As my first post, I am going to dive in. :)
Today is the first year of my life living in Lancaster. As I look back over the past year, I can see God’s faithfulness and mercy to me. I’m reading Tacitus right now, and he says that historians can’t write history without a strong bias if they live in the times they are writing about, because they can’t ‘see the bigger picture’. I kind of feel the same way- as if I’m stepping back and taking a whole new look at life, and the world, and myself.
I remember exactly the first day of life here. I remember what I was wearing! It’s amazing how long it is, and yet it seems like yesterday. So much has happened over this year. My family bought a house. We bought a dog. We were going to go to school but decided not to at the last minute. It’s amazing how much can happen! God’s faithfulness has been expressed to me in so many ways, so many times. I think that for the first time, I realized that He was actually there. I mean, I knew He existed, I believed it, but I didn’t live like it was true or think about it. But, like He often does, God picked this away by showing me how much I really needed him. I think trials are a very effective way of getting my attention, although I didn’t realize it until this summer. I was angry at God, I was angry at my family, I was angry at everything! I didn’t see how this could possibly work for my good. But God did.
We were in a new place; we had no idea what church we would go to or where we would live. We were renting a house, far away from everything. I had no friends. We visited some churches. I really, really wanted to call one of them home, even though they didn’t feel like I ‘belonged’. I wanted friends so badly that I was willing to be stubborn, prideful, and angry because I thought that I would find them in (insert place here). I couldn’t accept my parent’s decision to come to Crossway. I hated it, in fact. I had a plan: I thought that I had friends, that I was fine, and that the place I was in was ‘home’. But no, God had a different plan.
I’m looking back on my calendar at March of 2011, March 27th to be exact. This was the first time I came to Crossway. (On my calendar, it is written “Yuckway”… shows what I felt. :) ) I absolutely hated it. It wasn’t that I hated the service itself; it was good to worship and have strong teaching. But I didn’t want to have friends there. I was so angry and bitter. My facial expression probably gave me away… :) I continued to go to church there, and my hate dimmed to bitterness. I no longer hated it; I had met some very nice people. But it wasn’t home…yet.
I think the first time Crossway really felt like “home” was in June of 2011, when we became members. We became members June 5, 2011. I was still slightly stubborn, but I was beginning to melt. This was also the first church picnic, the Crossway Mile, etc. It was only then that I began to realize that this was, surprisingly, where I belonged. I had been signed up to go on a short missions trip with another church we had gone to, but I pulled out at the last minute because we were becoming members. I think this is when I realized that Crossway was home. Later in June was Youth Camp, and God really started to work in me. I was seeing reasons for the trials, and I was seeing my need for Him and the Holy Spirit was exposing my utter sinfulness to me. Then in August, I was baptized after waiting a year and a half. This was one of the best days of my life. I can see how faithful God has been- in saving me, in sending Christ, in leading me to Lancaster. I am so thankful!
Now I know that God is in control. He is in charge of the world. If he can control the fate of the world, how much more can he control my fate! I am completely powerless (now I see).
chorus of This Is Home: By Switchfoot
This is home/now I’m finally where I belong/where I belong/Yeah this is home/I’ve been searching for a place of my own/now I found it/Maybe this is home/yeah this is home/now I know that this home