Isn’t God good to give us guidance (unintended alliteration there, but hey– it works!)? Sometimes I definitely wish He shouted, rather than whispered, and I must admit that there are many times when it’s unclear what direction to go, at least for a time. That being said, there are other times when you follow what you believe God is directing you to do and there are such beautiful surprises and blessings that come from obedience.
This weekend I was telling a new friend about how we ended up at the church we both attend. For 10 years we had gone to a church in Shawnee, which is about a 20 min. drive from our home in Olathe. Our kids were both born and dedicated in that church (well, not literally there– we did actually go to the hospital– but you know what I mean), we were very involved, it was a great church that we loved.
Over time, we kept feeling this pull to be part of a faith community that was closer to the community in which we live, work, etc. We wanted to be more involved throughout the week with our church family. We also have a passion for inviting people in our lives to experience God through the local church.
Just over a year ago, we transitioned to Indian Creek Community Church, just a few minutes’ drive from our house. It was a difficult transition, both for us and for our children. For the first few months, I really questioned whether we had made the right decision. We didn’t know anyone at our new church and it was uncomfortable at first, even though people were very welcoming. It’s hard to go from a place where you’re known to a place where you’re unknown! Thank goodness we didn’t give up just because it was a little challenging.
In this past year, we’ve really gotten to see the church be the church in so many different ways. We live close enough that when someone from our community group is sick, I can run a meal over to them. When there are devastating losses, I can swing by and pray/talk/cry with that person. When I invite a friend to church, they say, “oh, I know right where that is, it’s just down the street from me!”.
Geography was always a challenge when I was growing up. Not the subject, the reality! Extended family was always quite a distance, so I mostly got to see my grandparents on holidays. Then we moved to Africa when I was a sophmore in high school. For most of my college career, my parents lived 10,000 miles away (they were still in Africa). God blessed their sacrifice in many ways as well. Now, as an adult, God has given me the blessing of putting down roots and staying in one place for an extended period of time!
I love the investment we are making in our community with our time and with our resources. Our proximity to those with whom we’re “doing life” is a huge blessing. Yay for geography!