Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lessons Learned by Christie Smith

The preacher asked us to join hands. So we gathered around the sanctuary, standing hand-in-hand. And I can't quite remember what he was wanting from us that night...something about looking at each other and seeing who it is that's in this with us, something about us moving on and moving forward. And though I agreed with what he was saying...that we have to move on from our past and move forward together into our future... I couldn't help but reminisce as I looked around the room. Some of the faces in that circle were faces that have been there my whole life. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, because these same faces that represent so many lives that invested in me as a child are now investing in my own children. And I'm thankful that the same lessons that prepared me to be the woman I am today are the very same lessons being taught to my own daughters.

So here is my thank-you letter to you, my church "church moms:"

Thank you for preparing me to be a wife. Before I could talk or walk or even stand on my own two feet, you assumed I would one day walk down that aisle to the man God created just for me. Thank you for preparing me to be the wife God intended me to be. 

Thank you for preparing me to be a mother. I was a child myself, but it was assumed that in my distant future I would have babies of my own. And I had to be ready. The lessons learned in classes, in nursery, in living examples of mothers who lived out Proverbs 31...they all prepared me for the most important job I'll ever have. 

Thank you for preparing me to be a home-maker. Before I had a home of my own, you thought it was important that I knew what I was doing. It was important to you that I know that this imaginary place was to be a sanctuary of peace for my imaginary husband and imaginary children. Because you knew that they wouldn't always be imaginary. 

But of all the lessons I'm most grateful for...thank you for teaching me that part of the journey is failing. A lot of churches, a lot of Christians, turn their noses up at sin. They are quick to judge and not always free with second chances. My church family, many of the ones standing around the sanctuary've been there when I've fallen and helped me get back up. You've taught me that the scrapes and scars are part of my story...they're just evidence and reminders of His Grace. You showed me that it's ok to fall as long as the getting back up points to Him. 

I'm thankful to be part of the next generation of teachers because
there are little ones coming. They’re looking at us, not sure which way to go. 

We have to teach them...teach them how to stand, but also how to fall. We have to teach them how to fail and how to lean on Him to stand back up again. 

This is the family I see looking around the room tonight. A family that is there...after all of these years. And although I'm grateful for all the lessons I've learned through the years, I'm even more grateful that my children will learn these lessons from some of the very same people that were there to teach me. Families that stick together are becoming very rare. Church families that last from generation to generation are almost obsolete. 

I am so thankful for you, my Family!!!

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