Church – Oklahoma vs. Michigan

It has probably been close to a year now . . it was sometime last summer, when our family found Mt Hope Church Williamston. That is a pretty big deal. We aren’t really “churchy”.

I know I’ve written a few things about this church in the past. But, I wanted to share again 🙂

I grew up knowing God loves me. My Mom was a wonderful example of God’s love, praying for us, leading us, and encouraging us. We didn’t go to church much. But my Mom would watch church on tv, a lot of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.

I think I was around 16, maybe 15 when I just knew I was going to go to Oral Roberts University for my freshman year of college. God had given me a goal and he made me with a stubborn streak . . so, once that idea was in my head, that was where I was going. I got a couple of scholarships, a few student loans (I’ve since learned better ways I could have handled that), packed up my truck, and I was on my way. On Sundays I drove to Rhema Church in Broken Arrow. It wasn’t far from ORU. Actually my first Sunday there was when I first moved down. My Mom had came with me to help me settle in and she had always wanted to go to Rhema. It was a completely different world. It seemed hard to comprehend that this was actually a church! The people were excited to be there, they were joyful, and they were on fire! I mean, you couldn’t have calmed these people down if you wanted to!

After I moved back home, I didn’t care to look for a church in Michigan again. I had been to a handful before I left. And although I had spent time with wonderful and loving people at churches here, I really didn’t have hopes of finding such a vibrant and energized church around here. Anything less than what I had experienced, now seemed like a waste of time. My heart was in church in Oklahoma.

Fast forward some years. My kiddos, who I shared God’s love with, were struggling. They were questioning things that their hearts have known so they could breathe. We needed a change. I researched some churches. I asked around to some people that I trusted. And thank heavens for the internet, because I could preview some of these churches before going in person! Mt Hope Williamston was my top pick. I sat down with the hubster. He has never wanted to set foot in a church. His belief in God had changed in the time we’ve been together, in a wonderful way. But, he, himself, would not have gone to church just to go. But we talked. This was for the kiddos. The kiddos needed to be here. I knew in my heart, my kiddos’ hearts needed something new to remind them of God’s love again. And he could see it too.

So, we told the kiddos that we were going. We bribed (no, not bribed, “incentive parenting” as I like to call it!) that we would go out to eat lunch after church whenever we went. When they saw that their dad was on board, that we were united in this, they didn’t have to much to say.

From the moment we pulled in the parking lot, I knew this church was different! I mean, can you imagine a group of people, just being themselves, coming together because they love God? That’s what church is supposed to be anyway. Imperfect people, not afraid to be imperfect; because God loves us as imperfect people. Imperfect people not trying force others to fit in a list of guidelines that they deemed “appropriate” or “necessary”. Nope, just love and joy in God. That’s what we were looking for. And we found it!

So here we are 🙂 Around a year later. The music this morning was amazing. Even the hubster said he got goosebumps! Oh, and by the way, the hubster has invited others to join us in church; even some close family members of his 🙂 I would not have guessed that as even a possibility 10 years ago.

Tonight I am thankful for finding a church whose heart is bigger than their building. That’s what God wanted. I’m not a Bible Scholar. But I’ve read enough to know that the purpose of the church has always been to build people up in the love of God. Even in the Old Testament when the rules had to be a little wonky; the heart of the church was still supposed to be the same; to build people up in the love of God. Church was never supposed to be so petty as to drive people out and make them feel unloved. And I’m happy to go to a church that tries it’s best to operate in the love of God.

Here we are at lunch after church today. Church was good today. 🙂

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