So I’ve been busy, and I actually mean it! No, not languishing away on my couch the victim of depression or hiding in bed because of anxiety, not even my formerly broken/still healing foot is holding me back…all that much anyway. I’m busy in the Lord, which is so much better than being busy for busyness’ sake.
When I started going to Bethany Church in November, I never knew how it would transform my life–not only locking me into community with God’s people, but giving my sad life more purpose than it has felt in years, than it’s had since I left the church in fall 2004.
Oh, I’ve tried to pursue other interests, passions, and loves away from the Church, but they’ve all fallen short. Yet some sustained me for a while, yet nothing truly satisfied. I was spiritually dehydrated, emotionally broken, and physically falling apart because I held onto bitterness, unforgiveness, and oh, how I raged against God! I rejected the arms of the One who longed to provide me comfort. It may not have changed my circumstances; it would have changed my response to those hardships. Still, God is picking up all the broken pieces, gathering them into His heart, and using them for His glory. I love a God who can make beauty rise from the ashes.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for years know how I longed for community, yet made excuses for why I couldn’t go to church. Believe me, the horrible panic attacks upon entering a church building didn’t help. I want you to know that I understand those of you who have given up on church. I know what it’s like to sleep until noon on Sunday mornings and feel a small pang of guilt for not going to church because it seems like the “right” thing to do. (All the while Keith Green’s lyric, “Jesus rose from the dead and you can’t even get out of bed,” played in my head.) I know you’ve been hurt, scarred, and the last place you want to go on Sunday is to church.
And if you’re just not ready, know that God will come find you, His little lost lamb. He will come to you, cradle you in His loving arms, and led you back to the flock. I am praying for you, beloved, even if I don’t know your name. I am praying for you because God knows Your name, for it is engraved on His palms. (If you want me to personally pray for you or encourage you, please shoot me an email.)
He is calling your name, “beloved.” Not only are you precious to the heart of God, but so is His Beloved Bride, the Church. I am beloved. You are beloved. And she is beloved as well.
Hear His voice, respond to His call, and come home! The door is always open and our light will never burn out, for We are the Church, the Beloved Bride of Christ.
We are the beloved ones!
Amy’s Note: I am writing this to myself as much as I am writing it to you because I want to remember why I need my church, fellowship, and other Christians with which to “do life.” If you want to pray for me, please ask God to protect my little heart and strengthen my spirit, that I may be used as a conduit for His glory and honor and renown. Thank you, faithful prayer warriors!