“I like sleeping in. That’s my jam” said Michelle Lummus. So, giving up sleeping in on a Sunday morning or missing family time for church never really seemed worth it to Michelle. She grew up going to church, but it always felt forced. Attending but never really participating.
A few years ago, her mom relocated from the Westside of Jacksonville to the beaches. She wanted to find a church, so Michelle visited a few with her. When they found Chets Creek her mom felt at home but Michelle just attended church as her companion. Listening but never really participating.
One Sunday before the launch of the North Campus, Pastor Josh Robinson spoke at the Hodges Campus and Michelle found him really relatable. She thought the idea of a church in north Jacksonville was interesting, but she knew she wasn’t going to move away from the beach anytime soon so that’s all the thought she gave it.
Michelle’s mom moved away from Jacksonville and Michelle stopped attending church. Sunday mornings were for sleeping and spending time with her husband Rob. But God was drawing her to Him.
Michelle works in administration at Mayo and was asked to participate in a joint venture with St. Vincent’s Medical Center. After a year and a half of commuting from the beach, Michelle and Rob moved to the Riverside area. She decided to give the North Campus a try.
“I went out to Sheffield and I walked in and breathed a sigh of relief.” She felt like it was a place she wanted to be and that was a new feeling. She told Rob she was going to start going regularly.
Rob grew up in a home that was Christian in name, but like Michelle, it was never a part of his life. Then in his late teens Rob joined the Mormon church. He was very active in the church through his early twenties until he joined the Navy. He began traveling a lot and it became less of a priority for him. Any time Michelle would bring up church Rob wasn’t interested.
After Michelle visited Chets, Josh reached out to her and asked if she and Rob would be willing to meet up for coffee. They had good conversation and it sparked more questions for Rob. So Rob reached out to Josh and asked if they could talk more about his background with the Mormon church. “I had a series of questions I wanted to ask him. Before we even started talking, he answered all my questions. Every single thing he answered.” Rob said to him that was a sign of God at work.
Rob and Michelle began regularly attending church together and in April, Michelle committed her life to Christ. She knew the moment Josh gave the salvation invitation during his sermon that God was telling her it was time to surrender. Shortly after Rob had a similar experience. “You know when the Spirit speaks to you, you just know. I was in church one Sunday and that happened,” said Rob. He’d been praying for God to show Him the truth and He knew that what Josh was saying was the truth.
Michelle and Rob were both baptized this summer. Michelle said knowing God has changed everything for her and Rob.
She never imagined that they would attend church together but now they go every week. Michelle said they want to get up and go in the mornings and that’s a big deal for the self-proclaimed sleep lover. “I want to go and hear what they’re speaking about and apply it to my life in ways that I never wanted to before” said Michelle.
Although Michelle and Rob didn’t raise their kids in church, they’re hopeful that the change they see in their parents is making an impact on them even now as adults. “We talk about scripture now and we pray at family dinners. We’ve made our faith a part of our everyday life” Michelle said.
Her faith has impacted the way Michelle does her job too. “I offer to pray with patients and families now. It’s outside of my comfort zone for sure, I can tell you that much.” But she does it because she wants others to know the same comfort she’s found.
Michelle said before she surrendered her life to Christ she’d pray and go through the motions but now it’s different because there’s belief behind it. She’s willing to give everything to God and trust that He’s got it. Her prayer now is, “Ok God, you got it. You’ll guide me where you want me.” And she’s willing to follow. Rob says he too sees things differently. God has put him in the exact place he needs to be and he’s thankful for that. He said, “When you surrender yourself, you can trust if it’s God’s will it’s going to happen.”