Meet Michael Hawthorn
Meet Michael Hawthorn
My beautiful wife Michelle and I came to Faith Bible Church in the summer of 2017. We had recently been married, and a friend of ours had recommended the Merge class for dating/engaged/recently married couples. We loved the nitty-gritty questions and difficult topics that Merge confronted head-on, especially the parts about conflict management and family backgrounds. The leaders all helped us gain a deeper understanding of God’s plans for our new life together. We also met some of our future small group members in that class.
Since then, we have had two kids, the most recent born in April 2020. The Lord has used the people of Faith Bible Church to teach us so many things. Through the Life of Jesus Christ series and conversations with our dear friends Bill and Wanda Diamond and others, I think God has recently been reminding us of what it means to deny yourself and live a life that’s hidden in Christ and focused on others, something I wish I’d learned earlier in life.
In previous church experiences, I had become bitter because I didn’t feel like people were reaching out to me. I don’t think I ever would have called myself selfish or prideful. At least, not in an obvious way. But the thing is, I had so much trouble getting over myself that I was missing so many opportunities to be the one who does the reaching, like Jesus did. It didn’t help that I was also placing way too much focus on my job situation. I disliked it and felt was an insignificant waste of time, and wondered whether or not God was going to do anything about it. I would get anxious when people would ask me “What’ve you been up to?” and felt they always had better answers than me. I’d get embarrassed if my answer sounded lame, or if previously-discussed plans hadn’t quite worked out. I was so absorbed in these worries that I didn’t have any time to take a genuine interest in others. It was a sneaky kind of selfishness.
By the power of Christ and the reminders of our Church, I’ve learned more and more to enjoy the fact that it’s not about me (Colossians 3:1-3, Philippians 2). He’s teaching me to look for what He’s doing in lives around me. And to see the joy of joining in His incredible mission and story instead of worrying about trying to build my own. Jesus says that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He’ll take care of the rest. This truth is freeing in so many ways. It’s what we’re made for. Marriage and parenting have given me daily opportunities to see this truth at work, and I’m finding great joy in giving my burdens to Jesus and jumping into the lives of others here at FBC as well. The words of Jesus reminded me that His kingdom is totally different than the way this world works, and that if we give up our lives for His sake, that’s when we’ll finally find it (Matt. 16).
Posted in Faces of Faith