Jan 22, 2013 A Place To Be Sad And Rejoice Together…
I came to Grace for the first time during my sophomore year at Vanderbilt, five years ago. Just weeks before my first visit to Grace, my mom passed away from a long-fought battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was my very best friend and despite being “well-prepared” for it, I was overwhelmed by the loss. While I loved Sunday services at my previous church, I was not well-connected in that community so I was at a loss for how to even step into this new season of grief and growth.
In stepped Grace Community Church, thanks to several friends from school who were already here and invited me to come along. I wasn’t looking for a new church, but the Lord knew otherwise. My first Sunday, I sat towards the side of the sanctuary and wept as Scott thanked the Lord for keeping us in Him another week because, at that point, just staying in Christ for another week was a monumental accomplishment. Slowly, I began to walk through the grief laid before me and I discovered that Grace was a place that I could come and be sad. I didn’t have to pretend that the path the Lord was leading me down didn’t hurt, because it really did. I wasn’t fed one-liners about how it was “all going to be okay” or “she’s in a better place” or “it’s all part of the Lord’s plan,” because despite the great truth behind all of those things, they wouldn’t have been helpful in that season. The people of Grace – some of my dearest friends now – came alongside and walked with me in the pain.
As I’ve journeyed through many difficult seasons since then, these same friends have mentored me, embraced me in countless graces, and taught me what it looks like to adore and serve the Lord with all my heart. In the midst of deep valleys and searing losses throughout the years, I am so thankful that Grace is a place where we can all both be sad and rejoice together.
– Karen McGee