But I'll get back to that...
For anyone who has grown up in the church and discovered their own adult faith, knows how difficult it is to find a home church. You don't want to deny where you came from, but at the same time, you can see now as an adult, things that just didn't work. My husband and I took this quest seriously and took our time, but we may have finally come home. Ok, remove the may have...we are home.
We arent your typical Christians. We strive to search for relevancy instead of traditionalism. For doing life, instead of legalism. For a reason to do things, instead of "We always have". We daily admit our inperfections and use them to speak to others about Christ and how being broken vessels make us just right for His use, instead of covering them with a churchy smile.
We stumbled across 4Corners Community Church ( http://4cornerschurch.com) by *divine* mistake... In fact, the first time, we got lost getting there. Something about it though, just made us want to find it. From the moment we walked inside, it was like a chord was struck. From the greetings and smiles, to the music and message, for once it felt...real. We continued to go, and before we knew it, had fully drown ourselves in this ocean of community. This was the kind of place we belonged. The place where the hugs had meaning, where you were asked "How are you?" and they actually stuck around for the answer. This was the place where "I'll be praying for you" meant something and wasn't a passing phrase; where our son was embraced and loved and could learn about Jesus in an enviroment we knew we could trust to be on the same page with what we taught at home. This place was the place you could pour out your soul to someone and instead of judgement and criticism you found love, forgiveness and acceptance. This is the place where you can ask the tough questions about God and why bad things happen to good people and while they don't pretend to know all the answers, they will dig side by side with you to find it. 4Corners was never afraid to address the real issues and challenge you week after week to have bold Christianity, instead of sit in your seat niceties.
Getting back to unforgettable... I think the moment when we truly knew we were home was this weekend at the Leaders Retreat. A group of us went to Gatlinburg to get away for a few days. We knew everyone there fairly well, but for both my husband and I, we love going deeper with our friendships and really getting to know people. From the moment we arrived, we knew this was going to be a special weekend. On the first evening, we were watching the kids playing on the mountainside and I stood with Jill, our pastors wife. She made a comment, so simple, but so profound to me. As we watched the kids play, she mentioned to me "Just wait, in a few years, that will be Gavin running around up there with them!" I know it probably was a passing moment to her, but to me, it meant that these people had accepted us into their family and were ready to love and grow with us for a long time! We took a hike the next day with a few people and had some great memories of enjoying all the beauty around us. That night, as we relaxed under the stars, sipping some margaritas, a guitar came out and worship began. (Worship and Margaritas? I could get used to this...)
It struck me as we were all singing that this was the beginning of something deeper... These individuals, every one of them, were brought into my life for a purpose. This night was the beginning of some great and perhaps lifelong friendships, intricately interwoven through the love of Christ. These are people I knew I could go to with anything that comes my way and they will build us up and love us through it. As I looked around that night under a starry mountain sky, singing in harmony with everyone, I thought to myself, I am home. This is more than church...this is my family. I can't wait to see what God has in store for all of us and for 4Corners next. Im honored to be along for the ride.