Scrolling through any of my social media newsfeeds, I see post after post about our church’s move to its new building. I have made many of those same posts. It’s an exciting time for us!
As I sat in our 1st service in this new building last weekend, I realized that those who are not a part of our church family may see something very different from what we see with these many posts. I realized it may come across as worshipping this new building, or it may seem like we are being overly showy and bragging about ourselves.
So God told me to write.
In the beginning
I walked into Milestone Church for the first time in September of 2006. The building was older and had orange walls, except for a few classrooms where the walls were very, and I mean very, blue. It was a small building, and we parked in a field, but it was home, and I knew it the minute we walked through the doors. This is where we found our spiritual family, and this is where our family lived. It was a nice little starter home we were blessed to lease.
While we were in this starter home, I grew immensely in my spiritual walk. Spiritual family became more important than ever since we lived hours away from our biological family, and we had a toddler. His major milestones were happening in this home with this family. In fact, he took his first steps in the middle of small group!
My son grew and learned how to worship and serve God while living in this starter home.
While in this building, I loaded my car down with kids every Wednesday night as I brought my own students from school to our youth service. I watched young people encounter God for the very first time. I volunteered at every event I could, and I even began working for the church while I had the honor of being a stay at home mom.
Because I absolutely loved spending time with my spiritual family, and I loved helping others grow. And here’s the biggie: the entire time I was doing this, I was growing so much myself! For the first time I was living life with such peace and joy. It was something unexplainable – something that only comes from walking with Jesus.
And it all happened while living in our quaint little starter home. But as most families do, we grew out of that little home.
The Grocery Store Behind Taco Casa
In 2009, and while I was in my 8th month of pregnancy with baby #2, we were able to move into the “giant” grocery store behind Taco Casa. I was in awe of the size of the building and the new areas for ministries to grow.
This move was exciting, and I remember tearing up when I saw our signage shining brightly the first night it was lit up. It wasn’t about the building, though. It was about the new home that gave us room to grow our spiritual family even more.
While we lived in this home, I had my 2nd child. I found comfort and laughter through other moms in our family who had gone through similar struggles and joys as those I was experiencing. My children grew. My son asked Christ into his heart and was baptized in that building. Later, he led his sister to Christ, and she was baptized in that building. We celebrated as their friends came to know Christ and as our friends became leaders and pastors.
I attended weddings of various spiritual family members and celebrated with each new child brought into the world. I have an abundance of wonderful memories and events that came from our time in that house.
If I’m completely transparent, I also have some difficult memories that occurred while living there. At one point in time, I allowed my fear and emotions to speak louder than my faith. Instead of drawing closer to my family, I pushed them away and isolated myself and came to a place where I didn’t trust God to restore things that had been damaged and broken in my marriage. I let the enemy win while my family, both biological and spiritual, lost as my husband and I divorced – something I never thought was even possible. I allowed the enemy to take control of the situation, and I listened to and believed lies about my spiritual family.
And I ran away from home.
I lived 3 of the darkest years of my life away from my home in that grocery store behind Taco Casa.
But I also found love, open arms, and restoration within the walls of that building as I returned only a tiny version of who I once was . . . but I returned.
I remarried a wonderful, loving, godly man after returning to my home, and I gained two more kiddos who I’ve been able to watch as they grow in their own spiritual walk.
It was never about a building. It was about the people inside of that building who loved me through the good and the bad times. It was about the lives that were changed while we were there, and it was about the growth I’ve seen in myself, my husband, and my children.
And again, our family has outgrown our home.
Room to Grow
Several years back, we started praying as a church family for a new home that would not only fit our ever-growing family, but it would be a home designed and purchased by us. This new building is ours! For me, it’s a beginning for new spiritual family members to enter and for people to come to know Christ, and it’s a building that doesn’t hold the memories of the time I didn’t trust God. It’s a reminder that God extends grace, mercy, love and forgiveness as he restores us and makes us completely new.
You see, all of these posts filling up our newsfeeds are showing pictures like what you see above. The pictures show just a building, but understand we aren’t worshipping that building, and we aren’t trying to be braggadocious. This building represents something the same yet different for all of us.
This building is our home. We are thankful and blessed to be able to move into such a home as this. This building is where we find our family. This building will hold within its walls the stories and testimonies of everyone who lives here.
Our excitement is not about a building. It’s about a home, a family, and a testimony.