One of the hardest parts of moving all the time with the military is finding a church to fit into... one that can become our home for the duration of our being wherever it is we are. California was the first place that we had faithfully attended church as a family since joining the military. Those that know us in real life know that we both grew up in church and that is actually where we met- in our youth group.
Mississippi was a place of transitions.. we had only been married a year, new to the Air Force, new to this life with freedoms... Nate working 24 on, 24 off and then 48 on, 72 off... me working as a server getting through college, a deployment, etc. It wasn't until I graduated college and began teaching that I started attending faithfully again. When we moved to Japan we hooked into a really great church where we both attended faithfully and I taught Sunday School.. then Nate deployed and issues happened in the church that caused me to make the decision to stop going there... and then I never found my place ever again. I was so happy that the first church we visiting in California, Bayside, became our home. Who knew we would only be there a year. We both helped out a lot at that church and we loved it.. though I still never felt truly connected. Then we moved to Texas for six months... we visited one off base that we liked a few times and then Noah freaked and would not leave our side... then we went to the chapel. We lived so close to my sister that many times we weren't even around on the weekend....
Then we arrived in Florida! This time I had not even researched churches like I did in Cali... The first Sunday we were here we didn't attend church because well.. we were in a hotel and going to sign our lease that day... and the stress of new churches is just that- stressful. The next weekend we were in Tampa and the next weekend our friends were here and church was not on their to-do list. But even before we arrived God has been preparing this church for us and I am so excited... because..
WE ARE HAVING A SWELL TIME!
On September 8th, the church that is becoming our family and that we already feel SO very connected with.. is launching. This is SO exciting. We are so glad we were part of Bayside in California because we have somewhat of a view of what it is to be a newly planted church. The pastor and his wife, Jason and Tonya, have opened their arms and homes to us! I have never felt this comfortable with a pastor and his family. The have already invested so much time into each one of us.. including the kids. They even bring along a very special Nanny, Tonya's mom, who loves my kids and takes my little lady to care for so I can help out when we are all together. Nate is going to be the Media Guy at Swell Church. I will be doing the nursery and toddlers. I am really excited. I get to continue doing what I love: work with children AND I get to keep my babies with me!
Nate and I are SO excited to be part of this! So excited to see where the Lord takes Swell Church AND our family. On the way home tonight from the pastors house we were chatting about it and Nate made mention that he thinks we were saved to come here AT THIS time for a reason. It is so great! We feel so at ease and comfortable with Jason and Tonya and are so thankful that they accept us.. for us! We truly feel we will be in Florida for many years.. and it is SO great to be doing life with these people and with this Church.
Are you looking for a church? Seriously, come join us! We would love to meet ya!