Willow Chicago LogoI’m in a bit of a bitter-sweet moment of realization this afternoon.  Today I officially became a member of Willow Creek Community Church – Chicago.  I had a lot of apprehension around the membership process and knowing if I would be ‘accepted’.  It wasn’t until today that I realized that so many of my fears and worries were tied to the trauma of the way things ended with my previous church.  I’m happy to say that a great deal of growth and healing have taken place so far, but I still feel silly (at times) realizing that almost 3 years later this still affects me so much.

I love that I’m in a grace-filled community where as our interim campus pastor Todd put it – “we can bring it all – full funk – and let God transform our lives”.  The words of the song we sang in worship this morning are ringing truth in my ears:

“Take me to that place, Lord
To that secret place where
I can be with you, you can make me like you
Wrap me in your arms, wrap me in your arms, wrap me in your arms”

If we are the body of Christ then indeed, I’m being embraced by God’s arms and where I’m safe and being made more and more like Jesus each day.

It is my hope that everyone comes to a place of total embrace by God’s arms.  That we all experience the utter forgiveness and love of God through what Christ has done.  That every congregation lives out the realization that Bill Hybels says so often:  the local church is the hope of the world.

I’m just thankful and can’t find all the words to say it right now.  I just wanted to mark this day and thank God for it.