Any given Sunday.

on January 22, 2008 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 7 comments by

All weekend long, sweet Mandy kept asking me if there was anything specific I wanted to see. She knew I was there to try to hear the Lord and to feel some direction from Him, but I was pretty sure there was no billboard that was going to answer my every question. I mean, I figured there wasn’t. Maybe there was and I just missed it. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants.

My answer to her question, throughout the entire weekend was, “I’m cool with whatever, honestly. I just want to go to your church on Sunday morning.”

[Here we are, by the way, at lunch on Saturday. Because I wasn’t quite sure I had completely saturated your mind with visuals of my trip. Now I think I have.]

The weekend wasn’t about seeing all the sights, necessarily. It was about seeing the people. About hearing them. About experiencing the everydayness [I made that up] of this city that I had never been formally introduced to. And going to church.

Kevin and Mandy go to Midtown Fellowship, a plant church with a heart for the city of Nashville. According to the Mann almanac, there are more churches per capita in Nashville than any other city in the USA. [Don’t quote me on that- it’s just what Kevin says. Though he is a fairly trustworthy character.] So I wasn’t totally dependent on THIS ONE CHURCH to make all the difference.

Because on any given Sunday, God can show up in big ways in any building where people are gathered to worship Him. But I wanted to see Him there.

The people were so great- so welcoming and kind. Every person I was introduced to was genuine, which I’ll honestly say surprised me. The church is made up of mostly young adults- post college to mid thirties. I’ve been to a church like this here and “genuine” is NOT one the words that I used afterwards. The only downside to Midtown is that there is a lack of generational bud-dom, as I have here, but I really liked the people that I met and the atmosphere of the church in general.

The worship was beautifully reverent. Almost subtle. I don’t know if those words make sense to you, but if you could feel “subtle worship” in your heart, I think it would feel like tubing down a cool river in late June. I liked it.

And the preacher was great. A little long, but I have no room to complain- I could win an Olympic talking competition. You can actually listen to his sermon here– and I encourage you to do that. You can also watch the video on the website. It was all about Biblical hope.

Yeah, okay God, I hear ya. And don’t worry, the pastor prayed this scripture:

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”


So we went back to the Mann’s house and they invited a friend, Michelle, over for lunch. A single girl, funny as any person I’ve met, obviously someone Kevin and Mandy respect, and she had wise advice. In the 3 hours we hung out I deduced all this, of course. She is someone that I think I would like to be friends with. We ate manicotti, talked about God, described plant costumes, and played funny music.

And around 4pm, I packed up my car with all my gear. I felt weird. This weekend that I’ve been anticipating since November was over quickly. It was time to head home. But the idea of leaving felt funny to me. Not ha-ha funny, like I usually am :), but funny like odd. It didn’t feel right to leave. Because being in this city called out something deep and new in me.

I wondered, as I drove down the ramp to I-24, what it would be like to live in Nashville.


  1. Jess $
    posted on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:55 PM  |  reply

    anya, this is exciting. I want to hear more about it. I am glad that the trip went well and I hope that your prayers and questions are confirmed in a way that solidifies your faith (if that makes sense)
    love, love

  2. jenny
    posted on Jan 23, 2008 at 9:12 PM  |  reply

    I’d always heard Macon, GA had the most churches per square mile… but don’t quote me on that

  3. marisa
    posted on Jan 23, 2008 at 10:03 PM  |  reply

    girl, i can’t wait til we talk more about this whole idea — it’s exactly how He brought me here – there was just something about this city that called out to me, to come and do life and be here…and midtown had a huge role in it!! and want to know something even more crazy?? i’m on the worship team w/ kevin this sunday…small freakin world 🙂 oh, and i LOVE marche!!!

  4. carolineb
    posted on Jan 24, 2008 at 2:58 PM  |  reply

    I don’t know what to say.

  5. Jake
    posted on Jan 24, 2008 at 7:00 PM  |  reply

    I love that Forbes called you Anya… because I can now exactly hear her saying that in my head. Beautiful.

  6. Amanda
    posted on Jan 25, 2008 at 3:24 AM  |  reply

    (This is the same comment I just posted, just made a little clearer. I was watching the news while typing and when I reread my comment, even I couldn’t understand what I was trying to say. Comment, take two:)

    OK, I don’t know you, so it’s weird to weigh in here, but things like that have often happened to me. (You likely can’t tell it just by reading through my generally discontented blog, but this has been a rough year. So, ignore all of that.)

    A friend and I were discussing that concept recently — how sometimes the way God moves in our respective lives is by allowing a general sense of discontent in a specific area or in total, with His direction coming in at some point by that peace that passes all understanding.

    I don’t know if that makes sense at all, or if the comments section of a blog is even where to mention this. I guess I just wanted to say what a blessing to have a a nudge or a tug or an interest that wasn’t there before. May God make his plans for you totally clear. The end. 🙂

  7. Annie
    posted on Jan 25, 2008 at 3:27 AM  |  reply

    Jess- we will talk soon.

    Jenny- I’ll get my research team on it. Got that, Molly?

    Marisa- Can we go eat breakfast at Marche sometime soon? Great.

    CBed- me either.

    Mel- college was fun and I am never going to stop thanking God for the friends that He gave me there like you and Jess.

    Amanda- every time I start this story to friends, I say “in the fall I just started to feel a weird sense of discontentment.” So booyah to you for your comment and booyah to God for being rad.

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