I can recall the weather on the day I returned to church in 2015, the air was balmy and it was overcast. What I remember most was the quiet whisper in my ear that I didn’t belong. I sat by myself and knew no one. It was a small welcoming church, so it was definitely me and not them. I was at a crossroads rebuilding my life and trying to rebuild my faith. I came in the door with overwhelming shame after falling away from my faith and life choices that weighed me down. But taking this path, led me to Mary.
And let us consider how to sir up one another to love and good works…Hebrews 10:24
She appeared suddenly like Mary Poppins pulling various talents out of her bottomless carpet bag. I watched her as she joined the church and was into everything, worship ministry, AWANA’s, and more. She had a passion and energy inside her and loved to serve others. Her energy and personality seemed a bit overwhelming, but I was attracted to the light that poured out of her.
I managed the courage to join an evening bible study, again meeting up with strangers. Sure enough Mary was there. She called me sister that night, I can remember questioning that title. Over the course of a few months in the study this group of ladies shared laughter and thoughts over coffee.
Mary was a Naval wife, whose sailor was about to retire. They had plans to move to Washington state and live on a mission with the Navigators doing outreach for Christ on local bases. When it came time to practice her one-on-one discipleship, she asked me. ME?!? I jumped at the idea, so we met over coffee and carefully walked together into corners of our hearts that so deeply needed the loving grace and light of Jesus.
Good outreach ends up with a new family that will be in reach. You see, Mary started with outreach, she gave me an example of good works, and also showed me how to love others. Then we met together as a habit and committed to one another. She created a sisterhood that is always in my reach, no matter that she is 3,000 miles away. Oh, and that “sister” thing, I no longer question that either.
I love this story! What a blessing it is to have Mary’s in our life – to love us, teach us and encourage us to become Mary’s ourselves.
Thanks for sharing! Isn’t it great when unexpected turns lead to such wonderful outcomes?
What a beautiful story of grace and the body of Christ in action. I love the way you framed “Good outreach ends up with a new family that will be in reach.” Thanks for the encouragement!
Beautiful! I love this so much! The world definitely needs more Mary’s, but I think the world needs more Kelly’s too with open hearts to learn! That’s how you become Mary.
What a sweet thought! Thank you for the encouragement!
Being called sister is such a loving term. It touches my heart as well!