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It's been a year...

faith life Nov 10, 2014

One year ago {this past weekend} our family made one of the hardest best decisions of our lives. We've made many hard decisions but this one hurt the worst. We knew it would. We prayed it wouldn't but deep down inside, we knew it would hurt. We didn't expect the hurt to last so long. And honestly, a lot of times, it still hurts.

When the easier thing to do would have been to stay, we left. We chose to be faithful to God instead of man. We chose to do what would be eternally better for us than what would be surely comfortable for a little while. We chose loyalty to God above loyalty to man.

We lost friends. Looking back I guess they weren't really true friends. And that's ok. Better to know that early on then after a ten year investment. But it didn't make it hurt any less.

We lost community. Or what we thought was community. But again, looking back, it wasn't community at all. Because now I know what community is. Now I know what God's idea of Church {with a big C} is and what man always falls short of when he puts the church {little c} before Him. Even before people. Which IS the church.

This weekend I found redemption in the most unlikely of places. Dallas, Texas. But it wasn't the city that brought redemption. It was community. It was Church. A band of lost boys who were brought together by our Peter Pan and a beautiful soul named Sarah.

For the past fifteen months we were loved and not judged. We were encouraged to spread our wings and fly and if we failed we had our brothers and sisters to catch us, wipe the dust and tears, mend our broken wings, and try again. We were true community. And although we met in a rare online community, we have ties that bind tighter than those of some real life friends.

We don't have to wear masks and pretend we are something we're not. We are loved unconditionally. We can have an audience of one or an audience of one hundred thousand and we are loved and respected just the same. We pray for each other, laugh with each other, cry, scream, rejoice, and suffer loss...together.

So on this crisp fall weekend in Dallas, we gathered. Because one of our lost boys is on a love mission and our Peter Pan opened the door. Our lost boy, Sarah, she gathers. She loves. She makes you feel welcome and wanted. Every last one of us has a place at her table. And Jon, our Peter Pan, he wanted to celebrate with us.

The ones who've written books and the ones who are still writing. The ones starting businesses and the ones who have let go. The designers, the bow makers, the builders, the singers...the ones who are there just to cheer the rest of us on because that is their dream and that just might be the most beautiful of them all.

I don't think I was the only one who found redemption under the stars that night. As lost boys toasted Peter and his beautiful Wendy, tears were shed, laughter was heard, and more dreams were shared. We were reminded of where we all came from and where we are going. Of the ups and downs, bad decisions and triumphs, failures and successes. Our journeys may appear different on the outside but they hold one common thread—community.

And what good is a dream without a community to share it with? It's not. I don't care how big your dream is or how successful you are. If it's not shared with anyone, it's useless. Because people are God's mission. People are why he sent His son to die on the cross. People.

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Redemption was found in Dallas. At a table built by a wonderful man's own hands, in the cold air, eating good food and drinking good wine. Sitting by the fire listening to hymns. Hugging and laughing. Praying and eating. Serving each other. Those are all good things that heal the soul.

They are community. They saved me this year. They brought redemption.

*I should let you all know that even though we left a church {little c} because it was what God was calling us to do, we have since found a church that's mission is to build His Church {big C} and make His name known. It is bringing redemption one week at a time. It's a little touch of heaven on earth and it's all about Jesus and people. It is good.

Who can you make room for at your table? I believe there is always room for one more.

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