closeup of a stone carving on Wesley's building reading "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart"

I was asked to describe Wesley in one word, and after sorting through words like “acceptance,” “action,” and “potlucks,” I decided upon the word, “peace.” In order for me to talk about why we, as a family, chose Wesley, you need to know the one word I would use to describe myself: “overwhelmed.” I’m a complex individual, someone who can’t say no, a perfectionist, and an overachiever. During my weeks, I work hard, cramming as much into my day, striving to be a socially respected wife, mother, and career woman. When I’m running late to a meeting, I ruminate on what I could have eliminated from my morning routine. When I feed Noah fast food for dinner, I criticize myself for prioritizing my work over my son’s nutrition. When I take a well-deserved break, I feel guilty resting when there is so much to be done.

But at Wesley, I know God’s peace. I gather on Sundays, as I am: exhausted, insecure, and unsure of my role in this world. Outside, I am a teacher, a student, and a mother, working hard to meet expectations. But here at Wesley, I function as a sister in Christ, a child of God, and servant of the Lord, and that is enough; I am enough and that is meaningful to me. At Wesley, I don’t have to hide my insecurities. Here I find peace. I can ask for help, ask for prayers, ask for forgiveness.

When Scott and I had our son, I felt God’s peace through the pastors and congregation of this church, a unified body that helped with childcare, sent us loving words and gifts, and brought us home cooked meals. I’ve felt God’s peace when Noah threw a temper tantrum at home right before 11:15 service last year, causing us to miss the sermon, but arrive in time for the potluck, which we had not brought anything to contribute, and were warmly received anyways. I’ve felt God’s peace when I, unprepared for this task, stand up here and describe Wesley in one word, and am met with patient smiles and nods.

In a time where society is noisy and cruel, I know that I can always be spiritually refreshed at Wesley, and remind myself that in the midst of chaos, I find the rest that God commands, right here, every Sunday, at Wesley.