Round about five and a half years ago, my family started a church. Why? Because we felt the conviction to worship on the Sabbath, and there were no sabbath-keeping churches around whose doctrines we believed in. So we became a branch church of a Seventh Day Baptist church in Pennsylvania and went about establishing ourselves.
These past years, we've rented two different buildings, trusting the Lord to provide one of our own in His time. And the time has come. This last week we stepped into our new old church for the first time as owners and knew beyond doubt we were home.
This might be hard to understand if you've never attended a small church bound by the restrictions of the place you're renting, but wow. It's so amazing to realize we can now do whatever the Lord asks of us, without having to ask the building's owners for permission! Book clubs and movie nights, dinners and clothing drives. All sorts of things we've been wanting to start but couldn't.
On Sunday I went over and scrubbed the hardwood in the sanctuary. I got sweaty, sore, and tired, but it was a labor of love. An offering to the Lord. An investment in this home He's given us. We as a congregation have a lot of hard work ahead of us to make this old country church vibrant again, but it's work we're looking forward to.
And I love pausing a moment to look at when things happen. In the life of the church, it came exactly when we needed it to, when we had worked through some issues and were ready to surrender entirely to Him. And personally, it came just as I am (momentarily) between projects. One book is finished, at committee, and ready to be decided on in the next week (pray, please!!). The one due out in December has undergone its final edits, so I have nothing more to do on it right now. And my next project is still awaiting approval from my editor, so there's no point in diving in if she's going to ask for major changes to the idea. I've got a ton of editing to do for WhiteFire, but that's all.
So here I am . . . ready and able to give of my time.
It's a good time, a hopeful time. A time when potential and possibilities are all shimmering on the horizon. No disappointments or frustrations yet. No failures or setbacks.
In a lot of ways, it's exactly like where I am with Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland. It's a pretty blissful time, these months leading up to release, when there are no bad sales numbers to haunt you or negative reviews to upset you. All potential. All hope.
I'm optimistic enough to blindly say that potential will lead to a realization of blessing. I'm realistic enough to know that's no guarantee. And I'm experienced enough to know that no matter what comes in a month or a year, this time is meant to be savored for exactly what it is--a new beginning, unconstrained by what may come.
I'm going to enjoy it.