2 years! It’s been 2 years since we moved to Washington D.C. with a hope and prayer of being able to plant Mercy Hill Church! Ya’ll we moved here knowing no one (which I wouldn’t suggest to anybody) and had no idea how to get a church off the ground. But God, He did! Despite our weaknesses, insecurities and lack of faith, he worked a beautiful miracle. Yesterday we celebrated the one-year birthday of Mercy Hill Church!!! I’m still in awe! We celebrated a church built of broken people, some who have given their life to Jesus this past year. We celebrated a church that has loved its neighbors, given sacrificially to others and is making disciples. This isn’t because of anything we’ve done, actually it’s quite the contrary, it’s been despite our flaws that God has opened doors and given us glimpses of His power and omniscience at work.
I’m so thankful for this front row seat of seeing God at work in our little part of D.C. Don’t get me wrong, there have been far too many days I’ve taken this for granted and been unthankful. There have been so many day’s filled with doubt, fear, anxiety, and lack of faith. The church doesn’t look like anything I thought it would. We meet in an old building, at an inconvenient time in the evening, and are small. Satan has often fed us lies to get us to compare our church with others and cause us to ask the “what if” questions like, what if we could provide more programs, what if we had more people, what if we marketed, what if we met in the morning or in a nicer space. But then God graciously has to squelch those lies with His truth. It’s not about those things, sure maybe some of those things are hindrances, but that doesn’t stop God. God’s church is about bringing hope to people who don’t know Him and making people more like Him. God didn’t call us to Southwest D.C. to be the next flashy or big church. He called us to be faithful,faithful with the people, the community and the space we’ve been given. He called us to simply be “the church,” a group of people who love Him and love others. He called us to be a people who are living on mission to reach our neighborhood and city with the message that there is hope in a God who saved them.
Some day’s I still struggle with the idea of “what if we fail.” I am a people pleaser by nature and my sinful self takes the thoughts and opinions of people in front of God’s. One day after a sleepless night filled with anxiety I had a conversation with a mentor of mine. She reminded me that “God doesn’t see success, He sees obedience.”So that has been my prayer, that I would be an obedient follower of Jesus. That I would run the race set before me with fervor, faith, and obedience. That I wouldn’t let the fear of what others think keep me from pressing on in joy.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
So this is my prayer as we enter year 3 in this wonderful, crazy, beautiful city I get to call home! May God continue to stretch my faith, teach me more about Him, and give me glimpses of the mighty work He is doing in this city.