The purpose of this blog is to create a space where others can be encouraged in their faith. Our aim is to tell stories of how God shows up in real life, so that you are inspired to believe Him for more than you can ask or imagine.
You’ve read my stories nearly every Monday for the past two years (you deserve a hug for that!). But we are a community of people who ALL have Real-Life-God-stories, and what a better place than this to share those stories! You may not be a writer, and that’s OKAY! (Because we’ve got a few writers hanging around who would love to help you with that.)
YOU matter to this community…to the Body of Christ. Your story matters. So let’s get to know each other. Let’s make this blog a community where our stories inspire and strengthen the faith of someone else! (Hang onto this thought, and at the end of this post you’ll find more details about how to share your story.)
I have the honor today of introducing you to one of your family members. Kelsea Lake and her family joined our community of Faith UMC earlier this summer. And this is part of her story…
By: Kelsea Lake
Ok, I am by no means a blogger, but when asked to share this story with others I was overwhelmed with joy. I hope that as you read it, you will find the beauty, grace, and awe that I feel every time I have the chance to tell it.
This story began months ago when my family and I started attending Faith, and we wanted to get to know others as we plugged the family into the church. Incidentally, my family looks like this: I’m married to Troy, and we are parents to Gavyn (9), Presley (8), and Carter (2).
I found the church blog online and loved reading the newest posts during my alone time before I woke the children for school. One morning, I read Mrs. O’s story of the Ebenezer stone (read that story here) and fell in love with it. I loved the idea of having a stone on my sink to remind me daily that the Lord has in fact brought me this far and he will surely lead me all the way home one day.
So I got a stone, and now it comforts me on the most trying days. My little stone of help and hope is a treasure to me.
Fast forward a few months, and I was introduced to a new faith-based company called Mary & Martha. I fell in love with this company and was eager to become a consultant. In order to be successful I would have to host parties which I knew would be challenging for me personally. I’m not the best speaker, and I knew this was something I would have to pray hard about.
In prayer, my mind kept going back to the story Mrs. O shared with us all about her Ebenezer stone. I wanted to bring scripture to my gatherings, and I decided that I would tell her story exactly the way she told it. I also began to share our church blog with others, and I have Ms. O’s post saved in my phone.
The day finally came for my first Mary & Martha gathering, and of course I cried while sharing the story of “why” I started with Mary & Martha. It wasn’t pretty…I tried to hold the cry back and it turned into an ugly cry! Needless to say, after that I didn’t have the courage to even attempt my Ebenezer stone story in fear that I would have to retreat to a bathroom to pull myself together.
The stones I brought to give my guests sat in my lantern untouched but NOT forgotten.
The following week, I felt so uneasy that I didn’t share this Ebenezer story at my party, so I went straight back to prayer:
“Lord should a share this story?”
“If so, how should I tell it?”
“Will it be weird for others?”
“What if I tell it wrong?”
“Lord, should I even continue this?”
I had no idea that God was about to answer all of my questions in a way that has blessed me (and my son!) beyond words.
The following Sunday we arrived at church, and I was so excited that a friend of mine and her family had joined us. It was their first visit to Faith UMC, and I couldn’t wait to introduce them to friends and make them feel loved and wanted!
We stood up to sing, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! The song we sang was Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing! I had to stare at the ceiling to keep from weeping over the first song of our service in front of our guests. I simply didn’t have time to explain that God was confirming something I was personally struggling with.
I had not even shared this with my family yet at this point. As if this confirmation wasn’t obviously awesome enough, IT GETS BETTER! I briefly shared this story in “cliff notes version” to a friend while exiting the chapel and hurried to introduce her to my visiting friends. So at this point the new idea God had given me, and the answered prayer for confirmation was still very fresh.
We invited our friends to join us for lunch at the swinging door, and as we sat down at the table my 9 year old son, Gavyn, did something that he hasn’t done since Kindergarten. He passed me something under the table and said, “Here, Mom, I found this for you! Its in the shape of a heart.”
I looked down and couldn’t believe that I was holding a new Ebenezer stone that came straight for God. Fighting back tears, I quickly put it away and told him what a treasure this was, and that I would explain the significance of it further after lunch.
I later explained to him that God worked through him in the most beautiful of ways to answer my prayers. When he handed me this stone I could feel God telling me,
“See how easy this is. Your young son is able to do it. See how precious this is to you? The stones you give out could be that precious to someone else one day. Tell MY story with Truth and Love.”
Wow! Every time I tell this story, I feel God all around me. What makes this story so precious to me is not only did God answer my prayers (which is always wonderful!), but this is the first time that I think my son grasped God’s amazing power. Gavyn was able to understand how God works through us without us even knowing it to answer the prayers of others, and to glorify himself. In that moment, God was completely revealing himself in an undeniable way to my son. I will forever hold this moment close to my heart.
OH, (in case you wondered), at my next party, I gave out my stones, and shared this very story with the ladies at my gathering. I’m not sure if they made it to their bathroom sink, but I can only hope someday one will.
Free Printable Image: we want you to have your own reminder that God has been with you thus far, and by grace, He is with you always. So click HERE to download the image from this post, print it out, and hang it anywhere you need this reminder!
TELL YOUR STORY: You are an important part of this community. Which basically means you are really important to all of us. Yet you might roll your eyes at that since you don’t feel all that significant. Or because you hardly know anyone at church…you don’t necessarily hang out in the “in-crowds” (as if)…and you aren’t quite sure anyone knows your name.
Here’s the thing: we want to know you, because we’re convinced you’re a big deal. Regardless of whether we’ve met or not, you belong here. As believers in Christ, as Jesus-People, as members of the Body of Christ, we belong together.
And the way we get to know each other is to share stories. It may seem like a small thing to you…but it’s a BIG thing to us. To share your story, send an email to Amy Dalke at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are two options:
- Write your story and send it to me via email. If I haven’t confirmed receipt of your email within 48 hours, send it again. (Because sometimes I whimsically deletes emails, or the internet eats them before I ever receive them, or I just plain forget because that’s how I roll.)
- Send me a note to let me know you want to tell your story…but you might need some help with the writing part. Don’t let the “I can’t write” thing keep us from hearing your story!
You matter. You belong here. We are your community. (Amen!)