Our family is in the process of changing churches. We have been in our current church for the past 4.5 years, but within the past few months we have felt a prompting of the Spirit to join the ministry of another local body of believers. This has not been an easy task to obey as we love the church in which we have been a part and we love the people there who have become like family during our seminary years.
It has taken much prayer, discussion, and trying to figure out why God would move us out of our support network to join another church at this particular time in our life. We are still waiting for God to reveal that, although we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are walking the path God has laid out before us.
At our new church, Imago Dei (which simply means Image of God in Greek) each member joins a growth group which is a small group that meets in homes throughout the week. They provide a list of quite a few growth groups with the notion that you would visit a lot of them until you find one that you most enjoy going to. I was not looking forward to visiting a ton of groups for the next few months because I just really wanted to find a group quickly and start making friends and feeling connected. Visiting a ton of groups was causing me quite the amount of anxiety.
Michael has been unemployed since November 30 and adding more anxiety on top of that already anxiety provoking situation seemed so daunting to me. When we are anxious what are we to do?
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make your requests known to God..." Philippians 4:6
So, we began to pray for God to direct our steps and lead us into the right group and help us connect...and to take away the anxiety we were feeling about leaving one church for another. So much anxiety...just take it away!
We found a group one Thursday night and decided to check it out. The people were all super friendly and we enjoyed the way the group was run. But then God showed me that He had led us to the perfect group. We were sitting in the group and were asked to talk about "evidences of God's grace" to us during the week. Each person told of some way that God had blessed them that week, or even told of challenges they were facing and how God was still ever present in those challenges. (Being a Christian does not fully mean life is rosy 24/7). As people were sharing evidences of God's grace and I was thinking of what I possibly had to share because life is horrible and Michael doesn't have a job and we are having to worry about provisions, and so forth... a gal leaned forward revealing to me a piece of art on canvas hanging on the wall behind her. It was this picture:
The following week I spent the whole week focusing on God's daily graces to me and my family and not thinking about the "negative" things. We had growth group that week at another member's house and lo and behold, she had a picture of a bird in her bathroom. That bathroom then became a holy room to me as I thanked God for showing me His presence and thanking Him for changing my mindset to one that focuses on blessings.
I love ALL the places God shows up. I'm looking forward to spring when birds will be everywhere! Isn't God good?!