An Honest Convo: Tiny Church, Big Love

Can I be honest with you for just a few seconds?

In this blogging world, I have NO idea what I’m doing. I probably broke lots of rules just by telling you that. There are so many voices screaming about what I should write, when I should write, how I should write. And honestly, it’s just noise to me, annoying noise. There is enough of it in your life too, I'm sure. So the last thing I want to be for you is noise.

Now, I don’t want to go all hippie or anything and totally throw everything out the window. (Which by the way, I’m a wanna be hippie, kinda). There is knowledge and stats about this stuff that’s been proven. But here’s the thing...this whole thing for me, is about you. Everything I click away on the other side of this screen is for you. I think to myself, how will this serve you?

My speaking schedule has started to really pick up. And although sometimes I feel a lot like Moses stammering around, it’s the message that resonates, that keeps me saying yes. Just this past weekend, my sister and I drove up to a tiny, little (I realize those words are synonyms, but if you heard me talking, that’s what I would say. I’m breaking all kind of writing rules over here.) Baptist church fully expecting to be met with stiff handshakes and a stuffy atmosphere, as we have in the past. What we experienced was far from that.

We walked into the fellowship hall and were met with warm hugs and “I’m so glad to see ya’s.” I stuck out my hand a few times for a “Nice to meet you,” and it was met with, “We don’t shake hands around here, we hug.” Even though we had only just met, it felt as if we were all old friends. We belonged. Everyone belonged. I watched these women love each other and stood in awe of the spirit of hospitality that was among them. I couldn’t even tell who were the visitors or the regulars because they all were mingling, talking to one another, complementing one another. The air was warm, the room was one big blanket and we were all cozying up in love. I’ve spoken to enough women to know there was something special about this place and what was among them. I also realized somewhere along the way, I have been hurt by the church. And being among their love in that tiny, little building brought that to the surface. I was able to confess my bitterness and repent of the preconceived judgements I can sometimes make. Kindness does that you know? It’s kindness that leads us to repentance.

The morning was sweet, and the Father really loved on us all that morning. I could write a whole post about what all He did. But what I really loved was meeting one of you. I pour out my heart through these keys. I share with you our life. My children, our story, and parts of theirs. I literally pray about every post I write. And then posts sit in my drafts until I feel they are ready to release. I ask the Father what it is He wants to say to you. Sometimes I hear it in the shower and jump out real fast, and scribble that thought down dripping wet drops all over my journal. I read something in His Word and something sparks in me, and I know it’s meant for you too. And I keep coming back here, writing to you. But sometimes it feels lonely. Like there isn’t anyone else on the other side.

Well I got to meet one of you, in person. I met someone who reads everything I write. She has faithfully followed our story, and it meant the world to me.

This is my new-but-old friend, Katie. She’s a loving wife and a young mother to the cutest little guy you’ve ever seen. She’s super crafty and creative. She loves making things with her hands and she is totally gifted in hospitality. Let’s just say, homegirl knows how to throw a party. She talks a little faster than her mouth can go, sometimes even faster than her brain thinks! And she has a big smile, the kind that takes up her whole face. She’s super cute and keeps up with fashion, but will take a deal any day of the week. But what you should really know about Katie, is that she loves Jesus. A lot. And it’s her life’s goal to know Him, to know His heart, so she can demonstrate His heart to others.

Meeting Katie is a game changer to me. Because not only am I writing over here to some mythical reader, but I’m writing to Katie. And I get an email every day in my inbox, that shows me lots (LOTS) of new names are staying around here, just like hers.

Here’s what I’m trying to say...I want you to know that I want us to be friends.

And for the longest time until I met Katie, I was writing to you and really didn’t know you. It’s hard for me to serve you if I don’t know what you need. So I’m wondering if you’ll let me know you a little more? Like, maybe let the comments be a place where we can visit? Or email me and tell what you liked, or could use more of?

There are enough words on the internet. There are enough people sharing their opinion. It’s all so loud and noisy. What I want this little, tiny space on the internet to be for you, is a place you can come to find hope. It’s like that tiny church, but big love.

I’m feeling more confident these days of my assignment from the Father. You know, what I feel He’s called me to do? And looking ahead to what He’s showed me, is really exciting. But right now, I want to steward this space well. I want you to feel loved, seen, and leave this .com with fresh eyes of hope.

That’s all. Just want you to know I really do love you. Even if we haven’t met in person. And I am both completely honored and humbled you would journey along with me.

Photo by Sophie Brendle

Love, your friend,

Jessica