For those of you that don't know, we moved to Minnesota almost two years ago exactly, not knowing a single soul here. That is a whole other story but what I want to share today is how AMAZINGLY God has blessed us with not just friends but what we would consider truly an extended family.
At first we thought it was just Minnesota Nice, but what we are talking about is almost miraculous in nature.
One of the draws here was Bethlehem Baptist which is John Piper's church, and so that was where we started. We decided to join a small group Bible study and so we visited a few over the course of a month. From one group (which we ended up not joining) there was a couple that reached out to us simply because we were new in town. They had us over to dinner and we just loved them and had so much in common and next thing you know, we had our first friends!
Then we found a small group that we DID join, where God gave us *four* other couples, all around our age that we just felt so connected with. And would you believe that in this group FOUR babies were born in less than TWO months?! And God-willingly more are on the way! They have cared for us and our son in so many simple and practical ways, and we pretty much see one of those couples outside of group every week.
Through that group, my husband was connected to a great job here in the cities and there he met a really kindred spirit brother in Christ who has pretty much become a part of our family as a brother to us and an "uncle" to our son. And he encouraged us to join a *second* small group that he was starting. We thought "well...how can more friends and more time in the Word be a bad thing? What the heck, why not?!"
So last year we joined what we call our "Family Group" that is this totally randomly thrown together group of students, singles, married, athletes, teachers, business professionals etc. that God has brought together in beautiful harmony. And I think we all would agree, we just belong together! In this time, in this place, this season of fellowship with them is just amazing. We make dinners for each other, we help each other get jobs, we drive each other to the airport, we paint each other's houses, etc. etc. (and they babysit!!) And most importantly we pray together and we do life together and it is awesome.
And then through THESE people, we met our nanny, who is so ridiculously thoughtful, caring, humble, sweet and Christ-like that it would take me way too long to write but just trust me on this. And she and her husband and her daughter have loved and cared for my son during the days as though he were part of their family and it fills my heart to no end. I actually love leaving him with her because there are so many ways that they model Jesus to him in different ways than I do and it makes me so happy he can experience this example.
And I'm writing all this because today, on this unassuming Sunday morning, we had a simple service to dedicate our son to God. We stood before the congregation and pledged a few vows which I will share below. We promised to do our best to show Christ to our son and then the people in the church affirmed that they would do the same. Sadly because our family is out of state, they were not able to be at this service. So we had sent out an email to all of these friends to see if they wanted to come for this, which was at 9am when usually they all go to church at 11am or else in the evening. And you just would not believe how many of them went out of their way to be there for us this morning. One girl came just for the dedication and then was going to church AGAIN tonight for the evening service. And 9am on a February Minnesota morning is not very warm, not very convenient. But they were there. And they helped take photos, and helped with the baby, and then came over after for lunch and helped make lunch and entertained the baby and it seriously felt like a Sunday afternoon with family.
So unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever.
We have been so...very...blessed. Our son is so loved, WE are so loved, and it is truly a miracle in our life. God has been so good and to all of these people, know how much we love you and thank God for you. Thank you for coming alongside of us in life and in raising our child. And to Luke...
“Together with your parents who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claim upon your life in the hope that you will belong wholly to Jesus Christ, forever.”