For All the Good Things

Sunday was the first day in our new church building. The design is simple, it flows, it’s welcoming. Once you’re in it, you began to see all the little details that were incorporated that make a big difference in the lives of the people who will call it home. I am thankful. The building is icing. It’s lovely and functional, but there’s so much more to Real Life than its new building.
     A little less than a year ago I moved my household to Real Life. I had visited for a few weeks and had every intention of going back to my home church, but something in me longed for a change. At the time, I had three women and one baby living in my home and they were all consistently coming with me to church. Each Sunday, on the way home, I would try to engage them in conversation about the sermon, but either they didn’t understand it or were upset about something they heard and didn’t understand why. My frustration grew each week. The women weren’t hearing God speak to them. That’s when I knew that the longing for change was not just my own. My household needed more.
     These people, this motley crew at Real Life, are my people. They love God and love others. They get it. They live, breathe, and from the pulpit they teach it. They love the people that God said to love. And they talk about God in a way that restores people back to Him. They are Jesus to a hurting world.
     For the first time in my life I am hungry for the Word of God. It’s alive, it’s life-changing, and it’s sweeter than honey. Aaron Couch, the pastor, has such a hunger for “the Text” and he delivers it in a way that leaves me yearning for more. His sermons are short but powerful. I began eagerly reading the text on my own and then I started listening to Marty Solomon’s Bema Discipleship lessons. That, my friends, was a game-changer. Now and then Marty fills the pulpit at Real Life, too. Those sermons are like ripe figs falling into my hands.
     I’ve started to ask questions. Big questions. Not only do I know it’s okay to ask questions, I finally believe it is my responsibility to ask questions and to keep asking questions until I’m sure I understand. I am free. Free to love God without any restrictions. Free to serve God without any restrictions. Free to devour God’s Word and pursue Him with reckless abandon.
     At times, it’s overwhelming when I realize how much my life has changed. The big idols have been torn down: my career, my family, my stellar credit report, my savings account, my church, and my health. All the things I trusted in are gone or out of reach. The safe places I hid behind have disappeared. And in the midst of it all I have a deep, deep hunger for God like never before. He has brought me to a place where all I can do is trust in Him. He has brought me to a people who yearn for Him. And I needed this. He knew I needed this. And I have no choice but to trust Him, to trust the story, and to give thanks for all the good things.

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