We moved to the Midwest about 2 months ago. We came from an unusual, beautiful, Christ filled lifestyle. In our last home we didn’t go to church, we were a piece of the living Body who Christ Himself calls the Church. The Bride of Christ, living souls, are the Church. And something very different about the group I was a part of, is that for the most part, Christ was our pastor. We didn’t need to pay someone to speak each week because we all had the opportunity to spend time with the Lord all week, and speak at the community meetings. For a while it was utopia.
One of the struggles that Chris and I had to move past was the fact that he worked in a different city and was never home. Our marriage, like most, wasn’t thriving on such little time together. We tried going on dates here and there, but money was tight and free babysitters are hard to come by. Date night was a special treat and the only time we had alone together. A few times alone a year just wasn’t cutting it so we had to make the painful decision to move. Chris works for a great company he has been with since college. They took care of us during his aneurysm and as a wife, I never have to worry about our financial security. I know that we may never have an overabundance of cash, but our bills will get paid, food will be on the table, we can teach our children with the best curriculum money can buy, and we can even take vacations once in a while. We talked about leaving the company in order to stay with the group we were in, but ultimately decided that Christ was everywhere, my husband’s company is only in certain cities.
So, we moved here. And for the first few weeks we attended services all the while continuing to spend time with the Lord at home. We had couple of friends and family tell us about home churches near by, but we were more comfortable attending a “regular” church in a big building where at least they had a children’s program. As my favorite author once said, “If I had my choice between an institutional church and most home churches today, I would choose an institutional church.” Agreed. I am not looking for a home church, I could care less where we meet. When Chris and I attended our first organic church meeting it was in a rented Christian center building. Complete with fold-out chairs. It’s very hard to explain an organic church to another person. She is a living, breathing organism in which Christ resides and she is made up by the people who express Christ. We live by an indwelling Lord and we do this together in a group, called organic church.
Well, since being here, our little family is an organic church. We are intentional and continual about turning to the Lord. We’ve had a few friends from within the organic church community share encouragement and love with us in emails and on my phone’s answering machine. We are putting our money where our mouth is. If Christ is truly embedded within us and we can not be separated from Him, then we are fully in Him no matter where our travels take us. I began to let go of finding a “church” to join and I began to spend my days in a state of gratitude for Him and in a loving embrace with Him. Wouldn’t you know it, He brings together His people… we met another organic church family. We began talking about the Lord one day. Not things about Him, not our devotions, not our homeschooling, but we shared Christ. When she referred to her friends as Sisters, I felt home.
What really rocked my word is this: I had one experience, one glorious expression of Christ shown to me. I got to experience it for a time being. And I was looking for that, or something like that, again. In our new home, as a family, we are discovering Christ, on a foundation of Christ, with other believers in Christ and it looks and feels different, but we are still getting and giving Him. We have not begun to meet in organized organic church meetings, but we are having play dates, watching each other’s children, and sharing community. It hit me the other day that God really does take care of us. It’s not just lip service. We followed Him here because we trusted that if we did what was needed in order to be a healthy family unit, that He would take care of us, and He is.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what our life will look like in a year, but I know that Christ is the only sure thing. Once again, to quote F.V. “I am banking on Christ.” I am open to Him. I am not going to try and force something or even take what I’ve learned in the past, both good and bad, and re-create what I know. Expressions of Christ are not cookie cutter beings, but as alive and unique as each member of our physical bodies. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge sitting back and letting Him be expressed in whatever way He wants, but I have learned to die if nothing else. I have learned not to interceded and try and make Him what I want or make Him fit a shadow of His former self.
When we left our last home the group we were a part of was a very different group than the one we had began with. The group changes as Christ changes. A very strong conviction from the experience has taught me this. Christ needs to be the foundation. An illustration that a church planter shares with me is probably the best way to describe this. In a family a baby is born. The stage is set for parenting. A parent will begin teaching the first born, and then a second born how to love, how to walk, how to be a part of the family. When a new baby is born years down the road, we don’t start over, but the new children fit in as they watch the older children and the parents. In this way, they never have to “go back to the beginning” of the family every time a child is born. If Christ is the foundation, and the foundation stays in place, an organism, a family, a Church can grow and mature and remain on the foundation. And I’ll never know what it’s going to look like because each family is different. If I choose to take my past experiences and project it onto what seems to be beginning here, in a year it will look like what I want it to look like. It may even look like what I’ve experienced in the past. But… if I relax and quiet my desires for what I would like to see, and instead wait to see what the Lord is going to do, I bet it will be glorious. I am banking on Him.
Thank you for reading. It’s a beautiful journey, enjoy it!