Note: I wrote this post several months ago but waiting to post it for some reason… today, I have felt several nudges to share it out of no where, so here it is.
Written December 2011
As I drove Miss Add back and forth to the doctor today (double ear infection…yippee!) and then back and forth to the pharmacy, I was thinking about how bummed I was that we missed yesterday’s service at our church because of these lovely preschool germs we haven’t quite built up an immunity against just yet.
Deep in thought and perhaps a little delirious from the lack of sleep we have had the last 3 nights, I literally laughed out loud at the notion that me… that I… I was missing church… like missing a concert or something.
Oh the difference 4 months has made…
We have only missed 2 Sundays in 4 months… One because we were out of state and the other because of 102.2 temp. Last Sunday we even moved heaven and earth to get there after Add’s morning preschool Christmas program.
5 months ago I would have told you that I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel at home at a church again… let alone make a special effort to get to church because we were so excited about it.
This kind of behavior isn’t me.
I didn’t want to go to church.
Truth be told, for the last 15 years (except for brief periods of time) I haven’t wanted to go to church.
Oh I craved the relationship with God.
Craved relief from the guilt and judgement of not being a regular church attender.
Craved the belonging that comes with fitting in…
But there were barriers that kept me from craving church… and therefore making it all — a relationship with God, relationships with others, peace, etc.– a struggle.
And as I drove today, I began to feel maybe I should share them here… in case anyone out there can relate.
My point being not to point out all that is wrong with the world, the church, me and mankind, but rather to share my experiences and feelings (right or wrong) and how God changed it all one Sunday… yeah… one Sunday after 15 years…
Note: These are my personal experiences… if you are feeling especially judgy wudgy right now, head on over to a different section (we have 5 sections now 😉 ) of the site and have a Diet Coke. We will be back to our regular programming soon 😉
If you aren’t going to church– whether you used to be a Sunday School Suzy like me and you can’t seem to fit anymore or you have never graced the steps of a church for fear of it being struck by lightening, but have a feeling deep inside that if you could just find the right place or if you were just in the right place personally that you would love to try… keep reading.
One of my many hang ups?
It was a struggle.
Among the myriad of things that led to every Sunday morning be a struggle from getting everyone dressed up, fed, in the car and in their respective places before service, one part of the struggle always made me feel awful and I don’t know about you, I don’t like to feel awful.
It didn’t matter what time we got up, our internal clocks ALWAYS had us adjust for time… and we would ALWAYS (after checking in the kid) walk into service after it started.
Truth be told, this has always been a shameful moment for me. Shame isn’t fun. I have heard what people say about people who show up late and, I knew it was within my control and I was ashamed. Even if a single person didn’t judge me when I walked in late on that particular day, it didn’t matter, I did.
And I imagined that others did to… And, of course there are those memorable times of not so friendly glances or even mentions regarding late comers from the pulpit over the years would only reinforce these feelings of shame and struggle.
But you know what, I have a new picture now. These last four months have given me a new image for anyone that struggles with this…
The father in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-31)…
20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
God is happy to see me.
He wants me there.
Sure, I want to get better at be mindful of my time management, but God, is happy to see me and only He knows what barriers tried to keep me from service that day.
Only He knows how tempting that 5-10 minutes could make skipping all together… skipping everything He has for me there.
Being late/being judged was just one of my hang-ups.
And dude, I had a lot of them… but in the last 8 months God has tackled them one by one as if to say it was time for me to move on.
And moving on… man, it has been a flood of peace.
Regardless of the hang up, I think the results are pretty much the same for most.
The result is a separation or a lack of peace… or at least it was for me.
But trying again… even after 15 years, gosh I am glad I did.
I am the mama behind GOODEness Gracious and the owner of Cris Goode Solutions. Here at GOODEness Gracious, we like to keep it light and fun as we cook up family meals, share our super mommy secrets and chat it up about the GOODe life:) So come on in and sit a spell.