(this is one of a few thoughts i've had lately about being a pastors wife. i know that i am learning, and i know i will look back in 1 year, 5 years and 20 years and realize how foolish i was at 33. the Lord is graciously adding layers to my learning, and i am thankful that i can be completely ridiculous and completely loved at the same time.)
we celebrated 10 years of Riverside Church today.
as we sang and laughed and worshipped today, i just kept looking around the room... every face has such an incredible story. some stories i know intimately; some i'm just barely acquainted with (i hope that changes with time). every person there brings so much depth and pain and joy and beauty to our church family.
those are the stories of our Lord's gracious and passionate love for His children.
has our church experienced sadness and loss together? absolutely.
have we weathered conflict together? certainly. sometimes well, sometimes poorly.
have we celebrated happy moments, births, marriages and small joys together? more than it is possible to count. so many blessings in 10 years!
do we mourn the loss of our family members when they move on? deeply. constantly.
but are we solidly aware of the Lord's faithfulness to us?
how He has never failed to provide Godly men to lead us and teach us?
how He has kept us in communion with each other for 10 years in order to grow us into the men and women He sees inside us?
how God alone is worthy of the praise and glory for all the good we have seen in these 10 years?
without a doubt.
i thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And i am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. it is right for me to feel this way about you all, because i hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. for God is my witness, how i yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Phillippians 1:3-11
*if you can read that scripture out loud three times while picturing all those in your church family (or better yet, in a room full of them) and your eyes don't fill with tears... well, i don't know. i can't even type it without crying.