My Church. My Family.

Family is a funny thing. Growing up I had a small family, for the most part it was my two siblings and my mother than in High School I was fortunate enough to meet and over ten years later we are still friends, each of them and their families added themselves to mine and I to theirs.

When I moved from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma I knew my family would always be there for me even though they were far away, and as the years continue we spread more across the country Pennsylvania, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Massachusetts, but we are still family.

Once I moved to Oklahoma I wasn’t sure I would find people I truly considered family, and than I found my church. I love my church. I love the people that make up my church and I love to watch as they respond to the community and to each other.

Whether it is at small group of women where sixteen of us are squeezed into a living room, and after only a few weeks have embraced each other. Sharing our stories, opening up about our struggles, rejoicing in our accomplishments. Watching as someone shares their struggles and they are immediately surrounded by prayer warriors offering their support, their advice, their wisdom, and their love.

Or when a tornado devastates a community and the church does the only thing they know how to. They respond with love and reaching out to anyone who needs it, not just church members but everyone they come in contact with.

Or when a little boy is sick and waiting on a transplant. The church, my family, responds the way they know best, with love, with support, with prayer.

I love seeing that even being a part of multiple campuses that the response is as one extended family, offering what each person is able. It’s amazing to sign on to social media seeing the same post by every person asking the community as a whole to stand together in support, to declare healing, to believe in miracles.

When it comes down to it, I love belonging to a church that embraces its family, that will come alongside in support and agreement.

I love my church, I don’t want you to misunderstand me because I also love the church as a whole, I love watching a body of believers come together, sharing God’s love and spreading the gospel. I love that the church, not the building, but the church as the Bible defines it is ready and willing to be sent. They are ready to do. Instead of feeling bogged down when multiple things are happening they embrace it in excitement prepared to serve where they are needed.

I love my church even more because they have not only embraced me as family but they have shown me what it means to be the church, to spread the Gospel and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-Elle

 

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