Starting new

This morning I did something that I'm sure most parents in my situation would do with perhaps a slight sense of dread and apprehension.  I dropped my two oldest daughters off for their first day in a new school right in the middle of the school year in a town they have lived in for only a few days.  They are so new to the community that they have made no real friends yet (except for a few neighborhood kids, but they are boys so they don't really count).

It was hard watching them walk into those classrooms as the other students turned to look at the "new kids" and hoping that the teachers I was introduced to were going to love my children and guide them like the teachers did from their old school.  The school receives great reviews and has a lot to offer the students there, and my hope and prayer is that they meet new friends, excel in this new learning environment, and that my phone doesn't ring today with a call from a guidance counselor who is consoling a crying third or fifth grader.

Yesterday, my family did something that I'm sure most families in my situation might approach with a slight sense of dread and apprehension as well.  We visited a new church in a new community where we know virtually no one.  As we approached the buildings to drop the kids off in their respective locations, we were surrounded by people whose faces were unfamiliar, locals to the community that we now call our own. 

Staring new can be difficult.  All schools strive for the same goal of excellence in education and as I looked around that building I saw teachers and administration who were committed to the academic success of each child.  Kids were reading books and solving math problems and writing in their binders just like they did in our children's old school.  And just like we've always done, when they come home today we will talk about their day and help them with homework and tackle projects for such things like science fair and book reports.  The school environment is new but the goal is still the same.

As we settled into our seats for worship yesterday, the familiar strains of music filled the air and all around us were men and women who were in love with the same Jesus as me.  The songs were familiar to our hearts and the message was from the same Bible that I study each day.  Our children were loved just as they were in the church we used to attend and our Sunday afternoon routine of lunch and rest was the same as it has always been.  The church environment is new but the goal is still the same.

Starting new for the Griggs' family is something we haven't had to do a whole lot of until just recently.  Our first move a couple of years ago took us one county over and to a church home that held great familiarity for us.  Now we have moved over fours hours away into a community which we know only from vacation experiences.  Our familiarity is limited to landmarks and restaurants yet our goal is not the same.

We are here in Southport, NC, to be a part of what God is already doing here.  God is not silent and He is never inactive.  Starting new is only for us, not for Him.  Our challenge is to get involved in our community and to minister where God leads us.  Our neighbors, the local schools, the community around us - these are all our mission fields.  I serve a God who makes all things new and my desire is to see lives transformed around me by the power of the gospel.  Life is ministry.

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