One year ago from now I woke up this early asking myself why in the world I was getting up this early. I hate getting up before 8am as it is, but on a Saturday it is horrible. The habitual morning ritual is that I had to stop and think for a second to answer the question. I was getting up to go to Ignite at New Life, the church's one day training conference. It was my first opportunity to check out the church at a larger level, and Al had been telling me for a couple weeks, "You need to be there to see a part of what we're all about." A little unsure of what God was doing with us but excited to be a part of it, going to Ignite was a moment of clarity that we were making the right decision to be part of New Life.
Now a year later I'm again waking up at an ungodly hour to get ready to go to Ignite. As the catch phrase goes, "How much difference a year can make." Last year I participated and took in the workshops and sessions, was a secret-shopper for the day. This year I am running out during the intro with the pastoral team, co-teaching two workshops, and participating in a third. For weeks I've been one of the ones to tell people, "You need to be there to see a part of what we're all about."
Thinking about all of these changes this morning was a moment for me of being thankful for God's bigness, His love, His providence. Over the last year He has literally and in my heart changed "I'm going to check out this church" into "this is my church;" and I could not be more thankful. Thankful for the amazing pastoral squad that I get to be a part of, for the best church location I get to be family with, for the new friendships, for the renewed sense of life & faith, for Him simply being Him.
We need to rely on honest hindsight in order to be able to see the future clearly. And what I see in the past year (and beyond that) gives me assurance for the next year (and beyond that).
Can't wait to see what happens in the next year!