We are One Body

This time last year our little family of three was just entering our first fall here in Jacksonville after moving from Chicago in April.  We were moved into our home, our daughter had just started school, we had found a home church that we were excited to grow and serve with, and now it was time to start to get connected with our new community.  I happen to have a slight addiction 😉 to Christian women’s blogs, and sometimes it honestly just feels like information overload because there are a LOT of them out there!  Thankfully, however, I happened to see Jen Hatmaker posting toward the end of last August about an upcoming event called IF:Pray.  It caught my attention, and I started watching the promo videos. I needed to figure out where the closest one to me was being held, and I needed to be there.  I discovered that Chets Creek Church was a host site, so I sent an email saying that I would so love to participate in this event, but asking sheepishly if it would be okay if I came despite the fact that my family’s home church is down the road at Church of Eleven22.   I received a reply rather quickly, and of course, they were MORE than happy that I was coming in spite my not being a member of Chets!  It is funny what the enemy tries to do, isn’t it?  I mean, we are one body in Christ, right?  

So, there I was one weekday evening last September, walking into a room full of women that I did not know who welcomed me with open arms and many smiles.  You see, we had just spent 7 1/2 years in Chicago which I now have so many beautiful memories of, but in the beginning half of those years there were times when we felt so incredibly alone in our faith.  We felt like strangers in the land.  We felt isolated, wondering, does anyone else out there know Him?  Does anyone else out there think like us?  Where are you?  Well, there are, of COURSE, many, many people who thought like us and shared our faith.  It just did not always feel like it in those beginning years.  We had to get out of our comfort zone and go seek them out.  We learned so very much though in those years about contentment in Christ.  We learned that it doesn’t matter where you live or what your circumstances are, He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is ALL. We. Need.  

Also, in the years we lived in Chicago, there were many “culture wars” that went on, and those definitely just added to that “stranger in the land” feeling.  There was something else God taught us though while we were there in those uncomfortable situations.  A dear friend I had made through our then home church who I considered a wise, mentor type woman said something one day that always stuck with me.  She said she always asks herself in those situations, “By me proving my point to this person and being “right”, is that going to bring them closer to finding a relationship with Christ?”  That started me on a journey where God showed me how important it is that we, as a Church, start to be known for what we stand FOR instead of what we are AGAINST.  God started showing me that PRAYER is our most valuable weapon in an upside down world!  Getting together with other like minded women from all over the nation and even the world and falling down on our knees TOGETHER and crying out to our Savior on behalf of a fallen world that needs a Savior?  That goes SO much further at showing people on the outside, if you will, who Jesus really is than proving my point ever did.  

So, I found myself in a huddle with 3 other ladies in a room at Chets Creek Church last fall pouring out prayers for the world to know that Jesus is real and came to this earth to pull them out of their pit and bring them from death to life.  I went in that room knowing not a single lady. My only connection was the lady I emailed to ask if I could come who is now a dear, dear friend! I left knowing people and making lifelong friends with several of those sisters in Christ that I met that night.  There have been coffee/prayer dates, encouraging texts, etc. that never would have happened had I not reached out of my comfort zone and gone into a room at a church I did not attend with women in it that I did not know.  Praise God I just put one foot in front of the other and made it in there!  

IF:Pray takes place on September 14th, and you can arrive at Chets as early as 7:30. The live stream of the event will take place at 8:00 pm where we will join women all around the world for a sweet, precious time in prayer.  As John Piper said, prayer is our wartime walkie talkie, and we are in a war all the time in this world.  We need to join together with other sisters and cry out together.  I hope you will join in no matter where you go to church – we are one body in Christ!  For more info and to RSVP: click here.

{This post was written by Sheri Daily. Sheri has been married to her high school sweetheart/railroader husband, Jason, for 17 years, and they have an 8 year old daughter that they adore. Sheri leads a disciple group with her husband at the Church of Eleven22 and loves offering a smile, kind word and a glimpse of “Hope” while serving at Hope’s Closet Thrift. She loves Jesus, loves to read and is quite serious about her coffee.}  

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