Earlier this year, I attended a local church for the first time in my adult life. I was led to Jesus last December, and it took me a little while to get up the nerve to walk into a church. I asked my kids if they wanted to join me, and both shook their heads no. I didn't want to push them, so I went by myself.
I didn't like it. This church. This one so close to my house I could walk there in 3 minutes.
It was small and quaint, and I guess some people look for that, but for me, spending 15 minutes on the meet and greet portion was the exact reason I was afraid to show up in the first place. Don't get me wrong, they were all very nice people. But I wanted to slip in and hear some Words that moved me. Spoke to me.
Which brings me to another point. This pastor didn't really teach out of the Bible. He led a very feel-good sermon without a lot of content. I felt like the whole main point was missed, without Bible references scattered throughout.
So, I didn't go back. My family didn't want to go either, so I got my Bible fix elsewhere-online, podcasts, etc.
That was until last week when something struck me to ask my kids again. This time, they were very excited. Funny how a year can help you grow out of shyness.
So, upon the recommendation of a close neighbor, we tried a church in the next town over. I wanted so desperately for the church on our block to work, but it wasn't meant to be. So, off to the recommended church we went.
First we dropped off Loudoun in the lower elementary group. He walked right in and barely looked back. I was so proud. A year ago, he might have cried in the car ride over, or clung to my side when it was time to go in. He strutted in there like he had peeps to meet and God to learn about.
Next we headed over to drop off Avalon with the 3 year old class. She was super excited on the walk, but the minute we walked inside, she froze, her eyes started to fill with tears and her lower lip quivered. I had this fear of being the mom who handed over the screaming toddler, to a church lady. Not cool. But the teacher stretched out her hands and said, "would you like to see everything we have to play with here?" And Avalon went right to her. Phew.
What happened from there on my adult journey into the worship center isn't much of a story, except to say it was completely awesome, the music was so good, the pastor taught out of the bible, and I was moved to tears many times. It was what I was looking for.
The real part that gets me is God has been working on my kids' hearts (and mine) for a year now, and showed so many signs of his Power and Plan that Sunday. We all got there, we all loved it, and we all want to go back. We found a church to call home.