This is one of my favorite times of year – kids back to school, new program opportunities in the community, perhaps a new beginning in a new job – because it is a time marked with a new energy. Today is Covenanting Sunday, where we all reunite after our long summer Sabbath and begin a brand new programming year in the church. Lots of changes this year! Staff changes, curriculum changes, worship changes (the addition of this testimony being just one example), and it is all so exciting. Hannah asked me to be the “guinea pig” today, so to speak, and give the first testimony during our newly revised First Sunday Worship service. “Talk about how God has been at work in your life,” Hannah asked me. I accepted the challenge, and then promptly did not think about it again. As you know, I just recently officially began my new position as the Director of Children’s Ministries here, and the last few weeks have been incredibly busy getting ready for the beginning of Sunday School and welcoming our children back to church. Every once in a while, while I was busy answering an email or getting registration forms ready or reviewing our new curriculum, I would think, “Oh yeah – the testimony. Think about how God has been at work in my life,” for about a second. Then I would move on.
Meanwhile, during this busy prep time, the preschool teachers and I wrote 38 personal letters to the children of our ministry, welcoming them back to church and inviting them to our very special Open House event today. Phew! One more thing checked off the to-do list. “Oh – the testimony! Yeah. I’ll get to it later.” Switch gears to the beginning of a new school year for my children, room parent responsibilities, gymnastics, karate classes, cub scouts – oh boy. While I am running to and fro, trying to think, “how has God been at work in my life?” I hardly stop for a minute.
Then a few days ago I get a lovely email from one of our families. “Thank you so much for the sweet cards you wrote to our girls. They were so excited to receive them – it made their day! We are looking forward to seeing you in Sunday School too.” And there it was. God looking at me from my computer screen, of all places. Because this email truly made me stop – stop and remember where all this work goes, who this is all for. These are the moments that refresh me, renew me, and get me even more excited to begin this new journey in my new role at West Concord. How is God at work in my life? In the faces of wonder and excitement of our children, in the gratitude and support of our families, and in these tiny moments where God reminds me, “This made a difference. This mattered. Keep going in your journey. I am right here with you.” Thanks be to God.