Friday, September 3, 2010

Going Back Home.

If you keep up with my Love Story section of my blog, you know that Husby moved to my town the summer before our Senior year of High School. So really, he was only a part of our community for a year before moving off to college. I grew up in the same Church my entire life, and so did he ... except he had to leave that Church family when he was 17 and start all over building relationships and gaining a new sense of family. How hard that must have been!

When I returned home from College on various weekends or holiday breaks, my Church family always swarmed me for hugs, laughs and chatter. It was such a great feeling to come home where everyone not only knows your name, but knows your history. They watched me grow up and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. They changed my diapers and showered me with wedding gifts. These people knew me better than anyone. In fact, they felt closer to me than some of my real family. And they weren't only welcoming me home to be friendly - they truly were excited that I was there.

And I still feel that way when I return home. It's the sweetest thing to walk in the door and be bombarded with smiles and countless warm hugs.

Husby, having only been in that Church for a year, built amazing relationships in that short time span, and he was truly loved by the entire congregation. And he loved them, too. But, it was different in one regard. They knew him as his 17 year old self. Not his ornery 5 year old self or his awkward 13 year old self. They didn't watch him grow up and know every tiny detail about him. They loved and accepted him just the same, as if he had been there all his life. But, he hadn't.

This past Sunday, we were back in Husby's old town for a wedding. We decided to go to his old Church Sunday morning for our time of worship. I knew people were going to be excited to see him, but oh my gracious, I had no idea the LOVE that these people had for my husband. It was overflowing and bursting forth from every handshake, hug and kiss on the cheek.

The preacher announced our visit from the pulpit and in unison, the entire congregation turned to us with smiles plastered to their faces. The longer they stared, the harder they smiled, and some people even "ooh'ed and ahh'ed" out loud! I nudged Husby and whispered out of the side of my mouth, "they won't stop staring...."! I almost started laughing some people were staring for so long!

The looks on their faces were of sheer delight!

As I stood back and watched the receiving line form behind our pew as soon as the last prayer was spoken, I was instantly taken back to MY home church and how THAT is how I feel every time I am welcomed back. This was his home. This was his history. These people helped him transform into the amazing man he is today.

A brood of elderly women were some of the first to hug his neck. As they fawned all over him and gushed about old times, one turned to me and said, "Honey, I took your husband out before his very first day of Kindergarten, to buy him some new clothes." And another interrupted, "Oh, I had him all of the time. I just loved for him to come to my house."

I imagined little Husby as a tiny boy and venturing out on the town with these precious women. I am so glad he had them. I am so glad they took such good care of him.

Swarms of people made their way to us and I felt like Husby was some sort of celebrity. I was tickled at the entire ordeal and absolutely blown away by their excitement. It was a beautiful thing. These people know exactly what kind of a man my husband is, and the love they still have for him was evident. I stood in the background, shaking hands and introducing myself, so proud to be his wife.

It was such a blessing to get a glimpse into his past. To put faces with names and stories with faces. I am so thankful the Lord brought Husby to my little town when He did, and I am beyond grateful for the community of believers who took interest in his little life and filled it with overwhelming love as he grew up. These were his people. His Marguerite's, his Ovilla's, his Les', his Terri's, his Sharon's, his David's, his Mike's, his Verla's, his Dennis', his Sarah's, his Linda's, his Mae's, his Bruce's, his Keith's, his Debbie's, his Diana's, his Phil's.... this was his group of believers that the Lord so gently and sovereignly placed in his life to become vital little instruments in the makeup of who he is.

Praise God for those people.

17 comments:

  1. I loved this post! That's how it is for me and my husband at our respective home churches. We are thrilled to be serving at my home church now (we just finished residency and moved to my hometown!), but everytime we go to my husband's home, it is the Triumphal Entry! They all but get out palm branches for him. :) Love it!

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  2. What a sweet post - it's always nice to be welcomed back to your home church to so much love! Have a great day and a great holiday weekend, Whitney! ;o) xoxoxo

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  3. Oh my.. this just brought tears to my eyes. I think this must be my favourite post ever of yours. I love this even more than your food posts! ;) Bless those beautiful people!!

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  4. I feel this same way when Mark and I go to Griffin... we sadly haven't been able to go to their church on Sunday together in nearly a year (b/c I work every single Sunday), but when we do get to go, the welcome is warm and happy :)

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  5. How fun to see him through their adoring eyes! Loved this post. Thanks for the shout out. I feel humbled. Love you both.

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  6. This confirms that I need to find a church that we love in our town. Working on it!

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  7. Ummm....that made me tear up a little. Okay, maybe more than a little... Loved it!

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  8. That is so great! How wonderful for him to come home and be received like that. It really shows how great of a person he is and how great of a community he belonged to. And no matter how long you're gone... home will always be home.


    Cabin Fever in Vermont

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  9. I love those moments when you can just revel in being his wife...so many people adore him and he adores you, that must make you pretty great! :0)Can't wait for the next chapter of your love story to be posted, I swear it gave me butterflies like I used to get when I was first dating my husband!

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  10. I love this! How proud you must have been. How sweet!

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  11. Okay ... I cried like a baby as I read this in the store and then cried again as I read it to Curt. He was driving and crying, wiping away tears with his hankie. Beautiful post about D and the beautiful people from Fellowship!!!!

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  12. What an amazing feeling for your husband to see all of those special people and for you to see him in that position. I love when I meet new friends of hubs!

    Also, thank you for commenting on my blog. I was so excited! I have been reading your blog since before you had your sweet Levi and just adore it!

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  13. Speaks volumes about Darin and his family. Glad you guys had a good trip!

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  14. This is so sweet! What a sweet gift to meet those people!

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  15. That is exactly how I felt the first time I walked into Eric's (and your) home church. The love that everyone had for my husband (then boyfriend) was amazing. We were introduced and everyone stared and smiled and then everyone came and said hello to us and gave us huge hugs. It was obvious how much Eric was loved. I remember your mom especially. She came up to me and gave me the warmest hug and said, "I love you...anyone who Eric loves, I love". It was the sweetest and made such an impact on me. Thanks for sharing this story...it brought back such great memories for me as well.

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  16. I love the Love Story! Can't wait for you to add more!

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  17. How sweet was this post! I love it when you write reflecting style posts- you guys have SUCH a cute story.
    So glad you got to experience everyone who loves him as much as you!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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