Last night I attended a congregational meeting for our church that might just have been bigger than we all realized. A night where, maybe years from now, we look back and say that's when it all started. Or, that's when it all ended.
What I mean is, that's when we finally stopped acting like we had it all together. It's when we finally started speaking with honesty and realizing that in order to become a beautiful bride, we have to leave our other lovers behind - our pride, our desires to control our church, our ideas of what church should be based on our past experiences.
Based on my past experiences, church hurts. Church (not God) has let me down, left me bruised and betrayed. Those times happened when I was still a child, and I quickly learned not to put any church leader on a platform higher than Christ. I know that church can be a messy, painful place because it's filled with people who are in need of transformation. Daily.
But I was also know church can be a haven, a beautiful, glorious celebration of the cross and the redemption that came with it. Church - and by that, I mean any body of believers, not a building or institution - becomes more than music, preaching, and cool videos. It helps me come to the end of myself, and remember "my story" is not mine after all - it's God's story.
Church constantly reminds me I am not alone, that living and loving with the body of Christ might break my heart, but the hands that bled for His Church will sew it back up again, transforming me. Daily.