Almost immediately after Colin and I got married, we got the urge to begin having 'Church services' in our apartment. Now that we were building our own life in our new little place, the only thing missing was a meeting with a group of people that learned and loved Jesus right in our community. With encouragement from some people who greatly influence us and support from the leaders of the church we attended downtown, we decided just to start. Just start. No action plan or board meeting or financial statement. Just the understanding that God loves us, we love Him, and we also love other people, so what more do we need?
The first month before we made the decision to begin, I was so excited. This is something I've wanted to do for most of my young adult life. The churches I have attended have always been outside of my community, so instead of building into what was already around me, I was leaving here to connect there. I knew there was something awesome about tying those things together and so when Colin had a burst of excitement about starting a church in Marda Loop...I was over the moon.
Since we've started meeting in our apartment, though, it's been a very odd shift. I was trying to think about what my exact feelings were and the best I could come up with was: "Nervous Laughter". My feelings towards everything are sort of wimpy to be honest. When people ask me about how it's going I respond with something like: "welp! We're doing it...but who knows what'll happen..". Not very affirming and not very hopeful and far from the excitement I first felt.
Last night I was reading Acts, in the story where John and Peter heal a man who has been a paraplegic since birth. The Israelites are like, "Holy $#&*" and John and Peter say, "Why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus." They'd seen Jesus do tons of miracles and be raised from the dead. They'd read about their forefathers seeing amazing things done by God. So what are they hooting and hawing about?
This totally challenged me. Why am I setting my hopes and expectations so low for this community? I've recognized already that Colin and I are very unprepared for this, and I seem to have stopped my expectations there. That's a pretty depressing place to stop. Now it's time to put my full excitement into looking forward to what God is going to do. And how high would my expectations have to be for me not to be surprised by what He does? Yikes...that's scary high...
Here we go!