Last weekend I was home for Fall Break, and Sunday happened to be Fieldstone’s 10 year celebration. It’s really hard to believe that it has already reached double digits! Needless to say, last Sunday, and the days leading up to it, I found myself reflecting a lot on the memories Fieldstone and its people have provided me with– including that one supper sitting around our dining room table in Missouri when Mom and Dad told us we were moving back “home” to Virginia to start a church through our last Sunday there as a family almost 2 1/2 years ago.
I was a little apprehensive to go back because before last weekend, it had been a year and a half since I’d last visited. Annie, Aubrey and I all happened to be home for a rare weekend in May, and we decided to go to Fieldstone. I remember walking in and people being friendly and welcoming, and asking me if it was my first time visiting. That made me feel really strange, to say the least. I think we all knew that Fieldstone would be different once we’d all graduated from high school and Mom and Dad moved on, but the reality of it was still difficult. It was a really strange mix of emotions, and hard to walk in and feel like a visitor, or worse, a stranger– a place that we had nurtured, loved, and literally poured sweat and tears into since its conception. Anyway, after that Sunday, Annie, Aubrey and I all pretty much agreed we probably wouldn’t go back for a while. Not because we didn’t still love Fieldstone or the (old and new) people there, but just because it didn’t feel the same. That’s a pretty generic claim, but I still haven’t’ figured out exactly how to explain it yet.
Of course, last weekend we did spend Sunday at Fieldstone, and it was so great. It felt really good to visit with old friends, look at photos from the first mission trips, Celebration services, potlucks, and Project SPY summers; to remember the excitement we felt at not exactly knowing what we were doing but knowing it was something good; to thank God for all the many blessings we have been given.
I also got the opportunity to sing with the band on Sunday morning, and during the afternoon “birthday party” too. I started singing with the Fieldstone band in the eighth grade and remained a regular all throughout high school. I always liked having the opportunity to use my voice and to spend time with the other band members on a weekly basis. However, at that time I don’t think I’d realized how much of a blessing it was for me. I did recognize that Sunday mornings at Fieldstone were the time of the week when I felt most comfortable with myself during high school, but I still complained about having to go to band practice on Tuesday nights or stay late after church to provide childcare for a meeting. Once I went away to school I began to realize how much that experience of being in the band meant to me. I am so grateful for the countless hours I spent picking out songs, learning harmony parts, laughing, praying, being encouraged by, and playing music with the Fieldstone Band.
When I see him now, Alan always like to remind me how much of an impact I (somehow) had on him while I was still in high school and regularly playing with the band. He is such a great person, and I have really seen him grow from staying at home on Sunday mornings while Kara came to church with Preston and Miranda, to leading the band each week. While he claims that I have been a big encourager for him, he has made the same (or greater) impact on me. Last week was my “debut” on the guitar with the band, and it was so fun! I credit my actually doing this mostly to Alan and the other talented guys in the Fieldstone band who have known me for so long time and have always encouraged me, especially when it comes to musical pursuits. I’m so thankful for these friendships.
That was sort of a tangent, but I have such gratitude and admiration of so many people who have come and gone and who remain at Fieldstone, and sometimes when I allow myself to reflect on all the time I spent there, I can’t help but let it out! It is an amazing place.
Sunday’s 10 year celebration (on 10/10/10!) was emotionally tiring, but so fulfilling and rewarding. I am so grateful to have been a part of the welcoming community of love and acceptance that is Fieldstone. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (The Message). This is what happens at Fieldstone, and I am so proud of that.