We've lived in Alabama for two and a half years, and it took us almost two years to finally find a church. Back in 2012/2013 we visited quite a few churches several times, but none of them felt right. We did come from a smaller home church in Mississippi where everybody knows your name, and we knew it would be hard to find something similar, we just didn't know how hard it would be to find the right fit.
I will say that we visited Westwood Baptist a few times before we even moved to Alabama, and then visited again once we got settled in our home in 2012. However, after four visits we agreed it wasn't for us. Fast forward to last May 2014, and we decided to give it a go one more time. This time was it different. We were spoken to by a few different people, there was a new preacher, and we actually felt like we fit in. Maybe it was our cute daughter that drew the attention of others to speak to us, but we felt for the first time that the members wanted us to come back.
And we did. We've been attending since the weekend after Mother's Day 2014. We found that the 8:15 service fit into our schedule best, and we've enjoyed every Sunday. We've had to miss due to sickness and being out of town, but it's funny because when we come back "our seats" are waiting for us. Come on, you know all Baptists have "their" seats!
Back in October after the service was over, we turned around to gather all our/AC's stuff, and a guy extended his hand to the Mr and I and struck up a conversation. A few minutes later we were invited to the small group they lead (MWP — married with preschoolers). We didn't attend that morning, but we promised we would try it out soon.
You see, the Mr and I had wanted to see if we would fit in with a small group. Not only to meet other people in the church, but to have fellowship with other believers. The only problem, we aren't comfortable leaving AC with anyone just yet. (Yes, we are over protective of her. I waited 32 years to hold our baby in my arms, so I feel like I have the right.) And we figured no small group would want us bringing our daughter with us. Wrong. We didn't even have to mention our issue with leaving her, we were told she was more than welcome to join us, too. So the next Sunday, we made our way to the room where they met. And I guess you could say the rest is history. We've loved getting to know the members, the conversations, the group study and how everyone gets involved with the lesson each week. The discussions get pretty in depth, which makes you think and dig a little deeper, which is exactly what we were looking for.
Friendships have been formed, and we've come to realize that not only are we thankful for their friendships, but also the fact that our group is full of prayer warriors who will send texts during the week "just to check on you." The week we were so sick with the stomach virus, I'm pretty sure I had a text everyday asking how we were feeling.
This past Sunday night, we had a Christmas social at our group leaders home. It was so much fun to gather together and enjoy each other's company. Everyone brought finger foods, and their kids. Well, we actually left AC at home with my parents so we could enjoy a couple of hours out. All of the other kids are older and mobile, and we knew we would be holding on to her all night, so it was a nice evening out for us.We enjoyed watching all the other kids playing and having a great time and can't wait for AC to get a little older where she can enjoy all the fun.
We had a few people missing due to sickness and other obligations, and they were missed!
We're so thankful that our group leaders, Wade and Robin, extended their hand to us that Sunday morning.
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