QUEBEC - A CALLING TO RECLAIM HOPE
In a few days, August 16th to be exact, our family will make the long awaited trip to our new home in Laval. We are so excited. The boys keep counting down the days and Bev and I can't wait to unpack, find a new rhythm and begin to meet with those excited to be part of this new church.
With the busyness of the transition I have not stopped thinking about the importance of August 16th. In addition to being our moving date it is also our Wedding Anniversary. It feels strange to be celebrating this momentous occasion by taking my wife out of her comfort zone. Not only did she grow up in Sarnia, her parents now live down the street. For those of you taking notes, this is NOT how you should say 'Happy Anniversary'.
While the decision to follow God's leading to plant a church in Montreal was something that Bev and I prayerfully decided together, saying goodbye to family and friends can emotional and difficult. In the midst of that Bev has modeled what it means to set aside the comforts of our present context to be part of a new, unknown and stressful next season of serving God together.
Although I can't change that on Sunday Aug. 16th she will be driving our van with 3 rowdy boys yelling 'Are we there yet?' I can say thank you. I am so grateful for an incredible wife, mom and friend. I have been blessed with a partner that is serious about doing life together and going wherever God calls us. To be married to someone who continues to live out the vows of selflessness we made to each other 12 years ago is life changing. Selfless love changes us! This is true in marriage and in the Christian story. At the heart of the Christian story we learn how to be selfless from a God who embodied selfless love for us.
It is no surprise that to be human is to desire a selfless type of love in an honest and caring relationship. This will never change. Because of that we believe that church plays a crucial and essential role in fostering healthy relationships. From couples desiring to have their marriages grounded on biblical truths to parents who want kids to understand a selfless way of life, church is a special context for this type of learning to take place.
As the new church takes shape Bev and I feel that God is calling us to embody some of these values in our new church. A place that is intentional about helping families to experience God's presence in their everyday activities. A leader I deeply respect wrote " The best gift we can give our children and our youth might not be the great programs we were offering but instead…the simple and profound gift of a growing mom and dad." This insight continues to grip our hearts as we pray, plan and prepare to see this new church emerge.
We have experienced what it's like to be part of a healthy and vibrant church. This has strengthened our marriage and continues to shape our decision making and faith journey. If you have not found a church community to help you in developing healthy relationships consider joining us as we learn together. Also, I am sure I will have more advice on how NOT to say 'Happy Anniversary'. Now back to packing !