Welcome HOME!

Today marks a special day for me. Not necessarily because it's Valentine's Day...but because it's a day of remembrance and celebration! 

This day last year I was in Alabama meeting incredible people whom I just adore! At the time, I thought they were to be my future family. God had other plans. 

February 14, 2016 was a Sunday and the FIRST Sunday I had missed in my home church since I found it back in June of 2016. I was tagged in this Instagram photo and it proved to be so significant and symbolic.

For years I had been relentlessly searching for a church "HOME"...I must have attended nearly 20 church services around The Valley of the Sun yet never felt like I found the sense of home and family.

You know, the place where you feel called to step in and serve, connect with others in authentic, transparent relationship...the place where the presence of God is vibrantly alive and active among loving congregants.  

And believe me....I tried....and tried. 
  • I tried making myself available to volunteer and serve, only to be met with complicated "red tape"  requirements like attending classes and interviews to become a "member."
  • I tried participating in different women's bible study groups which felt more like a therapy session to few rather than a sword-sharpening, community-building, God-glorifying group of Warrior Women of The Way. 
  • I tried to get outside of myself, silence my personal preferences and opinions and genuinely asked God to literally SHOW ME His presence at work in the hearts and lives of hundreds gathered in a room in worship where hands were glued to their sides and their faces appearing bored and expressionless. 
  • I tried to sit through "sermons" which were more like seminars of motivational speeches and theatrics but was void of the real, raw, activating truth that radically transformed lives and evangelically brought people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus.

The first time I stepped foot on my church grounds, I felt the overwhelming joy that radiated from the Welcome Team volunteers from the parking lot to the platform. It was abnormally easy to connect with and meet people. My first day I met who I now consider my "Mentor Pastor." My very first day, she gave me a personal invitation to come a little early the next week and step in and start serving. 

From that moment on, I was "HOME!"

I immediately started volunteering and gained instant friendships. I had a place. I was putting my hands to work in any way that was needed...by giving high-fives at the door, taking out trash, setting out refreshments, sweeping after events, scraping plates from our honored guests, even cleaning up toilet water from an overflowing toilet! Serving became my greatest JOY! This was MY home, I was invested in it and I wanted to take care of it and every guest that walked through the doors!

It was a day of great anticipation as I had been getting vivid vision that God was about to do something monumentally amazing...He was about to bring an increase of blessing, a new level of influence in our city and a great charge to carry out His original plans for His church. 

 Sweet 16: On this day my local church became the 16th location of a global church movement!

It was an overwhelmingly joyous day to celebrate with my church family from afar! 

The past year has been incredible in infinite, unfathomable ways. I've watched with eyes wide open the hand of God working through loving, dedicated, surrendered, sacrificial servants. I've watched young leaders arise. I've watched the countless hours of intentional planning and preparation of events unfold all to "set the table" for people to experience a radical encounter with a living God that relentlessly loves them. I've watched relationships being transformed, witnessed countless miracles, engaged in fervent prayer, and sat under activating, unapologetic preaching of the truth. I've been stretched and grown in amazing {and sometimes humbling, uncomfortable} ways. 

 

{Ah, okay...I'll find a pause to this...because as you can tell, I can literally write a book about my love for the Lord and what He's doing in, through, and around my local church!}

So I leave you with this, dear reader.....

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7

Let me affirm that it is within God's WILL that you align yourself with a beautiful network of community called The Church. You ARE the church and your presence is requested. This is your invitation. There's a special place just for you, with your unique talents and traits that are welcomed, honored and celebrated. There are people He wants you to connect with, to be poured into and pour out onto. You matter. You are valuable. So, I invite you to get off the sidelines and get in the game. There's a seat with YOUR name on it. Reserved. If you don't have it, find it. Let Him lead you there....a place to call "home" on earth before you're sent to be HOME in Heaven! 

Let's Connect!