from Abby Dubbe
I couldn’t live without the church. Without a doubt my spiritual health would fail. God has lead me to live in various states and cities throughout my 28 years of life. I can confidently say that what made each of those places home to me was the church. (Ok, if I’m being honest Starbucks and Target also play major roles in making a new city home.) A thought that has bounced around in my head quit often recently is that I am so blessed to have been apart of so many amazing churches. But then it occurred to me that this blessing is not unique to me. It is unique to all Christians!
Since the very day I understood Jesus to be my personal Savior from sin, I became apart of a worldwide community. This community of Christ-followers became my family and I had no idea the blessings God had in store for me through them. I had no idea the joy that would fill my soul during the countless times of serving side-by-side with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only was I forgiven through Christ, but he chose to give the wonderful gift of the church!
Having been apart of my local church community for less then a year has proved, yet again, invaluable to my new husband and I. We came back to a new city after our honeymoon with no idea what church we would join in with. After visiting different ones, and praying about specific details we desired, God lead us to where we are today. Reston Bible Church believes very strongly in community and small group interaction where real life takes place.
One night Chuck and I visited one of these groups (Shepherd Groups) not too long after our wedding. When we shared about our new marriage, they were just as excited as if they had actually been apart of our wedding! They gave up a big part of the evening to ask us about ourselves and had us share as much or as little as we wanted. Chuck and I felt instantly at home and we’ve been “home” ever since.
Later that week one of the girls from the group even stopped by our apartment. She brought over banana bread, wanted a tour of our apartment, and bounced with glee on our couch as she looked through our wedding pictures. Looking back it brings me to tears to have been so cared for by someone who didn’t even know us. She was simply being the church to us.
Fast forward seven months until now and as you can imagine the relationships from our church have grown even more. Two weeks ago a couple from our SG got married. Not only was it a joy to see them commit to each other and God, but it was even more of a joy for our whole SG to support them together. Many people volunteered to help Joseph and Maria pull off their wedding.
Some were bridesmaids, some were ushers, some handed out programs, some helped decorate, some left the ceremony early to get the reception ready, some served cake, some cleaned up, some poured drinks, and we all did it together with delight! It was a pleasure to help out our brother and sister and to do it side-by-side.
As I sat at our round table at the end of the night, surrounded by people of love and servant’s hearts, I felt so overwhelmed with the gift of the church I could hardly contain myself. My feet hurt, my legs were tired, but my soul was energized beyond anything that could be explained except for God’s supernatural gift of the church. Thank you God!