30 Days of Stories: Day 16
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re telling 30 stories of God’s faithfulness in and through Fellowship North. You can read all the stories here.
The first time I stepped foot into the Fellowship North sanctuary was on December 17, 2004 for my wedding rehearsal. I walked in, looked around at the empty pews, the balcony, and casually wondered to myself, “I wonder what it’s like to worship here?” At the time, not only was I attending another church, but I was also on staff at said church and had no desire to worship elsewhere. The question went unanswered for the next few seconds as I saw our pastor Harold Nash walk up to Rob and I, smiling and asked, “Are ya’ll ready to get married tomorrow?” Dena was also there because she was singing “To God be the Glory” in English & Spanish the next day.
Fast forward to 2006 and I’m sitting in the sanctuary at Mosaic Church, with tears in my eyes, as Harold & Dena told their story about how God surprised them by calling them to be on staff at FN. It was clear that it was God’s voice, not man’s, whom they were listening to. Little did I know that the next year, Rob and I would also hear God’s voice to leave our faith community, but we weren’t quite sure where we’d go next. It was a leap of faith. We visited several churches, but our hearts ached for a community that valued being intentionally multi-ethnic since this is how we believe Heaven will be like. Rob *dragged* me again to FN. This was his home church so it was comfortable for him. I knew nobody except the Nash’s. I was weary from the journey, my heart was wounded, my foot was limping, and I wasn’t quite sure that I could trust other pastors that I didn’t know (I’m looking at you Craig, Taido, and Bobby). But the first time I heard Craig teach, it was like my heart was a dry desert and Craig was pouring out fresh water on my cracked soul. After the service, Rob introduced me to Craig, who knew that we were hurting, and Craig hugged me 3 times in less than 5 minutes & said he was praying for us. I didn’t know him. I wondered if he was half-Latino at the time. ☺
At first, I didn’t want to meet anybody or get too close. I needed to rest & do nothing. But I was hiding. I slowly allowed others to enter in that year. The day before I gave birth to our son Nash, Dena called me and said she and Julie both had prayed about me leading Women’s Fellowship and would I consider it. In 2010 I started serving the women & started opening up my heart even more to new friends, new brothers & sisters. God had carved a path of healing, restoration, renewal, and redemption via the friendships He had prepared for me. My pastors are now my “brothers from other mothers” who allow me to walk & serve in unity with them.
So as to the question I asked myself in 2004 before I knew FN? I worship with my hands held high to a God of Grace, Mercy, and Redemption. One who heals by His wounds and who continually sanctifies me by this community that is my home. My chains are gone and I’ve been set free!
Inés came with her husband Rob to FN in 2008. She loves being a boy-mom to little Nash who keeps her on her toes. She works as a Spanish Medical Interpreter at Children’s Hospital. Her heart is leading the Women’s Fellowship in our faith community. Salsa dancing is her fave! She loves sharing her Black Bean Soup with anyone who cares. You can find Inés on Twitter, Instagram, or at inesmcbryde.com.