Friday, August 14, 2009

Grace Church...A Love Letter

Last week I received the most wonderful e-mail from a first time guest at Grace Church. It underscores the importance of every individual person in the church and it sure does remind me that the local church is the hope of the world! It is a little longer than my normal post, but you are going to enjoy reading it!

Pastor Scott,

Thank you so very much for the warm welcome and I must say that the service most definitely spoke to me!!

I have been "saved" since 2002 and have attended (name removed) Church since that blessed day, but due to many challenges I've faced internally at (name removed), I had not been getting "fed" there for quite some time. I had been "hurt" and struggled since then to take the step in faith and visit other churches in the area... in order to get back on track with my relationship with God.

Months had passed and I had just stopped going anywhere for "Corporate" gathering/church/worship, due to feeling incredibly uncomfortable making the step alone. I had managed to attend a service at (name removed) Church, with a co-worker. Although this it was a fine church on their own accord... it was just not an environment that I felt led to go back to.

I had been tossing the idea of attending Grace for another few months, hearing about it through my work. When I looked at your website it seemed to have all of the same type of ministries that I have been accustomed to... most importantly, your kid ministries. You see, I am a single mom of 2 boys, ages 9 & 10. It is my foremost job to make sure that whatever church I choose, suits them as well!!

During my time of mulling over whether to visit Grace, God placed it on the hearts of two friends of mine that the best way to "help" me was to attend with me, so I wouldn't be scared. So, we made it a point to set a date, on a weekend that I didn't have my boys... which just so happened to be this past weekend.

Well, Sunday came and my one friend met me in the parking lot and we found seats in your 10am service. My other friends was running late so the friend sitting with me left me at the seats and went out to the lobby to find her. While I was sitting there alone, there were 2 young girls (I would put them around 17), that came and sat beside me. The one girl was very energetic and sweet, striking up a conversation with me about how long I've been coming or was this my first time, asking my name and so on. From what I gathered from her demeanor, she was genuinely sincere. I told her all about being a newbie, and then my friends found their seats and the service started.

The service, as I stated above, spoke to me and through me, to my very inner soul!!! I have felt so far from the love of God, for so long... I kept questioning his presence in my life. What I learned through your sermon, was that just because you don't see him... doesn't mean he's not there. I knew that with my head, but my heart had felt otherwise for quite some time now. I really like the correlation that God was never mentioned in the book of Esther, but you can sure see that he was a huge part of it! I hadn't looked at the last year & a half of my life like that before, but it has certainly given me back the "hopefulness" that I've been known to possess.

After the service, the young gal turned to me and asked what I thought. I told her that the service was written just for me! She then asked how her and her friend could pray for me this week. I WAS DUMBFOUNDED!!!! Here a sweet young girl, seemingly popular (since a bunch of people came in and hugged her as they were walking in to find seats prior to service) thought enough about "others" (namely me) to ask if she could pray for me. I've never been welcomed so warmly to anywhere in my life!!!! What a blessing!! I told her that indeed my request is that I make a wise choice in picking a home church, for the sake of my 2 boys. I told her that my boys were very apprehensive to go "church shopping" with me and left it up to me to choose the "right" church for all of us!

I then went to the information desk and received my "gift" and asked about the kid ministries. The gal there was very nice and actually left her post to give me a tour. Then comes yet another blessing! As I stood there in Elevate, talking to one of your volunteers... a woman called out to me "You're (name removed) mom, right?". I said yeah and scratched my head, trying to place her familiar face. Here, it turns out that her sons have been in the same classes at school as my 2 boys. How cool is that? As I stood there chatting with her, I told her the reluctant nature of my boys to change and she suggested that we buddy up her boys with my boys… if I was able to attend first service next week (this Sunday) with them.

I left the room feeling overwhelmed and met my friends in the hallway and broke down sobbing uncontrollably. I thanked them right then for coming with me and told them, I would've never attended if they hadn't been there to support me. They cried with me and I left the building feeling the best that I have felt in the last 2 years!!!!

The only way that I can describe the experience is to say that it's similar to getting a love letter, specifically tailored to me!! God had a solution to EVERY worry that would’ve kept me from returning. In addition to the elated feeling I felt leaving Grace on Sunday, I was able to have a most remarkable conversation with my boys that evening, that made them EXTREMELY excited to visit and see for themselves, this Sunday!

Words cannot describe the tremendous blessing which took place in your house of worship, but I am very thankful, to you, your staff, and your volunteers for allowing God to use you in a VERY profound way! After feeling so far from God and being mad at him, He managed to show me His Grace, once again… at “Grace” Church. Ironic, huh? Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy e-mail. I just wanted to know that the Grace family IS making a difference!

1 comment:

kutlessgirl said...

that's awesome, thanks for sharing!