When we found out that we were moving to Missouri, the hubs and I decided that this would be an opportunity for us to start over and create new lives as individuals, as a couple and as a family. One of the biggest changes that we wanted to make was attending church on a regular basis. For a variety of reasons, we never found a church in Pennsylvania that met our needs so we either church hopped or didn’t attend. We weren’t happy with that situation but it was what it was…
When you first enter the city of Jackson, you see a giant sign that says “Welcome to Jackson! City of Beautiful Homes, Parks, Schools and Churches!” Everywhere we went, one of the first things people would ask was if we’d found ourselves a church. In the fifteen years that I lived in Pennsylvania, I don’t remember anyone ever asking me if I’d found myself a church home. In fact, I only remember one man talking to me about church and that was in a bookstore and we were both in the Religious Reading section. Needless to say, we received a lot of warm invitations to visit various churches. I took each invitation, went home and discussed it with the hubs. We decided to visit several churches over the course of the next coming weeks.
But Wednesday afternoon changed all that. I happened to be in Walmart with Mr. and Miss 15 picking up a few things when Mr. 15 turned the shopping cart around and almost crashed into another shopper. The other lady, her husband and I laughed our apologies and I hurried the kids down the next few aisles and to the cash register as quickly as I could. As I was paying for my stuff, I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard “Excuse me….” I turned to see the man whose wife my son had nearly collided with standing in front of me.
He introduced himself as Pastor T.D. White of The Rock International Ministries. He apologized for his wife not being with him but she was finishing up the last bit of shopping. Pastor White joked that I was running out of that store and I was ~ dude, my kid had almost ran his wife over with a shopping cart! He asked if we were new to the area, then he invited my family to his church. I took his card, scribbled a few notes on the back and left the store.
Three days later, our neighbors invited my husband and me over for dinner. They’d also invited another couple. As we began talking, the conversation turned to church and our neighbor asked if we’d found a church yet and I told her no but we’d be visiting a new church this Sunday. The 6 PM service. The other lady turned to me and said, “Did you meet the pastor at Walmart?” I nodded and we all started laughing. She said “That’s my church. He told us all about meeting your family at Wednesday night service…” Seriously, what are the odds that a member of the church we had planned to visit to be at our neighbor’s house for dinner?
When Sunday afternoon rolled around, I started making excuses for not going. I was tired, we were running late, etc. At the last minute, the hubs and I quickly showered, changed and hopped in the truck. The message? Listen to God and Obey. Yes! Everything from the songs being sung to the testimonies being given to The Word being spoken was about listening to God. Even when you don’t understand why He’s telling you to do something, listen. And when you question whether something is of God, know that He will confirm His word.
- I’d met the pastor at Walmart and received the invitation
- One of the church members was at our neighbor’s house
- Everything about the church service spoke to listening to and obeying God