The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

I haven’t written a post yet about the church I go to in Charlotte. I love it. It has been one of the best things that has happened to me since I moved down here over a year ago. It’s a small church only a few months old, but it has all the things that I had been praying to find in a home church here in the city. The truth of the word is spoken every week, and a large part of the vision of the church is to serve the city of charlotte by loving people and building relationships with them. What a beautiful idea….loving people. Not inviting people to church upon your first meeting, not building friendships with the ultimatum of dragging them to Jesus…just loving people, and praying that out of an overflow of that love people will meet the one that matters most. Our pastor, Ben, believes that most people come to the Lord outside of the walls of the church, and it’s inside where growth happens. Seems backward to what we are used to, but it’s such a beautiful thought. Loving People enough to eventually tell them about Jesus and then inviting them to come to church with you. Wild. 

Last week at Ephesus the message was about what happens when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way or in the time that we think he should or thought he would. It’s crazy how that happens so often. A month or so ago I was going through this time of wondering if I was really supposed to be a teacher. I was so upset because less than a year ago I was sure that teaching is just where God wanted me to be and now I was doubting that because it was so hard. I was thinking “God, if this is really what you want me to do then shouldn’t it feel better than this…shouldn’t I be doing a better job.” Don’t we all have those days, when we doubt his plan because it isn’t happening the way we wanted, and certainly not as fast as we wanted. it is in those times when it seems like there is nothing to hold on to. When I was a senior at Taylor I was going through a really low time and a prof of mine told me to find a place outside alone and make a list of the things that bring me joy. She said to keep writing until my hand couldn’t write anymore. I still have that list of things, hundreds of them, and I love reading it. It has now become a habit of mine. Every couple of months I take some time to remember the things that bring me joy. The gifts that I so often lose sight of. It’s amazing what such a small act can do for your attitude, and for your faith. 

let the Joy of the Lord be your strength

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