The first time I visited The Lighthouse Church in Midlothian Texas I was in high school. It’s a really embarrassing story but the truth is I was dating a drummer in a rock band at the time and he wasn’t saved. I had a plan though!
I talked to this individual (who will remain unnamed) about Jesus. I also invited him to go to church with me, but instead of taking him to my church I thought I would bring him to a church that was more his flavor. This church was considered the “skater church”.
It was the late nineties so imagine punk rock, baggy jeans, vans shoes (the first time around) hair parted down the middle landing at the cheekbones…
I have no pictures easily accessible because this was before digital photography and phones with cameras. I am that old.
The people at the Lighthouse were really welcoming and down to earth. I liked going there. Nothing ever came of that boyfriend by the way.
Fast forward several years and I started going to their college and career group and bringing my new boyfriend with me, only this one was saved (It’s Jeremy. Spoiler alert he’s my husband). After getting married in 2000 Jeremy and I decided to go to the Lighthouse fulltime and not long after that he was on the worship team and eventually the full time worship pastor.
That was how we got connected at the Lighthouse and the beginning of our story is just a tiny drop in a giant bucket full of memories.
Yesterday morning when I read the news on Facebook that the Lighthouse church was hit by a tornado and severely damaged to the point of being condemned I was in shock.
It was like I could see all of my memories swirling around in their own violent wind funnel and getting carried off.
This was where we started ministry as a couple.
It’s where we learned to go deeper in our relationship with Christ. I like to say we cut our teeth there, to which our pastor replies ‘I was wondering what those teeth marks on the bench were from’.
Seeing the photos of the rubble in the fellowship hall/venue was devastating.
I truly cannot count all of the special times (and a variety of hairstyles, YIKES) that we shared in that place.
We celebrated my college graduation and J’s 30th birthday there.
We had family meals there every Wednesday for a long time and when I found out SJ was a girl I brought cupcakes with pink sprinkles concealed with aluminum foil.
After we ate I ripped off the foil to reveal IT’S A GIRL and Z was going to have a little sister. Everyone erupted with cheers and applause. I will never forget that moment.
Months later the baby shower was in that same room and I remember knowing this baby and my family is so loved and that God is good.
I really could go on and on about how heartbroken I was when I heard of the devastation that happened this week.
Of course leave it to me to ramble about myself when I am not even in Texas anymore. What I was really in tears about was my church family that still is there. It’s many of my closest friends that are the ones that are really affected. They are in this building nearly every day for all kinds of ministries and they are the ones that are directly impacted.
I know the church is not a building and I know God has a plan and he’s going to restore everything and bless them abundantly. It’s still a tough thing to walk through though so I am praying and grieving with them.
The latest update I saw was that the church building has been declared a safety hazard and will need to be demolished. The total insurance deductible to cover the cost of repairs and such is $10,000.
They also shared this link where you can make a tax-deductible donation: dfwlighthouse.churchcenter.com/giving
I am praying that everything that has been stolen from there will be restored over and above what they had before. For 20 years the Lighthouse and Pastor Dan have poured into countless individuals. The Lord has used them to be a light not only in their community but also around the world through all of the missions work that they do.
As I look back I cherish the memories of the past and the foundation that was laid here and that foundation is still there, but it’s a new day. The next generation will be able to experience God in a whole new way and like we used to sing back in the day- “greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city.” Be blessed Lighthouse.