Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 19: Church

When we left over two years ago, we weren't sure we'd be back.  There were a whole slew of reasons, all of which seem a little irrelevant and crazy now.

One of the unfortunate reasons was that we felt like outsiders in our church.

It was of our own doing of course.  I realize that now.  I realized it about the time I realized I couldn't remember a lot of the names of people in our church and that the things I wanted out of church equaled the things I had the potential to put into it.

I loved the people in our church, and I felt loved by them, but we had so much trouble finding our place in the congregation.  Part of us felt as though we were being used in the wrong ways - and weren't giving anything of value back.

I'll be honest, when we came back in July we thought we'd go back a few times - mostly just to thank the people who supported us through letters, and prayer, and giving while we were gone.  We weren't sure if we could find our way back into the places we never really felt like we occupied.

We decided to try it out for six months, and then decide. 

That trial period turned into a commitment of six months of being all in.

No more sneaking out of the sanctuary as fast as possible after the service.
No more shirking our duties because we lived outside of town.
No more not volunteering for things.
No more blaming the church for what we weren't offering.
No more using the excuse that I didn't know who anyone was.
No more staying home because it seemed like too much work to drive there.
No more being anonymous.
No more excuses.

I will tell you that it took a lot less than six months to find our footing in our old church.

It took less than three months.

Probably less than one month to realize that what we thought the church was unable to give us was the same sum as what we were unable to give.  All past tense.

Today I sat as a Congolese choir sang out and moved our church family to their feet. I've been pushed to read my Bible more than ever before.  I'm no longer afraid to tell a room of people that I need their prayers.

And now I am so grateful that we decided to go all in.

Today I am thankful for our church and second chances.  

Originally we thought we were giving our church a second chance, but the truth is that it was giving us one. 

The Year of Gratitude 


Kim Crandall said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow...I had no idea you guys felt that way before... we feel so blessed by your family!!! So glad for the 2nd chance!! Love you all so much! Kim

Julie L. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We are most happy that you did decide to return to FMC!! All of our lives are the better for it, and I always told you that I was looking forward to having your children in my Sunday School class one day. Thank you for sharing them with all of us, and thank you for the countless ways in which you are serving!!

Love from "Miss Julie"

Valerie's HeART said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This post brought a tear to my eye for many reasons. I feel so blessed to be a part of your family. Your family is precious, beautiful and a blessing. Enjoying the day of catching up on your year of gratitude.
I love your heart.

naomi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

this is raw and honest and beautiful . . . and it made me smile!