Yesterday was a very emotional day for me.....
You gotta understand who I am and where I came from.... I am a Baptist....through and through. I've always been in church....cut my teeth on a church pew, you might say. I've always been involved with church.
Back in December, we had a time of emotional upheaval and turmoil in our church. It affected me both in church and in my family life. After trying to work through it, I decided to turn the entire thing off. I didn't want to think about it anymore. I knew we would have to find another church and my inner self has resisted it to no end. For starters, I'd known most of those people for the better part of my life and had formed friendships and relationships. Secondly, I felt disillusioned. And I didn't want to walk into a church smiling and ready to go to work. I privately wished I could walk into a church ...find the section marked "For People Who Need Healing" and be allowed to sit there ....quietly...no conversation or small talk....I just wanted to see HIM. And I knew deep down inside that wouldn't happen. So, for the past almost three months, I have not gone to church. At all. And I didn't even want to think about going. I felt something was missing but I didn't want to do anything about it.
Yesterday, my husband said, "Let's go to church"......a Lutheran church, mind you. Those words made my poor little Baptist bred heart skip a beat. I got the kids ready and off we went. I must admit, I cried the entire way to church. I had so much emotion going on. I felt a tug toward my old church ... it was familiar ...it was the place of my friends...it was *home*. I knew my kids would feel more comfortable there. I knew we would be welcomed. But, inside, I knew that sometimes it just can't ever be the way it was.....sometimes, you just have to walk a different path. I think Darren and I both felt so much weight...felt like in a sense we had abandoned our former church...felt so....torn and sad. I didn't want to walk into a new church (and a new denomination, at that) and have to smile and pretend that it didn't hurt to step foot into a sanctuary and feel the longing I knew I would feel.
We arrived as church was starting. It was an older, pretty church. I had a momentary desire for time to stand still for a second and just let me sit there and be in the moment...but no...Isaac was already squirming and they were singing a song I didn't know.... lol. It occurred to me as I sat there, waiting to be blinded by the light of HIM, that church is made up of people. That's it. Flawed, imperfect beings trying to live daily and project HIM. The service was much different from the ones I was accustomed to..but really, every denomination has an order of service...some are written in a bulletin...some are unspoken...but if you go anywhere long enough, you know what comes next. Anyway, as I am sitting there contemplating a myriad of different things, I look around and see the beauty in watching people worship HIM. Isn't it strange that we all want to do it "right".....we want to say the right thing, do the right ritual. I must add that as the offering plate makes its way to the back and behind us, Isaac scowls and says numerous times, "Hey! I want some of that!"...I'm not sure if he thought it was something to eat or what?!?! And as the preacher? priest? what do they call a Lutheran pastor?? Anyway, as he is giving the sacraments to a lady in front of us who was unable to walk to the front, Isaac again scowls and says, "Hey...why is he not giving us some of that?" (We chose not to do communion yesterday..actually, Darren thought you couldn't anyway unless you were a member).... So, church ended and the sweet pastor/priest tells me as I am going out the door that we could have participated but he couldn't get word to us. I told him it was okay...and thank you...and stepped out into the blinding sun....made my way to the van...and cried some more.
Driving down the road on a sunny Easter day, it occurred to me that one reason I had resisted going to church is that even tho I said I had no more illusion or hope, I really did cradle some desire inside to feel HIM. I want HIM. And I think as long as I didn't go to church, I could believe that somewhere out there is a church where I can go and feel HIM like I long to. And it was a letdown....I'm not saying HE wasn't at that church, I'm just saying I have such a longing.... and my heart was crushed. That sounds insane, I know. This entire post will probably make most people say, "huh??"
I don't know what exactly I had hoped to experience....I just don't know. I only know that I feel this longing inside me that I push down and squeeze into a little corner of my soul for fear that I am longing for something that does not exist. I just don't know.............