Thursday, August 14, 2014

Change is the one thing you can count on

There is some exciting news on the church-front. My family has been attending one of the biggest churches in my city. We started going when services were held in a skating rink. Childcare was at a daycare center next to the skating rink. I think the church started in 2007, we started going in 2009. So, in that time, the church has moved out of the rink, built its own church with a HUGE auditorium, it's own childcare rooms, and more than one location in more than just my city. It now broadcasts to other cities, has many service times and days, broadcasts recorded sermons on local tv, offers sermons for view online both live during service times and in their recorded sermons section. Trust me, the excuse "I can't attend church because I have ---- at that time" can't work with this church. You can watch the sermons in your underwear at 3 am.The church is doing something right because they are enabling people to spread the word. The motto in which this church goes by is " NO Perfect People Allowed" , and they mean it. They reach out to the unchurched. They reach out to those that have never gone, or those that have been burned by church in the past.
While all this growth was going on within the church, my family was growing and learning all about autism. I wouldn't necessarily say church was any huge part of my life as I grew up, but I knew that God was there. He was there when I faced some very adult style issues as a very young child. He was there when I nearly died on the side of the road as a teen. He was there when I faced my demons and pulled me away from my own self destruction in my very early 20's. He was my constant, and who I could rely on all of the time. He protected me from myself. Much like a parent protects their toddler, just on a MUCH bigger scale.
When Cameron came into the picture, I prayed to God to protect him, just as he had done with me. When Cameron was diagnosed, I struggled so very hard and had  a "God, WHY?" Attitude. It was shortly after diagnosis I realized how God planned on using me. Church can be hard for the unchurched. Let's say they get past their own mental barriers, only to be faced with barriers of a more physical nature. It is my duty to spread the word of Jesus to those of my "tribe". I experienced some of these physical barriers when I attended and well meaning nursery workers couldn't care for my son and had no resources to do so. I felt a bit saddened and if I wasn't so sure about that I had been called to do, I honestly think I would have stopped going to church and growing with God. For a while now, I have volunteered in the nursery and brought our children only when we felt like Cameron could handle it. That hasn't been too often as of late, and my husband will usually watch services on TV.  No, church isn't mandatory to grow with Him, but it is a big part of connecting with those with similar visions. It is a way to get involved in others lives in helping them serve, spread the message, and provide that human connection.
My mission was to make church and learning about His word accessible to everyone, because, again "NO Perfect People Allowed".
Let me say this, I voiced my concerns, met with nursery staff, answered a few questions, gave them a few names of others who had paved the way before me, and although my heart and head wanted to make this happen and I wanted to take charge of the whole thing, that IS NOT what happened. The Childcare director and other church staff put all of the rest together and ran with it. signs are going up soon, and although it isn't open yet, itWILL be very soon! I prayed constantly about this issue, but with everything else on my plate that I deal with just to survive my family's daily life, I knew I had given all I could give. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to all those that made this happen. GREAT things will come of this. For three years, I have prayed for this.