This picture obviously does not capture it...but I was on stage the rest of the morning and couldn't very well be taking pictures from up there! :)
Wow. What an incredible morning. A giant testimony of God's faithfulness, His provision, His leading - what an amazing God we serve. Our church bought this land more than 10 years ago. Knowing that one day we would need to relocate to this property in order to have enough room for growth. God has moved so many mountains to make this possible, people have prayed and given sacrificially for years and years - and the time had finally come.
There was so much up in the air because of the construction delays and things were not completed - but that didn't matter. As I was driving to church EARLY that morning, I was singing through our songs for the morning - "Come Fill This Place", "This is Your House" - and I was overwhelmed to the point of tears...in the car! God had been so faithful and so good to us - and what a privilege that he brought David and I here to Northside to get to share in this day.
The morning went amazingly smooth considering the incredible amount of things that could have gone wrong! The stress and exhaustion from the week leading up to it was overwhelming. Earlier in the week I posted this on FB:
"LOTS of change this weekend. As a church, we move into our new property on Sunday. New building. New people. New rooms. New parking place. New drive time (hooray for some of us!!). New hallways. New paint. New AVL stuff. New procedures. New songs. But there are some things that have NOT changed - God and His people. OUR job remains the same - to come before Him on Sunday mornings as empty vessels that He can fill and use. Whether we are in a new building or one that is 150 years old - we have to be emptied out so He can fill us up with HIS Spirit."
So as I said it was an amazing morning. One filled with worship and praise and gratitude to our Lord. When we took the stage to open up our 9:15 service, the preservice 5:00 minute countdown was up on the screen...when it got to 10 seconds, everyone in the room began chanting "10, 9, 8..." - no kidding! And this is NOT the contemporary service! :) Cheers erupted when we got to zero and the service began - I saw so many tears of joy on the faces of these sweet people that have prayed and given and waited for this day for so many years. The attitude of worship was nothing short of overwhelming. The room was completely full - but our hearts were even fuller. Wow. The contemporary service was more of the same - packed room, people standing along the back walls (shhh...don't tell the fire marshall) and an anticipation and eagerness to celebrate what God has done! What a morning.
As the psalmist wrote, THIS is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Boy did we rejoice!