After college, I felt nudged to discover something different than the evangelical churches from my childhood. I found that something at Incarnation. It is daunting to search and then to find a place less familiar, but I learned quickly that many people in the contemporary service are from a variety of backgrounds—that was comforting. Each week I felt more encouraged with the traditions; and the Book of Common Prayer has been inspiring—giving me the words to pray when I did not know what to pray. Incarnation helped me to see beauty in tradition. Here, I have felt grounded, especially when life got really chaotic.
Tornados in Dallas? In December? Not something you usually think about. But the day after Christmas last year, I saw one from the highway and said to my friend, “There’s a funnel; we have to get off the road now!” Sure enough, the weather report on the radio confirmed ‘if you are in Garland, Rowlett, or Sunnyvale, you need to take cover.’ We found ourselves in a hotel lobby bathroom with another family saying the Lord’s Prayer, thinking it was the end. Considering the destruction around us, it was pretty amazing that we were okay.
Within minutes, I began receiving text messages asking ‘are you okay?’ and ‘the tornado hit close to your house, is everyone okay?” Then my brother called me confirming the fears of my friends. So many things were going through my mind—was my brother exaggerating? Only minutes before I was thinking to myself that I would feel so much safer if I were at home right now. The neighborhood looked like a war zone, and as I pulled up to the house I was shocked to see the second floor of my family’s home missing.
The people of Incarnation showed up for one of the most challenging moments in my life. Priests called to let me know they were praying for me. I had only been attending Incarnation for about a year, and people I did not even know were contributing to a crowd-funded page and reaching out via email to see if they could help in any way. Constant streams of people checked in on us.
We had support from friends and family who helped us move the debris and remove our possessions from the house. But in times like this, you really do not know what to pray or what to ask of God. I was grateful to have a spiritual family—the people of Incarnation—intercede for us. There is a real sense of belonging here and I am so glad to call Incarnation my church home.