by Kirsten Jones
My family and I moved to Fishers in 2005. I truly believe that God brought us here with His purpose in mind. We were supposed to go to Richmond, VA and at the last minute, we ended up here. After settling into our new house, the kids and I set out to find a new church home. The church we had come from in Chattanooga was very large and I had this idea in my head that we needed a large church with more than one service. Never mind that I never really felt connected there, it was just where we went. So, I began the search. I looked in the phonebook (yes, that was a thing). I drove around town scouting them out. I had a list. I was organized. I had a plan. I ended up driving by the Promise Church one day (not on my list) and actually felt pulled into the parking lot. I saw there was only one service and that the building wasn’t too big, and I told God, “no.” It wasn’t on the list. I moved on.
The search went on. The kids and I attended one church that was so big that Matthew got lost and cried all of the way home. That was a no, but they gave us a mug. There goes my thought about big churches being the only way to go. We tried a smaller church. I felt like the people there wanted me TOO much, like they never saw a new person and would smother me! Another no, but we got another mug. Next was a medium sized church…no one talked to us, but we got a mug. Then another…the music was off key, and another mug. Then another…the pastor was monotone, and I almost fell asleep, but at least I got a mug. We tried and tried. Nothing fit. We had lots of mugs.
During all this ‘church shopping,’ I got a postcard for the Promise Preschool, they were going to start a new preschool in the fall of 2006. I thought to myself, “This is that small church that I didn’t want to try.” I recycled the card. But then, two more postcards came. I decided to at least check out the school for Emily. I loved it and signed her up. I decided that if I was going to have a daughter in the school, I should at least check out the church. So, we did.
In early summer 2016, Matthew, Emily and I walked through the doors and the kids fell in love. There were DONUTS!!! I dutifully put on my handwritten visitor’s nametag, got them donuts and walked into the sanctuary. That Sunday happened to be a communion Sunday. When we went forward to receive the elements, I was welcomed and told that the body and bread were given to me by name. “Kirsten, the Body broken for you. Kirsten, the Blood shed for you.” I went back to my seat and I cried. Never before had communion been so personal for me. I signed the paper saying that I was a visitor and later that afternoon, there was a knock on my door. Tammy Eichorst brought me a loaf of bread and thanked me for joining them that morning. What? A gift? And it wasn’t a mug? I knew at that moment that I was home. I even joined the amazing staff at the Preschool that very first year.
I tried to tell God that I wasn’t interested in the Promise. He pulled me into the parking lot. He led me from others back to the Promise. He even sent me mail! I am so glad that He did. I am so blessed that He didn’t give up. The Promise has been my family for 15 years. The people of the Promise have helped me through countless hardships, celebrated and cried with me, given me strength and support, hugged me when I needed it, pushed me when I didn’t know that I needed to be pushed, taught me about love, grace and mercy and been there for my kids in numerous ways. You all are my family. I love you. I am blessed by you and there is not a day that I do not thank God for you. Never underestimate the power of a postcard…or three.