"The church has been so good to us, and we just so appreciate you and appreciate you recognizing our 10 year anniversary with you. It is OUR 10 year anniversary, because Patty has helped me so much and assisted me so often in the work that I do here as your pastor and I just appreciate her."
I get social anxiety sometimes when going to church, because I've been in the spotlight my whole life. I know I am not that important and think people notice me. Sometimes, I just want to hide. So since I got to the age where I could choose if I attended or not, I chose not. That's why a lot of you do not know me. So when Mrs. Diane Martin asked about us being there, the first words out of my mouth were "I'M NOT GOING ON STAGE. I CAN'T DO IT. I WILL NOT GO ON STAGE. THAT IS TOO MUCH!" She just laughed and said "OK OK no stage! Sit in the back and hide... We just want you there period!" I'm so glad I was able to tell the surprise to my mom, on the off chance she could be there. She fought HARD and got there. She is always proud of Jerry, but this was a special moment and she wasn't missing it.
I so badly wanted to say Patty was coming to church in my post yesterday! But, being private, we wanted to slip in and not cause a scene and take away from the service. I'm sure ya'll saw it, but the hope and light and joy in her eyes as she hugged each and every one of you was so amazing for me and my sister to witness. They love ya'll as much as ya'll love them.... AND ya'll love us :) I expected all the attention to be on Patty! Definitely not a lot of attention on me and my sister- because again, Wynndale doesn't know me like FBC Summit does, and that's my fault. But ya'll encouraged us with your words as well. For that, thank you... you don't even realize.
***Side note: Honestly, when Jerry said Patty would be in the foyer to see everyone, I knew that would be crowded chaos and germ infested close quarters for everyone! I was just making sure Jerry knew where I thought it best for her to be set up because of how much easier it would be for me and Leslie to be beside her in case she needed anything, and because I'm usually right***
I also loved getting to see some of my "friends". I don't know if they know it, but Diane Martin and Edie Hudson are my new best friends. Like I said, I may not be theirs, but they're mine ;) Also, facebook has allowed me to put so many faces to names! It's been wonderful!
Like Jesus lived on Thursday of his crucifixion week, he spent it surrounded by friends and those filled with love and affection for one another. That is how we all felt yesterday. I could live like that every day- (words of affirmation is my love language, thanks Gary Chapman for that book.. I can't deny anymore that I love words of praise and material gifts, making me look bad.)
Unfortunately, a day like that isn't reality.
"Most of the time and most of life is lived under the agony, the accusation and the abandonment of a Good Friday. That's life. Because life is difficult. You don't have people always telling you how great you are, surrounding you and telling you they love you, applauding you for what you are doing. So often our lives are lived like Jesus lived his life on Good Friday."
Even in the midst of persecution, mockery, torture, abandonment- Jesus forgave. He obeyed God. He loved his persecutors and forgave those who mocked him. He made sure his mother would be taken care of. He still thought of others while he sacrificed himself to save the world. I wish I could do that ON MY BEST DAY. Because a lot of days I'm in, you guessed it, Casey Land. Sometimes, I just don't like people. That's ok. But that would mean I'm not living as Christ has called me to live. Ballgame. Gotta destroy Casey Land :/
Because when we all get to heaven (MY FAVORITE SONG TO REQUEST DURING OUR 5th SUNDAY SING-A-LONG AT BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH. My 4 year old self would stand up on the pew and raise my hand as high as I could to request a song I didn't fully grasp the meaning of until later. Still a favorite hymn of mine today), I want to be told "Good job my well and faithful servant"
I loved Jerry's messaged yesterday. It's so relatable at any time in your life. If you are having a day like Jesus had on Good Friday, don't falter. Continue to be faithful and obedient, God has not forgotten you and you will receive his blessings for doing so. I've had a lot of "Good" Fridays lately. It's hard to stay faithful and obedient... I'm also stubborn and think I'm smarter than I actually am. My two things to stay faithful and obedient on would be to stay faithful with a constant prayer time and staying obedient by truly believing God has his reasons for the things he allows to happen. As hard as it may be, we are called to Accept it. Stay faithful. Stay obedient. Spend time in his word. Pray that he will be glorified in it all.
"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
2 Timothy 4:16-18
WE ARE FORGIVEN. CHRIST SHED HIS BLOOD FOR US. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. HEAVEN IS OUR HOME. WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE AND NOT BY OUR WORKS.
Patty goes back to the doctor tomorrow to find out what her treatment plan will be. It's a little nerve racking for us all- and it's caused a lot of her closet to be off limits to me. Hopefully we will be able to know tomorrow and not have to wait much longer.