GUEST BLOG: Rooted in Love. Rooted in Life (Kim Dent)

Posted on November 5, 2013

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Our church is loaded with twenty & thirtysomethings (over 85% of our church demographic). Because of this, I spent the better part of last year praying that God would bring us “spiritual moms and dads” that would love and embrace this community and be forerunners for others to join that weren’t born in the 80’s & 90’s.

God brought us an incredible gift in Kim Dent (and others) that have recently joined us. I asked Kim to share her story on my blog. Enjoy.

You can connect further with Kim by visiting her blog at http://www.dandelionwinds.com

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…I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…Ephesians 3:16-19

I like to plant stuff but I am not so good about making a plan of WHERE to plant things so they wont overtake the garden or choke out the smaller plantings. So, I am constantly uprooting and re-planting things each season as the plants reach their full stature.

I know how my plants feel this year!

I am a yankee transplant to Charlotte. I truly never imagined I would be uprooted at the age of 50!  I had been thriving in Northeast Ohio all my life.  My parents, 5 siblings & 14 nieces & nephews all lived nearby and we would often gather at my parents home for “Soup Sunday.”  Dad would make a huge crock of soup and our wild and boisterous family would converge to enjoy some REAL “face time!”

My church was also nearby and I happily served there as Women’s Ministry Director. My faith grew as I studied, worshipped and was mentored by the beautiful friends God put around me.  My life was not perfect, but I was content and in peace.  We were firmly rooted in family and community when my husband, Mark, was asked to move South to lead the Charlotte office of Turner Construction.

I understand what it’s like to be uprooted.

Leaving was bittersweet. Saying goodbye to family and friends was gut wrenching. Yet, I enjoyed the adventure of moving to Charlotte, living uptown in a high-rise and exploring my new city with Mark.  But soon the newness wore off and the underlying longing to connect in community began to take center stage.  We all have a God given need to belong.  We all have been “hard wired” for relationship.  I felt an inner restlessness.  I didn’t like the feeling of wandering around not knowing a soul…and not being known.

So, I prayed that God would lead me quickly to a new church family in Charlotte.

I walked through the doors of Center City Church after two months of searching. I sensed I had found God’s choice for me after my first visit but I KNEW I was home after being invited to a small group night of worship at Chad and Martha Seger’s home.  I entered this group as a complete stranger.  My “roots” were exposed.  I was “the new kid.”  Ever been there?  Walking into a new job? new city? new church?

Yet, this “new kid” was welcomed in with open arms.  I met Pastor David and two precious young women who are now like my own daughters.  The genuine care I felt was like the tender touch of a gardener gently placing a new plant in the earth.  The food, laughter and kindness of the folks around me felt like being nestled in good soil…my once disheveled roots were pressed in, covered and secured comfortably within this lovely garden of new (and younger!) friends.  The prayer time was like cool clean water and the dryness I had experienced during my first months in Charlotte faded away as our voices joined together in worship.  I left that evening encouraged, uplifted & loved.  I was “re-planted” and my roots were drinking up the richness of this new soil like a kid with a milkshake!

Ephesians 3:16  Says we are to be “rooted”and established in love together with God’s people so we can know the overflow of His great love for us.  God loves it when His people are rooted in His love and rooted together in life!

I have been “rooted” at Center City for a year now and it is my privilege & joy to host a group of amazing women who gather weekly at my home in south Charlotte. I love to hear what God is doing in their lives and share my life’s challenges and victories as well. We eat together, laugh, cry, pray, serve and study God’s word together.

We are “doing life” together and authentic friendships are forming and we are going deeper with Jesus. Yet the group remains open and changing as new friends are welcomed and old friends move on to new fields that God has ordained.  But, they go with deeply rooted soul friendships that miles cannot sever.  I am blessed beyond words and thank God for knitting our roots…I mean hearts together.

Are you longing to feel “rooted?”  Do you want to know what it’s like to be part of a supportive Christian small group?  Need a home away from home?  Choose this week to explore the various small group communities available at Center City Church! 

Your roots will thank you!

But you don’t have to take my word for it, here’s what others have to say…

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…”My takeaways from Small Group are everlasting…The friendships and sisterhood embraced during these past few weeks is among the sweetest I have ever known.  I encourage everyone to plug in, get connected, and become involved in a small group!  You will be blessed and enriched as, together, we strive to live more like Jesus.”  – Cindy Petrille

“Being a part of a small group has brightened my walk with God…Directed my view towards God and has allowed for tears, laughs and JOY!”  -Sarah Barnwell

“I left feeling uplifted and truly blessed to have come across such a wonderful group of ladies…He is working miracles in all of our lives!”  -Hannah Growchow

So…what are you waiting for!  Get Rooted in love and in life!

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Kim is a wife to Mark, Mom to Kait and Emily.  A former social worker and women’s ministry director,  Kim finds joy by encouraging others toward “courageous authenticity and freedom in Christ!”  You may find her hanging with her small group or in various coffee shops around Charlotte chatting with friends or writing (or chatting when she should be writing)  Kim is writing her first book; ‘Dandelion Winds’ …rooted in faith, released to love.  A story about what Jesus is teaching HER about unconditional love, faith, truth, identity and grace after her daughter’s confession of homosexuality.

Check out Kim’s blog at www.DandelionWinds.com.

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