The Restoration I Found One Morning
Don’t we typically look for the things we’ve lost? Well, I think back to a specific time when I accepted losing one thing and never finding it: my red “Little Fat Book” brand notebook in which I wrote all of my spiritual reflections for approximately two years, before needing something bigger. On the first page I had written a “Finder’s Keeper” note to the potential new owner of my thoughts; I knew then that my vulnerability in sharing my experience may aid someone else in their spiritual journey, so I was okay with losing it for good one day. It was kind of my “message in a bottle” moment. Much like when I wrote that note to my new keeper, I feel like someone can benefit from knowing the story behind the day I found Restoration.
It’s no secret that church is not a favorable place for many. I’ll be the first to admit my hang-up about religion and church. I hadn’t desired to step a single foot in a church post my grandmother’s passing. Nothing seemed to fall in place for me back then and I found myself at a crossroads yet again.
The first day I stepped back into a church on my own was October 14, 2018. I woke up that morning in search of somewhere spiritually sound and happened to find Restoration Church, which met at 10:05 am. After seeing their schedule, I thought, “There’s a first time for everything!”
October 14, 2018 was the day I wasn’t expecting anything but found the following at Restoration Church on Gallatin Pike in East Nashville, TN. The sermon was from the book of John, and themed as “Abandoning Church.” I can’t make this up, y’all! The entire sermon was devoted to John 16, with a brief mention of John 11 and 33 at the very end in passing.
I took a seat and listened as John 16:1–4 were explained as Jesus’ way of preparing us for our experiences, so we’ll be unwavering in our faith. It was said that He prepares us for the ages. Historical references were given, to show how everything was interconnected at a time when Jesus was calling for people to abandon their customs and come to Him. We’re talking about people being asked to discard their economic, emotional, religious, and political power for a life with Jesus. Of course, there were people who refused to follow Christ, in exchange for political and social security.
The sermon continued to John 16:5 where Jesus forewarns all His disciples about the role they would play in His demise. We’ve all seen the whitewashed depictions of Jesus in biblical movies, as He’s telling His disciples what they will do and how much pain, opposition, and sorrow they were to face. Essentially, He tells them there is a life of pain and suffering ahead. During the sermon, Pastor Morgan shared with the congregation that it was not a time for Jesus’ disciples to wish for a life of ease and comfort, or else they would not be able to withstand trials.
“I want you to know the reality of what it means to walk with me,” summarized Pastor Morgan about the book of John and Jesus’ dinner with His disciples. It is believed that in the book of John, Jesus leaves His disciples with the Holy Spirit. He assures His disciples that the Holy Spirit is the source of encouragement, the helper that is sent to each of them, the advocate who renders and provides, and most importantly, never leaves you…the advocate in spirit and truth.
Shortly after, the question was posed to the church: “Why was it best for Jesus to go away?” The follow-up response was, “It was best for Jesus to not physically be in two places at once. By doing so, Jesus was too limited in the physical form with us and at home. Instead, it was best to have the Holy Spirit dwell in us along the walk of life. He takes permanent residence within us which allows Him to transcend physical barriers as people are called according to purpose and plan, to spread Jesus around the world.” Conviction and confession were defined, and the sermon ended.
I left even more convinced that the Holy Spirit was within me to rely on. I felt it was the most certain thing I could ever possess.
It was never my intention to get preachy, but maybe one of you readers are now thinking, “This was for me!” You can rejoice in silence (which is totally fine) or you can send me a message at email@example.com. I love hearing from you all.
Until next time,
I am Tranyce