There’s a bittersweet feeling lingering in my heart this Sunday morning, on April 15th.
I’m not that great at being open, I would much rather hide behind a wall with my feelings and thoughts all neatly tucked away, but I desperately feel the need to share what God has laid on my heart.
I feel completely inadequate as I’m typing word after word, but I’ve learned that God is really good at using the not-good-enough kind of people, so, here is my heart.
About a month ago our small church here in Sicily, Italy closed its doors due to financial problems and disinterest. My heart ached at the situation we found ourselves in and question after question began to form in my mind.
The one I couldn’t shake was “Where will we go to church?”
I’ve grown up in church my whole entire life and to suddenly be in a situation where there is quite literally no church we could go to is something that ached heavily on my heart. However, Sunday morning quickly arrived, and I watched as my beloved family gathered around our living room to sing hymns and listen to preaching…to do church in our home. And I was reminded of this sweet verse.
For where two are three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
I was reminded that even though things may seem like they’re failing and everything is being ripped apart, that there is still peace in His presence.
I was reminded that even though we didn’t have the same building or congregation that we did for the past two years we’ve been serving here, that we as the people are the church and as long as we keep faithfully showing up, God will be faithful, too.
And although the circumstances have been heart-aching and maybe a bit painful, God has been faithful in even the seemingly smallest of ways.
For instance, there’s this lady that used to go to our church, she had faithfully written the bible out from Genesis to Joshua over the past year and is still at it (which I wholeheartedly admire her for). One day she called telling us that she wanted to do a bible study on Wednesday night, so every Wednesday night since then we drive across our little town, pick her up, sing hymns, study Galatians, and play her favorite game of phase ten afterwards.
This lady also brought a young boy to our church the beginning of this year, when our church doors closed, I felt so burdened for him. He wasn’t saved and I didn’t know if we’d ever see him again, but I put his name down on my prayer list anyways. Two weeks ago this lady brought him to the bible study. I smiled as I was reminded once again of God’s faithfulness and the power of prayer, he hasn’t gotten saved yet, but I’m continuing to pray for God to work in his heart.
Even though I can’t fully comprehend why God has us going through this season of life, I know one day I’ll look back and see His endless grace through it all. I’ll see my family gathered around fervently praying for guidance and wisdom in the next step He would have us to take. I’ll see the depth of His love shining through the pain. I’ll see His hand of faithfulness etched into every little detail.
There are numerous amounts of change that will be taking place in our lives over the next month, but I have a feeling it’s all going to be okay, because step by step He is guiding and I have faith that in the end, everything will have worked out just as He planned.
These past months have been anything but easy, however, I’m infinitely grateful for them.
I’m excited for the doors God is opening for my family and the things we’ll be doing in the near future, but for now, I’m learning to be content with where He has us and to use every day as an opportunity to serve Him with all that I am.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.
I honestly don’t share any of this for pity, but simply to show that He IS faithful, even when the circumstances may seem entirely hopeless – He is faithful.
Love and blessings to you all,