If you had told me this time last year, what my upcoming year would look like, I wouldn’t believe you.
Let me backtrack a little bit.
My hubby used to travel for his job. We would move every 6 months or so. We we’re never able to take root anywhere, and I was totally comfortable that way. In fact, I tricked myself into believing I preferred it. If you didn’t grow roots anywhere, you couldn’t connect with anyone and if you didn’t connect with anyone, you couldn’t get hurt. Right?
We started going to our church about a year ago. We knew it was different from the first service we were there. Everyone was so happy and so friendly. It made me a little uncomfortable at first, just to be honest. I couldn’t understand how everyone I encountered that day could be so stinkin’ happy!! I didn’t realize it, but I had become dried up and bitter. There are not many things worse in life than the harsh self-realization that you suck. I’m sorry, but it’s true!
So back to church. I had developed this mentality that I didn’t need to go to church to be close to God, that I could serve Him from home, blah blah blah. Any excuse I could come up with, I used. And let me say this. Those things are true. But what I learned is that it’s not about that. Yes, you need to be a part of a local church. The bible says so. But is your church life-giving? Going to church isn’t just about serving and honoring God. It’s about family. Friendships. Connections. Those weren’t things I was used to. So these super-happy people that I was encountering every Sunday, were breathing life into me without me even realizing it.
I have the tendency to shut people out. When things go crazy in my life, I hibernate. I think, “No one cares what’s going on in my life because they all have their own issues to deal with.” Or I think, “I can fix this myself.” Again, I was wrong!!
This weekend is the biggest weekend for most churches all year. We have 3 services on Sunday. Needless to say, everyone is busy preparing. Thursday night, I was on my way to worship practice. Yes, this one dried-up and bitter person is now serving, something I said I would never do again. See how love heals? Anyways….Thursday night. I’m pregnant. I had an issue arise on Thursday night that called for medical attention. I told my leader what was going on, and started to leave. I was doing the whole “hibernation” thing. Even though I told her what was going on, I tried to dart out the door before anyone could ask me how I was doing. BUT!!! God was not having it. I got stopped on my way out, “Hey. Are you ok?” So I reluctantly spilled the beans. She immediately took me by the arm, walked me down the stairs and to my car. But wait…there’s more. As I’m putting my foot in the car door, another friend stops me and says “I don’t think you should be driving. Let me drive you.” Now this may not seem like much of a big deal to you, but these are very busy people that took the time to show me they loved me and cared for me. Remember, it’s Easter weekend? I have never felt more loved at that moment, from someone other than my husband and kids, in my entire adult life.
Sometimes we need to chased. Sometimes we need to be linked arm to arm. We can’t do life by ourselves. I’ve tried. Not only is it hard, but it’s not fun. God didn’t create us to be alone. I now have a list of people I can call to pray with me, cry with me and laugh with me. I couldn’t say that a year ago.
God loves us like that. He will leave the 99 to find the 1. Don’t discredit your kind words to someone. You never know when your words will light up someone’s day, causing them in return to draw near to Jesus. Thank you, Pastor Tony and Pastor Sheryll for setting the example for your flock. I feel like I’ve been rehabilitated.
Side note: even as I was writing this, I got a phone call with an invitation to spend time together because they consider us family. I am forever grateful.