Monday, October 13, 2008

A Place Where Nobody Knows Your Name

Sunday morning Joey and I go to a place where noboby knows our name. This place is in Alabama close to 2 hours away. It was like taking a step back in time. Beautiful, small, loving, people who welcomed us with open arms. A place you could call home.

Joey was invited to speak at a church on Sunday for morning and evening services. He was so excited...I was nervous. One of Joey's friends called and asked if he could go with us ..so he arrived at our house and off we go. Sunday School starts at 10am ...preaching at 11am. We timed it so we would arrive about 10:30... Well...that didn't happen. I knew I should have drove! Joey likes to talk and so does his friend. That is one reason I sat up front. At least I could hear the radio. Don't get me wrong...I like to talk too. Sometimes...I can be quiet...not often. Today was the day for me to not talk much. Anyway, We stopped by McDonald's for a breakfast to go and of all days for them to be slow...today was the day. Which made us behind on our journey. Joey and J are talking and then we slow down....speed up....slow down...speed up....slow down. I looked at the clock...at the speed we were going....I looked at Joey and said if you don't speed up and keep your foot on the gas we are not going to make it on time. He pats me on the hand...confidently "it will be alright". Then the clock gets to about 10:20....Joey starts to put his hand over the clock so I can't see... He decides to take a different road that he knows to miss all the red lights. I start to panic. Everytime we take this road ....we always get lost!!! I reminded Joey of this...he pats my hand again and says "it will be alright". We get 2 miles into the road and they are working on the road and traffic is backed UP. Joey said " OH NO this isn't good" and immediately take the exit off the road...he starts going turning right...left..right... I asked " do you know where you are? he said "NO" I said "great"! The time now is 10:30 ....Joey sees a bridge and remembers his way. so off we go again on the Right road.
We arrive at the church about 5 minutes before the choir comes out.

Johnny is this nice man who called Joey ....he meets us at the door and asks my name and Joey is motioning for me to go on in and sit down. I really need to go to the restroom....with 2 hours of driving fast...slow...then FAST ...plus the McDonald's diet coke. The restroom is right at the door in foyer....I look around like a deer in headlights...thinking what do I do? Everyone is turned looking at us...do I make a mad dash to the ladies room and hope I make it out before the choir takes the stage? I start praying...okay God what do I do? the next thing I know I am on the second pew from the front! So, I told God....since the ladies room is out...will you control the urges and my bladder till church is over. God is so good....HE did just that!

Johnny comes to the front of the church stops and asks me where are we from....the church is quiet and I am trying to tell him "Jemison" he saids "what?" I said "Jemison" then I start to spell it for him. I feel like everyone is looking and can hear me. I start "J E M I S O N" he is trying to hear me and I have to spell it again. Then he says " Where is this place?" I told him South of Birmingham approx. 34 miles....He nods and says "Oh is this close to Shocko Springs?" I smile and say " no it is in Chilton County you know like the peaches" he nods goes to the front to start the service and he welcomes us and tells us that everyone wants to know where we are from... He looks at us with a big smile and proceeds to tell everyone that we are from Jemison 34 miles South of Birmingham and Shocko Springs is not close to us. Everyone laughs. I don't really know what Shocko Springs has to do with any of this...but, okay.

When the choir starts singing .....I noticed Joey squinting.... I asked "Did you bring your glasses so you can see the bible?" he shook his head ...NO. I am thinking ....Oh great.....we show up just in time for Joey to speak ...no time to greet the congreation....and now he want be able to see the words to read them. I start praying again....I'm not sure I had really stopped. The choir takes a seat ...someone nods at Joey ...he pats my hand again like he had so many times this day...saying "it will be alright".
I realize at that moment that everything would be okay. My man in his nice suite...all dressed up and oh so handsome...takes the stage and if he was nervous ....you would never know it.

Joey's message was from Matthew 4:19 "And He said the them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." "Follow Me" was the key words that Joey was focusing on. Joey stretched out his arms to hold his bible and read the words and made a small joke about his eye sight. Everyone laughed.... GOD was in control! Joey let God take control and use him and we all soaked up the message like sponges.

If you have never heard Joey speak (preach) you have really missed something. He lets go and lets God. He gets so excited...it is amazing to me sometimes. The week before...Joey receives a phone call asking what kind of food we like....the people of the church want to cook for us. So, I told Joey to not get to excited because they may decide to not feed us after his message....this of course is a joke.. After the service...everyone was coming up to us and shaking hands...some even hugged my neck and told us how nice it was to meet us.

We go to the Family Life Center to eat lunch and finally the ladies room. The food was Deliciously great. They went all out for us. Pork chops, fried okra, cream potatoes, peas, green beans, cornbread and of course Sweat Tea. The vegetables were fresh from soneone's garden. Mississippi Mud pie was awesome! There was also 2 other pies...I didn't eat any of those...Joey said they were good.
We hung around the family life center for a while talking, listening to the people talk about their church ...it was built in the 1800's. It was neat to hear the history and see the pictures.
We then went to a member's home where Joey and I changed clothes and relaxed for a short time. I again was nervous about going into a strangers home... Joey says I am weird sometimes about things...oh well. I felt the pat on my hand "it will be alright". He was right ...everything was alright! We had fun getting to know the family and seeing their beautiful horses.
When we arrived at the church for the evening service everyone seemed so glad to see us. Joey preached another great message...this one out of 1 Peter.
After the service they came and talked to us more...trying to get to know us better. Some even asked Joey if he was looking for a church.

We had a wonderful day!
Like the theme song from Cheers..."Sometimes you wanta go where everybody know your name."
For me it was great to go to " A PlaceWhere Nobody Knows Your Name. "

14 comments:

DeeDee said...

So glad you had a good day. We sure missed you here though.

Look forward to hearing more about it all.
Love,
DeeDee

Debra said...

Darlene,

This was so awesome! I felt like I was in the car with you and needed a bathroom break to boot!

Please know that you may absolutely share our testimony with anyone God would lead you to. My marriage is strong now..and it is because of the blood of Christ and me not being able to look at Him and tell Him that what He did was not enough for me. It is enough! I will allow my heart to remain soft and forgiving.

I may stumble and fall...but He always picks me up! ((hugs)) & blessings to you today!

Tracy said...

Darlene, that was a delightful story! The church sounds lovely and the food sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing - I'm glad it all turned out well.

By the way, I have a blog award for you at my blog. You and another were erroneously missed the first time I posted, but I've since edited the posta and added you. Your blog always blesses me, so I wanted to honor you. Please stop by when you have the chance and pick it up. Blessings, friend!

Michelle C. said...

Great story- I really felt like I was there too. I could see all your facial expressions! I'd like to hear Joey preach someday!

june said...

Darlene, this is such a great story. You are so funny.

I did remember to pray for you and
Joey. I am so tickled everyting
went GREAT.

I tried to call you Sunday night,
now I know why I did not get you.

I have 2 post on my site check them
out.

June

Laurie Ann said...

Praise God you were where God wanted you to be...in a place where Nobody Knows Your Name but everyone knows God's - how awesome! Glad ya'll got there on time and that prayers re: the bladder and eyeglass ordeals were answered. Sounds like a delightful time! Praying God's blessing on your husband and you as you seek to share God with others.

Sharon Brumfield said...

That was just great...I really enjoyed hearing about your Sunday. I loved the way you shared the time and I felt like I was right there with you. You have a very personable way of writing.
Sometimes it is just good to be with family even if they do not know your name.;)

Sandy Toes said...

I agree...sometimes we go to another church some Sundays just for a change!
Cute posting!
-Sandy Toes

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad that you had a fantastic day!

Loved the story!

Love,
Cheryl

boutcrazy said...

Well, my question....did you ever make it to the ladies room? I think that a pastor's/speaker's wife is a special lady. You truly get to see God speaking through your man like no one else does and you are always such great prayer warriors. God is good and He loves to laugh with us as we struggle to figure what He is doing.

Alene said...

Sometimes those are the most precious of times - when nobody knows your name! Thanks for sharing the adventure. Blessings girl!

Tracy said...

Hey, Darlene!

Guess what? I have two new blessings for you over at my blog! Come by when you can and check them out!

Marina said...

I have a blog award of you so come by and pick it up whenever you have tiem ,
have a nice evening, marina

Kimberly said...

Hey! I came by earlier, but blogger was down and wouldn't let me comment. I will try again! :)

I know you are just so proud of your husband and so thankful for the faithfulness of God! This is such a great post!

Hope you are having a great week!
Blessings,
K :)