Monday, June 17, 2013

{ Only Grace }

{ Image borrowed from Naptime Diaries  }

 ( This last week we were asked by our pastor if we would write down the story of what God has been doing in our hearts since  RLM has become our home sweet home church and as humbling as it was for us we didn't hesitate to say yes, because God deserves all the glory for our anything good that ever has, is or will happen in our lives... )

  We are truly humbled and blessed by the opportunity to share with you how God is working in our lives.

   David and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary and we have four young children. They keep us on our toes. Usually they keep us on our toes, laughing. 
We see parenting as a great privilege and gift from God. That being said, our life these days is a whole lot of sticky, noisy and messy. Thankfully, Jesus is all about taking our mess, especially the mess in our hearts and turning it by the miracle of His grace into something beautiful. We both grew up in Christian families. And we both accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior at a young age. We grew up in the church, but over years of being in unhealthy churches we felt reluctant to get "too close" in a church, for fear of being hurt, so we tended to stay hidden on the “fringes.”  

  This past winter, after the birth of our fourth baby, we found ourselves in a dark place, feeling overwhelmed and isolated.  Stuck in survival mode, far from a place that felt like growth or freedom. Looking back now on that especially hard season, we see it as a storm of grace. It was exactly what we needed. God used that time of desperation to break us so we could begin to know and experience Him in a deeper, more intimate way. We are so thankful for the way He has interrupted our sleepy comfortable, lukewarm lives, as “ good American Christians “.

 We have asked Jesus to make us hungry for Him and to forgive us for living mostly selfish, self-absorbed lives. He is opening our eyes to how“ good things” can often be the enemy of what’s most important, that being:  making much of Jesus and His glory revealed in His Kingdom here. And He has used getting connected here at Real Life, in real relationships to do that. Since coming to Real Life, God has done a miracle in our hearts and has given us a fresh desire and love for His Word, His people and a new burden for those that don't know Him. We've encountered Jesus in a deeper way , and we've experienced what it means to truly be a disciple. God has used the people of this church body, who have taken the time and invested in loving and pointing us to Jesus, and who have encouraged us to take the next intentional step of obedience to become the man and woman the Lord is calling us to be.  And in that we are experiencing that there truly is no greater joy, than the joy of drawing close to him and loving and serving Jesus as a couple and a family.
 God has called me ( David ) to lead my family. I am here to serve, in whatever way I can, to step up and see where God will lead me, my family and this church as we learn to work diligently and love well. I want to see people delivered from whatever it is that keeps them from Jesus.
  We are so grateful that God uses ordinary people. Because we are just that. And we feel so humbled to join with the vision of RLM, to see this city experience the miracle of deliverance and freedom and life abundant that Jesus has poured into our hearts. 
One precious person at a time.