1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::
It almost seems insane that it took me about twelve years to grasp the idea that my church family loved me. I know. Crazy. The thing is… I was married to an awesome man. He was outgoing and funny and crazy talented. Crazy talented as in he could play just about any instrument and sing any song… by ear. He taught himself piano and dulcimer. Who does that? As it happens he was our church’s worship pastor. I knew everyone loved him… how could they not? We were founding members of the church and we weren’t even married at that point.
From day one I knew “we” were loved. “We” became officially a “we” a few years into the new church venture and although it was
challenging hard we loved it. The church grew and our family grew.
Fast forward a decade or so and I found myself alone with three small kids and no job. Well, I was cleaning houses so I had enough for groceries and a few bills but not nearly enough for the mortgage. Panic attacks came more frequent and the once simple tasks of daily life became tortuous. “We” were not divorced, only separated, with hopes that everything would work out. Our pastor was amazing during this time. He walked along side us and counseled us through a dark time in our marriage. Actually, the whole church did. It was pretty amazing.
One day I got a phone call from our pastor. He told me that the church had decided to pay for our expenses for a month. What??? Seriously??? ALL of them? Wow, I was literally speechless but managed a small thank you and hung up. I cried for hours. Literally. Once I pulled myself together I called our pastor’s wife to say thank you in a way that would somehow equal the generous gift. I remember saying, “Thank you so much for loving my husband so much that you would do this for us.” Her reply? Wait for it.
Wait for it….
“Sheila, we did that because we love YOU.” *tears* It had never occurred to me that I was loved. I knew “we” were, but alone? That was different. I was not “the life of the party”. I was not the one that led worship or had any great talents (or so I thought at the time) to share. My role was “wife” of the worship pastor. That’s it. My identity was all wrapped up in that alone.
That moment was defining for me and I still get choked up if I tell it in person because it literally changed my life from that point on. It changed how I saw our church. It became my church.
And I needed to grasp that before the next three years happened because it would become “mine” in more ways than one.