10 years ago my husband and I were part of a little group of about 30 people (including kids) who took a leap of faith and started an Anglican church in our community. (Even though we were very Baptist at the time, God takes us crazy places.) This past weekend our church celebrated its 10th birthday party with nearly 300 regular attenders.
At the time we started the church we had a 10 year old only child and a dream that someday number 2 would find us. We owned rental property which I has having fun managing in my free time while our son was attending a little private school. I was loving being a homemaker and having the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of starting the church.
Although I never got around to reading it, the book “Blue Like Jazz” was very popular at the time and I remember hearing people talking about it in our new little church. So when I came across this article written by the author recently I felt like it was a perfect message to relate both to where our church is today and where my life is today.
Don Miller is often told, “I miss the old Don.” And his response is that while the old Don was a great guy, he doesn’t miss him, he likes the new Don better. The new Don is older and wiser, has grown, learned and matured and has a great life he wouldn’t trade to be the old Don.
Our church has changed a lot since it started 10 years ago and sometimes I miss the old Church. I miss knowing every single person and the intimacy of those relationships. I miss the monthly all church potlucks we used to have when we had one service and could all comfortably fit into the church basement. I miss being able to know everything going on in the church and attend every event.
But I love where we are now more. I love seeing new people every week come and worship with us, I love all the various opportunities people have to connect at our church, I love that we have a youth group, I love all the babies that have been born in the 10 years, including my own daughter, and watching them grow up. Families created and growing. I often say that I think we have the best people at our church. If we didn’t grow and change we would have missed out on knowing them.
I also miss the old me. The me of 10 years ago that was a full-time homemaker with no thought of ever going back to work. The me that was fully committed to raising my son to be a godly man, to loving and encouraging my husband and helping our church ministries grow and thrive in any way needed.
But I love the new me too. The me that works out in the world and is meeting new people every day. The me that shares household responsibilities with her family rather than doing it all myself. The me that still enjoys a Martha Stewartesque moment but no longer strives to create them with any sort of regularity. The new me that is once again the mother of a (soon-to-be) 10 year old only child who is being raised in a very different way but still with the same goal of seeing her grow to be a godly woman.
I have also had many experiences in the last 10 years, wonderful experiences that strengthened my understanding of who I am and who God is. And difficult experiences that have done the same thing. I was changed profoundly by them and I wouldn’t trade any of that to go back and be the person I was 10 years ago.
Who and where will I be in another 10 years? When John was preparing to return to school full-time 3 years ago and I was going back to work someone said to him, “no matter what you do, 10 years from now it will be 10 years from now.” We change and grow and hopefully accomplish a few things as the years pass but whether we sit still and refuse to change or start something new and pursue growth, 10 years from now it will still be 10 years from now.
Who will you be?