12 Great Years

12 Great Years

Birthdays are exciting days…

For the most part, they are days of celebration and joy but the older I get the more I find they bring reflection and appreciation. As a child, birthdays were all about me and presents. I can remember having a difficult time falling asleep the night before my birthday. Now there are no more sleepless nights but a greater appreciation of “we” rather than “me.” I look forward to celebrating with friends more than receiving gifts.

It’s hard to believe that this Sunday, Restoration will celebrate its 12th year as a church. It has been such a joy seeing God work in the lives of the individuals over the years. There are certainly so many stories that come to mind about how God has touched, moved, healed, reformed, and transformed people within this church.

But the thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the more birthdays you celebrate, the more nostalgia sets in about what has happened in the past. I can’t help to think of how we’ve all grown in our faith together. How we’ve experienced heartache, which has pulled us closer together. I think about old friends who have moved along to other things or have moved away. I think of all the previous baptisms, weddings, ordinations, and funerals we’ve had over the years. I think about my kids and how they see dear friends as family members. I think about the years I’ve spent with the same staff members since the beginning and how they have as much ownership in this ministry as I do.

What is impressive to me is that we started in a recession in 2009. We’ve worshiped in 5 different locations. We’ve made it most of the way through a global pandemic. We have walked and not grown weary. God has been faithful while we have trusted God throughout our journey together. Our past continues to be one of resilience and faithfulness with a passion for people.

The other thing about birthdays is that they are also days of hope — hope for a new year — with new experiences, new friends, and new opportunities to see the fingerprints of God in our lives. In the years to come, Restoration will see changes in youth and family ministries, more service to the community, and opportunities to invest in the lives of those around us. Our focus will be building into the lives of people, and it will be evident throughout the ministries we offer.

I am humbled for my family and me to be a part of such a loving and caring church with a genuine heart to join God in the Restoration of all things. This Sunday, let’s take a moment to celebrate what the Lord has done and hold tightly to the future of what God will be doing through his people at Restoration.