Well we did it! And so glad we did.....I'll share a little more detail later on down the track but for now I would like to share a letter I sent to the guest speaker late last night, that pretty much sums up how I'm feeling right now. Miss Esther Elliot has kindly agreed to let me publish this - yay!
Dear Esther, This may seem totally random and I promise I’m not a stalker lol, but I just felt compelled to write to you and share a few things...hope you don’t mind! I’m new to Equippers but not new to church. In fact right now I’m fighting not to default to Christian-eze as you so hilariously put it (Best line ever!).
What I really wanted you to know was that I will remember today (23rd August) forever, and its not because you were amazing (although you were), and it’s not because your funny as heck and the realest preacher I’ve ever heard (although you are – and I’ve heard a lot!!), it’s simply because TODAY my family and I faced down yet another Goliath – deliberately and purposefully. We stood our ground and lifted our heads once more in response to the clarion call you issued on behalf of our King. And what an interesting ground to stand on…
You see, not long ago we stood on that ground (in that particular location) as part of a senior leadership team of another church. For 13 years we gave our entire lives to that church and 4 months ago we led the team that closed it down. Very long story which I won’t bore you with, but basically we have spent the last couple of months trying to come to terms with the fact that we were part of a very controlling religious culture – some have even dropped the ‘cult’ word - and wondering how the heck two reasonably sane human beings (although that’s debatable lol) became SO entrenched in something so obviously wrong. Like I said…long story. Being part of a new church hasn’t been easy, but that’s not what I wanted to share (honestly that would turn into a novel!). It was when we found out that being part of this new church would require us to go back….to where it all began. Who does that???! Who deliberately goes back to where the hurt is born and bred? Yes…us. Crazy much!? LOL.
But seriously, our determination to keep moving forward was challenged all over again. TBC was our home for all those years and stepping back into that building today/tonight was one of the hardest things we have had to do – and that’s saying a lot. The memories alone were overwhelming, let alone the spiritual implications. God has been speaking to me quite a bit about this process, so I wasn’t struggling with the big picture. I know by faith that He has this all sorted, and no building is going to stop me from following Him wherever He leads me. Its just a symbol of pain, and He is so much greater than a symbol! He alone can turn that symbol into something good in our hearts. And I expect with every faith fibre in my body that He will!
But even with all this deep conviction at my disposal, it was still a test to walk in those doors, stay in the building (aka not run screaming for the door), and be there for the right reasons – to praise and worship Him alone. And I wanted you to know that the God IN YOU today did the impossible. For starters, He caused me to forget where I was most of the time! (that’s a flippin miracle I tell ya!). Him in you had me laughing one minute, and tear-ing up the next. Who would have thought the sound of laughter would come from this mouth in THAT place! The word you brought, and those spirit-led impromptu prayers found its perfect mark in my battered heart. It was exactly what I needed and I left that place feeling like everything was going to be ok. In fact, I may have even been a bit excited…. I KNOW that God has made me brave and I am even more determined now to keep trying.
So…Esther Elliot. I don’t really know you, but after today I feel as though I do. At the risk of sounding jargonish – it was indeed a kairos moment for my family and I, and I do genuinely want to thank you, and bless you, and encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing because guuurllll….God in YOU is something to be reckoned with!! You are part of my testimony now and I will never forget it. Praise God! He truly is amazing aye. Bex xox