BY TASHA BURGOYNE, GRACE ATTENDER & VOLUNTEER EXTRAORDINAIRE
On a cold Thursday morning early in the new year, Amy came to her first Real Moms at Grace Church. A friend had invited her to the group: Amy hoped it would be a nice place to connect with other moms and imagined a room of 20 other women. When she arrived, her eyes widened at the size of Grace and widened even further when she stepped into a room of over 100 Real Moms.
Before coming, she had almost changed her mind when she found out that she wasn’t going to be in the same group as the friend who had invited her. Would she connect with these women she didn’t know? Would she find a place in such a large group among so many other faces? Instead of backing out, she showed up. She stayed. She kept coming back.
That one invitation led her to women like Sue, another woman who had also experienced the devastating loss of her mom. It had only been 4 months since Amy said goodbye to her own mom and best friend.
This new small group immediately made room for Amy’s grieving heart. She remembers how she never felt judged. The way she understood friendship began to shift in this new community of moms.
A few weeks after the semester began, Amy arrived one morning and noticed one of the lobby TV screens flashing information about upcoming events. She saw something about LIFT, the disability ministry at Grace, and it stopped her in her tracks. Her youngest daughter had just been diagnosed with Apraxia not that long before, and Amy and her family were seeking a faith community that cared about people and families with special needs.
While church wasn’t a new idea for Amy or her husband, it had never been a priority for them in the past. It hadn’t re-oriented the way they did life and what filled their lives.
That one invitation that led Amy to Real Moms and led Amy’s family to make Grace their home church, also led Amy and her husband John into a deepening understanding of who Jesus is and a deepening personal relationship with Jesus.
Just two and a half years after that first cold Thursday Real Moms, Amy and her husband were baptized on a spring Sunday morning, symbolically declaring their total surrender to the Savior of their lives.
That one invitation changed Amy’s life, her family’s direction and now extends even beyond their lives, into the lives of those they love and serve, near and far.
It wasn’t just an invitation between two moms. It was the fierce love of God, drawing Amy close enough to see that he was a good, good Father and that he had good things in store for her and all those she loves.