Sunday, March 29, 2009

God is Good...All the Time

Okay, so if you've been reading my blog for a while you know that one of my goals for the new year was to find a church. I have not gone to church in...well...let's just say it's been a good long while. About two months ago, Michael went to Awana's with some friends of ours and told them how we don't go to church anymore. Honestly, he picks the oddest times to get talkative. That night when our friends brought him home, I was informed that they were going to be pushing me (in a nice way) to come back to church. My good friend, A.D., went on to tell me all of the wonders of her church (which was my church for 8 years up until around 5 or 6 years ago) and how I should give it a try again.

Remember the night we rushed Nick to the emergency room? Well that was the night BEFORE I was supposed to go to church. Hmm... a little suspicious that he would get deathly ill THAT night, but whatever. So I didn't hear anything from A.D. for a few weeks and then in the last ten days or so, she's e-mailed me asking me to come to church. And then random people began showing up at the bookstore saying things like "Hey, I hear you're coming to visit us at North Wake this weekend!" Sneaky, A.D. Very, very sneaky.

Well if you are wondering why, why, WHY I have this apparent 'aversion' to going to church, I'll give you a brief tale. I had left North Wake many years ago because they were going through some changes that I, personally, did not agree with. Other people were fine with it, I was not. On top of that, Frank and I had had some rather unpleasant experiences with some pastors/elders and I just KNEW at the time that it was time for us to move on. So I started going to a really, really SMALL church. It was nice. Nothing wild but what I found was that being part of a really, really small church was that EVERYONE knew EVERYTHING that you were doing - good, bad or ugly. Not fun. Well, after about a year, the church closed and the pastor and his family moved to head up a church in New Mexico. Then I moved on to a really BIG church close to home that it seemed like almost everyone I knew went there. It was really, really big. So I went from one extreme to the other.

I was there for a while but I never felt like I fit in. It was so big that no one knew if I was there or not, the kids weren't thrilled with either of their programs (child and teen) and long story short, I kind of got angry at God. Why? Well, one of my biggest prayers after becoming a Christian was to go to church with my parents. I can remember going to church with my mom as a kid, but something about going together as an adult, and as a Christian, was a big deal to me. I really don't remember EVER going to church with my dad and I think he would quite possibly burst in to flames if he walked through the doors of a church today! True story. So back to my prayer request - when my mom lived down here briefly some four years ago, we started going to church together and it was wonderful. I felt like my heart was just full of joy. There really are no words to describe it. It just was a wonderful thing. And then she decided to move back to NY and go back to her abusive husband so that she could also take care of my grandmother who had just then been diagnosed with cancer. Things did not end well on this end. I was very angry at her for leaving and things were said that really changed how I viewed my entire life. That, in effect, made me very angry with God. I was like "Why would you grant me this prayer of my heart to have it end so horribly?" I never felt comfortable going back to that church after that. I tried. I honestly did. But it was never the same. So I stopped going. And you know what? Hardly anyone noticed. My best friend did, but that's only because we see each other almost every day and we would sit together in the service, but other than that, not ONE PERSON called to see what happened to me or why we hadn't been in church.

Too big.

Now back to today. I got up this morning and went to church. My old church. My first church. I had let my anger against some of its members keep me from going back. I had let my feelings about a handful of people keep me from going back to a place that at one time, was my home. Today I walked back through those doors and you know what? It was like going home. People were so happy to see me. I was hugged and greeted and just made to feel so welcome by people that I don't even KNOW!! But that's not even the best part. I sat with some old friends and when the pastor got up to speak - and let me just say that this man is a PHENOMENALLY gifted speaker - his talk was on loving our enemies.

Um...hello? Uh, A.D.? Did you happen to mention to Larry that I was coming back today because I feel like he was speaking directly to ME! It was honestly and truly amazing. Michael had a good time in his Sunday school class and I am pretty sure we will be going back next week. I know many have asked and invited us to their churches and I thank you all for thinking of me and praying for me. The time had to be right. My heart had to be in the right place. I guess it finally happened.

It's good to be home.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

PRaise!!!! It is a good feeling to know your home at Church. Church is like family, things happen and you may have hurt feelings or some angry moments, but take it to God and love them anyway. You are there to connect with "Daddy" and the rest is just icing on the cake. Enjoy the fellowship for awhile and then jump in and let your light shine, there is a corner or spot with your name on it! The body needs you and your talents and it feels good to be apart of something bigger than you.

So glad you found a church that you all like.