When I was asked to write a post about my family’s journey to Grace Fellowship, I didn’t know where to start. I stared at the blank page, feeling overwhelmed and lost, not to mention afraid. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Then I realized these feelings were keeping me from writing, from sharing our story with others who may now be or at least have been in the same place as me. And if we’re able to reach someone with our story, this struggle will have been very much worth it.
When my husband and I were first married, we would visit with his parents at their church, locally. It was a pleasant experience, and one we both quickly settled for as it kept our family united and warmed the hearts of my mother and father-in-law. Even though it was a positive experience, and we really enjoyed the messages we received, we never felt like that was where we belonged, so we never sought to join the church, only passively listening and supporting from the side. Our needs changed when we had our first child.
The church had a small program for children, and we soon came to realize that we wanted a different atmosphere for our children to grow and thrive in Christ’s love. Soon after came another child. We were quickly outgrowing the church.
These were tough and complicated times as our children were close in age and one of them was experiencing significant health problems. During times of frustration with our then current church experience, I would return to a memory from a few years back when I had visited and became involved with a local church that was big. But that was it - it was big. Too small or too big; these issues seemed to be at the core of the problem. Again, I was overwhelmed.
A few years passed and we grew weary. As we were talking about this matter one evening, I remembered the church I had attended so many years before. As I reflected on the possibility of revisiting this church, I recalled the wonderful children’s program they boasted. We both decided to go for a visit.
It was a bright and beautiful, crisp winter morning when we arrived at Grace Fellowship Church. Immediately we were greeted with smiles and welcomes. Our children transitioned into their respective groups with ease. Even though there were so many people here, the atmosphere was very warm and friendly. We were left feeling like the congregation was one big family. We both knew then that we were where we were supposed to be.
No matter where we turned with questions, someone was always there to answer them with a smile. Soon we were enrolled in classes such as Introducing Grace, where we learned more of the philosophy behind the church, and Discovery, which deeply explored the history of the church and gave us an opportunity to become members. All along our journey here, we have been met with gracious hospitality and endless generosity.
Our time with Grace Fellowship is just beginning and we expect it will continue for many years to come. It is very important to find a church that you can call home, one you can grow with.
And we have found ours.
Posted on Fri, August 30, 2013
by Amber Keller