Tonight as I stood there, tears welled up in my eyes. Tears of joy, pain, relief, hope, love, and grace. My tears didn't flow down my cheeks like the normally might have. Instead they just welled up in my eyes on the cusp of brimming over, but instead blurring my vision to the point where all I did was stand there and listen to the words being sung.
I don't count tonight as just a worship service. It was something more then that. Tonight was a breakage of a pattern. A breakage of a bond that has been holding onto me for a very, very long time. A lie that I have been living with, telling myself, and believing. The lie that I don't matter, and that I will never belong. The lie that I am not worth getting to know, that everyone who invites me in will eventually just leave me. I don't know that even in the moment that I was writing my name down on that piece of paper that I truly realized exactly how many chains were being broken...but now in this moment...I know. I know that those chains they are no longer holding me captive.
I sat in a class for 5 out of 6 weeks, and during those six weeks there was a struggle to remain in that seat. I wanted so bad for God to say that I could just run, or that membership to a community didn't really matter. I wanted so much to just be able to take the class and move forward. I wanted so much for my own plans to be the ones that took priority. I wanted so much to find something wrong with the community that God has put me in.
The truth is that I almost did. I almost came up with a list of reasons why I shouldn't sign that piece of paper. Most people probably would say that it is after all just a piece of paper. I think for me though it is more then that. To me it is allowing myself to finally admit my need and desire for a community. To know that this community that God has chosen for me isn't perfect, but it is perfect for me.
I'm so authentically grateful for the journey that has gotten me to this point. The journey through all the mountains and valleys. All the moments of praying for a community where I could and wanted to plant myself. All of those that have been able to speak truth in love into my life. A place to serve beyond myself with all my heart not for anything other than the outpouring of love that is being poured into me.
Tonight I am overwhelmed with the relief that I feel at breaking down the walls brick by brick. I am so excited for this next chapter. A chapter that hopefully is going to last for a long time. I know that there will be bumps, I know that it won't be perfect. I also know that I was made for this community, for this time. I was created to be a part of community. I can't do life without it. We can't do life without it.
Value, love, worth, and authenticness comes from living in community with love, grace, and mercy beyond what we can give on our own.