Monday, October 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Today has been a nostalgic day for me. After spending a weekend in Franklin, Tennessee, I just realized how much I really miss that place. Franklin -- for those of you who have never been there -- is a sweet little city outside Nashville. It has the charm of a small Southern town with the conveniences of a larger city. What other city its size has a beautiful mall, almost every food chain you can think of, and both a Borders and Barnes and Noble? What more can a girl ask for?

With all its positive points, what I realize I miss most are the people there. Having resided there for nine years, I dug some really deep roots there. This was evident to me when after church at Strong Tower Bible Church -- where my husband served as Assistant Pastor for several years. While telling a girlfriend that I was praying for a challenge in her life, I found that I was the one in tears. I then commenced to share about the challenges of having relocated, and yet relocated again. When the conversation ended and we parted from one another, I asked myself a deep, heart-probing question: What was that? I was as surprised as she probably was by my tears and my transparency.

The day before I had attended a baby shower for Cassie and Rabo Garba, a young couple that my husband married right before we moved to Virginia. Cassie and Rabo moved to NoVA with us to help us start the church that we thought we were starting there. They lived with us for several months, but moved back to TN when we answered our call to Arkansas. When I saw them and gave them huge hugs -- despite Cassie's protruding belly -- I burst into tears. I guess they were a reminder of both lives that I've left behind -- one in Tennessee, the other in Virginia. Both lives that I was pretty happy with, thank you very much. Standing out on the sidewalk in a flood of tears, and a little embarrassed, I asked that same soul-searching question: What was that?

Now that I've had some time to process, I think I know why the tears fell so readily. In Tennessee, I felt safe. I felt at home.

The sermon yesterday, given by Pastor Curtis Zackery a newly ordained pastor, was right on time for me. He reminded us the real reason behind ministry: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All of our heart-stirring worship music and motivating ministry programs and deep theological sermons mean nothing, if the Gospel isn't the motive and the message of it all. At the end of the sermon I recommitted my heart back to the Lord. In my heart, I told him that I'd go anywhere for the Gospel -- even Conway, Arkansas. I don't know when this place will feel like home for me, but then again heaven is really my home anyway. Until my citizenship there is fully realized, I'll go wherever He calls me to go for the sake of the Gospel.

My encouragement and conviction from the Word of God: Mark 10:29-30: "'I tell you the truth,' Jesus replied, 'no one who has left home or brothers and sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields -- and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.'"

2 comments:

  1. Carla, that's super encouraging!

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  2. Thanks CZ! Keep preaching that Word, Brother!

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