I love my church. I grew up going to church as my dad has been a pastor my entire life. I went from being taken to church as a child to going because I was expected during my teenage years to walking away from the whole thing all together to find my own path. That path, while rocky, still lead me back to the Church. In recent years I experienced deep hurt in the Church. (Not Nehemiah, but when I use “Church” with a capital C I mean the Church in general…the Church that Jesus calls his Bride) After coming out of that storm I thought I would never be interested in going to church again. I had a deeper love and dependence on God but I didn’t want much to do with the church. I still longed to be part of a community of believers, to learn and grow with someone but it needed to be someone I trusted. Together with my husband, brother and his wife, we started meeting weekly in their home to dig into the Word and pray together. This was my church. Long story short that small group turned into a small church plant in Avon, Indiana. It has become one of my favorite places to be. Its there I’ve found comfort, healing, restoration, truth, friendship, unconditional love and acceptance and real people who are struggling and learning to live like Jesus. People who don’t pretend they have it all together but are honest about their doubts, falls and shortcomings. These same people love to offer help, encouragement, grace and love to anyone they meet. The Church in general has been responsible for a lot of evil in this world and that is a shame. But what I’ve learned over the years is this: The Church is made up of people just like me. Broken people who don’t always get it right. To those of you reading this who identify with my story, I pray you will find a loving community like mine. They do exist. St. Augustine said, “The Church is a whore and she is my mother.” The Church doesn’t always look like Jesus, but Jesus came to this earth to die for her redemption and he wants us to be part of that.