wisconsin can re-charge Josh in the future if he wants to, so that wasn't real good news, and some other things going on, there's always something, right? So the sermon spoke on tragedy and difficulties, and I came away, re-confirmed in believing that God truly is in complete control. And because you can text questions to Pastor Daniel for him to answer after the message, I did. How do we literally trust God when fear grips our hearts? His reply: It's a choice, fear feels natural, but it's not. It's not from God. Of course he had more to say, but the key is, it is a choice, he's right. That is my new focus.
So for now, my heart overflows with gratitude for our new-found home and I look forward to meeting our new family. I mourn the loss of our past family, but rejoice in knowing the family of God is everywhere.♥