It’s one of the things I’ve missed most about home. In Marietta, I attended Riverstone Church and have done so for about the past ten years of my life. That church has helped me grow so much in my knowledge of who God is and how much he loves me. Without Riverstone, I truly don’t think that I could have cultivated such an understanding on my own.

And the people there have also shaped my life in tremendous ways. I have made some of my best friends ever in that church, from a range of different ages that have come together to love Jesus. That church is such a beautiful place, filled with Jesus’ presence. And when I left for college, it was one of the hardest things to leave behind.

But I felt the Lord telling me that I couldn’t find my Christian identity in Riverstone, or in the friendships I found there. He reassured me that our relationship in the secret place could be just as intimate as the worship led by Daniel Bashta in the Riverstone sanctuary. On some level I already knew this was true, that our alone time with Jesus is the time that counts the most, the time that can be the sweetest, but it was good to let that truth sink in.

My friend Emily is the older sister of my of my true best friends, Olivia. Because Emily and I both go to GCSU, she thought it would be a good idea to look me up. So the other day in the cafeteria, Emily comes over to me and invites me to the church she attends, First Baptist of Milledgeville.

Now I confess, that while I have been doing quiet time with Jesus, in the past two weeks I have not been as proactive about finding a home church as I could have been. In a way I’ve been nervous that I wouldn’t find a church as ‘good’ as Riverstone. When I prayed about my fears to the Lord, he gently reminded me that it doesn’t have to be all about the prophecy, the healing, as long as his spirit and love are present.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that those spiritual gifts are important and that they can be used effectively to bless and to minister. But the most important thing is to find a body seeking after the love of Christ and the rest will fall into place.

So Emily invites me to church, and even though I had been planning to attend the Wesley service that night something in my spirit said “go“.

Ya’ll, last night was such a sweet time of fellowship with these people who truly loved the Lord. Surrounded with a myriad of ages, good Southern food (wouldn’t be a Baptist church without it), and the Spirit. The words the pastor spoke rang with such truth that I almost teared up several times and it was like the message was directed right at me, one I’ve heard a lot these past few weeks but still doesn’t make it any less powerful: God has everything under control, and he does everything for a purpose.

I want to go back. I don’t know yet if this will become my ‘home’ church for my time in Milledgeville or if God will point me in a different direction to another campus ministry but for now, in this little Baptist church, God’s spirit resides there. And that’s where I want to be.

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