By: Ann Woelfel
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12 NIV)
Sometimes it’s knowing that I will get an hour to sit next to my husband while our kids are busy playing and learning downstairs. Sometimes it’s because I get to sing along with amazing music, while I drink coffee (two of my top ten favorite things to do). Sometimes it’s because I am holding babies so their hard-working parents can worship, or because I’m serving in the Connection Center. Sometimes it’s the friendly faces I see when I walk in the door, and the warm feel of community. But it’s ALWAYS about the perspective I have as I leave – the reconnection with God as center, the reminder of the vast world outside of my circumstances, the feeling of gratitude for the love and grace I have been given, and the opportunity I have to give it to others. This is why I attend Meadowbrook Church.
It didn’t always feel this way. When I first came to Meadowbrook five years ago, I felt uneasy. My husband and I had a beautiful two-year-old daughter, both held secure corporate jobs that we enjoyed and had recently purchased our forever home. We were blessed beyond measure. I was also struggling with contentment, consumed with anxiety and spiritually broken. For me, checking out a new church was the next thing on a long list of remedies I was trying.
A quick fix it was not, but a small seed was planted as I timidly sat in the absolutely last row on that first Sunday morning. I was drawn in again. And again. And slowly it didn’t seem like something I “had” to do, but rather, something I looked forward to.
I was brought up with faith in my life, but something changed for me when I chose it for myself. When I listened to the voice that told me to keep going back. When I said yes to an invitation to join a small group of other women, and dove in to the Bible on my own for the first time.
Paul’s words to the Philippians encourage me to press on into this journey, to keep growing. Like Paul supported the Philippian believers, the family of believers at Meadowbrook has supported my faith journey. I still struggle with contentment and anxiety on occasion. More often than I’d like I still instinctively turn to people in my life, material things, personal achievements or my “to do” list to define and validate myself. During times of adversity, I forget to go to prayer first. But the foundational perspective has shifted. These thoughts and actions no longer have authority over my life, because God has given me a new understanding of his faithful and continuous presence, through the community of Meadowbrook.
If you would have told that anxious and exhausted mother of one five years ago, that one day she’d be a less anxious, and still exhausted, mother of three with a church family, she never would have believed you. And if God can write that story, I can’t wait to see what He will write next, for my story…and yours. I am grateful for the community at Meadowbrook for being part of my faith foundation, and asking me to share my story. If today you hear God’s voice calling, then join us!