Welcome to part two of Jolene’s Genesis 5020. Miss part one? Click here.
The problem was, God had not released us to go. I tried to push the issue. I asked my husband many times that summer “Isn’t it time for us to go too?”
How can we stay at a church that has so many problems? Look at the other churches and how they have it all together – they have all the ministries that our family needs! The grass was looking so much greener on the other side of the street!
But God spoke in so many ways that it was not our time to leave. My husband didn’t feel it was our time to go. But I wanted to go – so I pushed the issue.
There was a worship event at the church up the road, the one that many families from our church were now attending. They had the strong youth program and rockin’ worship I was looking for. So we went to the worship event.
I told myself we were going to “support” our friends who were there. To let them know we still cared and loved them. But if I am honest – I was going to check it out.
I wanted to attend the church that had it all together, not the one that was falling apart. So we went to the worship event and it was the most awkward church service I have ever sat through! And I truly believe it was because the Holy Spirit was making me completely miserable because what I wanted was not in line with what God wanted.
The worship was great – fantastic music and singing. They even sang my favorite worship song. But I was absolutely unable to worship that night. The words were empty and I was miserable.
They ended the service with communion and I just sat in my chair, unable to participate because I felt so uncomfortable and disobedient. My husband felt the same way and we left knowing that was not where we were to be. God was making it clear we were to stay with our church family through the mess.
That summer was a time of searching for me – searching for understanding that did not come immediately.
My life group was a lifeline during that time. Together we wrestled with the issues facing our church. We didn’t understand why, we were just trying to get through to the other side.
One couple in particular, was so encouraging and supportive during this time. They had been where I was. In fact, they had previously left our church and ended up coming back. They encouraged me to listen to God’s voice and what He was saying, not what my selfish human desires were saying.
I was so conflicted – I wanted to be obedient and stay – but I wanted to attend a church that could minister to my needs and the needs of my family.
God spoke to me another time through a worship team member. At that time we were traveling between our two campus locations each Sunday.
I clearly remember being in the van that Sunday with a team member – his family had left our church for a time and had recently come back. He was sharing why they had come back – that God had told them something great was going to happen at elem3nt church and they would not want to miss out on being part of it!
I was blown away! How could this be true? It sure didn’t feel like God was doing anything other than splitting our church up into a million pieces!
Yet that one brief conversation gave me hope for a future that was bigger than what I was seeing at that time. If God was going to move I didn’t want to miss it! But I was doubtful at that time.
I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. Matthew 12:6 NIV
I found that verse above and thought that speaks to what Jolene is talking about. It isn’t about the church building, something greater than a building is moving in our church, it is God, the Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus.