My thankfulness continues into the new year.
My dad grew up in Eastland Baptist Church in Nashville, where his mother served for years as church secretary. My mother was a charter member of Dalewood Baptist, which was an outgrowth of Eastland Baptist as the city spread outward. (There is an old picture of Mama unveiling the cornerstone when the congregation started Dalewood’s first building. If I ever come across it I will add it to this post.) I was “born and raised” in that church, and I am so grateful for that experience.
I have written about memories of that church, but church is really not the building, but rather the people, and there are so many who shaped my life. Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, choir directors, hostesses in the kitchen, secretaries, friends of my family, friends my own age. The list goes on. After our first child was born I took her and attended a “Circle” meeting at my parent’s home. I can’t express the feeling of love in that room when I looked from one lady to the next, remembering the investment each had made in my own life, and praying for Godly women like this to be a part of my daughter’s life in the future. My husband and I have had nurturing friendships in our own church experiences in our married life together. We are thankful for all the ways that various ministers and friends have supported us in our lives – through ordeals and adventures, these people have shared themselves with us and been the hands and feet of Christ in so many ways.
While my focus remains on God and His glory and presence in my life, I know He ordained churches to bring us closer together, and closer to Him. Hebrews 10:25(NIV) reminds us we should be: 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. The churches – the people – I have known have been an important part of my life as long as I have lived.
I am so thankful.