There is a hot spring breeze blowing through the big trees outside the living room. As I look past the tops of those trees, I see my beloved little 1900’s church steeple and think about yesterday. It was a milestone for us both.
Since I was a little four-year-old sitting next to Daddy in the church pew, I wanted only two things: 1) to be a pastor, and 2) to play the piano for church like the woman piano player at our Baptist church did each week, who sported the big beehive hairdo.
As the years of my life flew by, I started playing piano for church at age 12. At age 14, I started teaching the children’s Bible study on Wednesday nights. From there, I grew up and moved into a grown up job as a Director of Worship & Creative Arts.
One summer Sunday, my pastors were both gone and left me in charge to preach. It was that day that I felt an inner peace and comfort for opening scripture and using my gifts, my stories, and Christ’s life to tie the lesson together and deliver to my congregation.
Time went by and I continued my worship leading, but eventually God stretched me and used me, delivering exactly what I needed, when I needed it. I became a motivational speaker, founding and leading a ministry, and now have church services once a month at the little church that Dean and I moved to our grove five years ago. I have a radio show, have written four books, and continue to push past the limits I put up for myself, and my denomination put up around me, when I was four.
Since I was 14, I have played the piano and sung for weddings. I finally lost track about 10 years of the weddings I had been a part of, but while working in Elk River, my pastor Greg, was prolific at delivering messages for beautiful weddings. I set out to become like him.
Although Frank Lake Covenant, now called The Church in the Grove, has housed three weddings, this fourth wedding was different because I was able to officiate the wedding at the little church.
The day was sunny and bright with a gentle breeze that waved the branches of the trees as though they were in awe of the celebration. The bride and groom were so excited and their family filled the pews of the sweet old church.
Little children shouted and ran through the aisles, while dear old grandmas looked around at the surroundings and remembered their own childhood.
Friends came from near and far and laughter poured out of the windows and walls.
And when it came time for the welcome, message, vows, and final proclamation, I remembered my promise to my daddy, my old pastor, and myself. I would honor them all, and above all honor God with the message He’s given me … to love others and be a light in the dark world.
It was an honor and a privilege to partner with my sweet building that currently hosts a picture on its wall of Luverne and Emma Sands, married at the little church in 1913.
Yesterday was a good day for the little church, the newlyweds … and for me … well, I just have one thing to say that I know would be important to the person who made the biggest difference in my life, my father. Daddy … I did it.