I’m going to step away from adoption for just a moment to celebrate something…
This weekend, our Church celebrates 7 years. And it is pretty incredible.
Zane and I first visited Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, TN 1 month before their 1st Anniversary. I was 36 weeks pregnant with Ro. When the service was over and we were about to leave, Pastor Jamie and his wife, Suzanne, got into a conversation with us. They learned we had moved just a month prior to Hendersonville from Athens, GA. Our family, apart from my younger bro who lived in Nashville, lived hours away. We only knew 2 people in the area, and our first child was due in just a few weeks.
They told us something then that I have cherished since: “we don’t care what church you end up at. We just want you to be somewhere that preaches Truth. Whether you end up here or not, we (Pastor Jamie and Suzanne) know what it is like to move to a new city, away from family, while pregnant. We want our church to bring you meals as you adjust to being a family of 3.”
And they did. Pastor Jamie came to the hospital and visited us when Ro was born. Multiple families brought us meals. I remember so well this particular woman that brought us dinner. Kae Wilhite. She brought us a meal, and before she left she asked to pray for me, a new mother, and Roman. Her prayer was so sweet…full of compassion for a new mom who she didn’t know, except as a Sister in Christ.
We had visited many churches upon moving to the Nashville area. But this church… This little church that met in the local YMCA…it was the church being the church.
It started off in a living room. A little church plant. Then Redeemer Church began meeting in the local YMCA…for over 6 years.
We had growing pains. Same with all new church plants. Setting up and tearing down every Sunday, renting church office space in various places, only having 1 full-time person on staff the majority of the time….
Yet through it all, the Lord has been faithful. He has proven Himself again and again in our church body. And I have seen Him allow His church to be the hands and feet of Jesus again and again.
I have witnessed this church body see someone who needs help, and DO something. Eat *with* those in need. Share in their suffering. Come around the hurting. Serve those in need. I have seen people with a heart for those in our community find ways to serve in our community and rally others in our church body to do the same.
When we brought Zora home, I looked out over the congregation and noticed that every.single.person in our church body gave financially and/or prayed over us to bring her home.
I have seen people experience loss and be *mourned with.*
I have seen people experience blessing and be *rejoiced with.*
I have seen hearts eager to serve.
I have seen hearts eager to love.
Our church desires to do 2 things: Proclaim Christ and make Disciples (Colossians 1:28).
We have seen Redeemer Church, by the Lord’s grace, do just that.
Over the summer, a local church gave us their building.
You read that right. GAVE us their building.
We praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us and for carrying us through the years. It is by His grace alone that we even exist. It is our joy to show our love for Him by serving our community as we proclaim Christ. We might be currently stationed at 177 Bonita Parkway in Hendersonville, TN, but the Lord’s love is not constricted to the inside of a building. That might be the heart of where we meet together and worship as a congregation, but His hands and His feet do not remain there…they go out as He leads.
I pray I always see Jesus working in the lives of those in our church and in our community around us. Jesus is the reason we exist, and He is worthy of all praise.
This weekend, we celebrate Christ as we celebrate our church being a church body for 7 years. It is our 7th Anniversary! We are having a time of fellowship tonight and pretty much a party tomorrow morning-afternoon. I cannot wait to love on my church family and celebrate with them all He has done through them and in them.