I did something different today—I went to church.
It’s been a few years since I last attended a church service… and the last church I attempted to go to, a few times, was just not the place for me. It was an enormous congregation, and although I was greeted at the door in a friendly manner, I didn’t get the feeling after attending a few weeks in a row that anyone cared that I was there, including God.
I guess you could say I just wasn’t feelin’ it… even though I wanted to. Really wanted to. So I quit going to this particular church, and although I promised myself (and God) that I would continue my search for a church that “fit” me and my children, I didn’t.
Church and God and Faith are not a “natural” part of my world. I wasn’t raised in a church… no one in my immediate family went to church, ever, and therefore I didn’t either.
When I was a kid, most of my friends attended church. And one family in particular let me tag along quite often. But I always felt like an outsider, no matter how often I went with them or how much I enjoyed singing hymns (always my favorite part of any Sunday morning at church). No matter how welcome and loved I was supposed to feel when I walked through those doors, I never did. I felt like a big phony. I thought that the members of this church who were raising their hands and singing God’s praise and weeping at the thought of Jesus dying for them were a bit… well… crazy.
I’ve spent the majority of my life feeling like I must be missing something. And the older I get, the more I wonder/worry/stress about WHAT I’m missing… and now, what my kids are missing as well. I don’t want my children to grow up feeling like outsiders and phonies when their friends talk about Jesus (who?!?!) and invite them to their churches. I don’t want them to think Christmas is only about Toys R Us and piles of gifts under a fake tree.
So, this morning we went to church. And it was nice. Just… nice. I enjoyed the service, I’m glad we went, and I’m planning on returning next Sunday morning. I still felt like I didn’t quite belong there, and I literally prayed that Damon wouldn’t scream “Jesus!!” as an expletive during Children’s Church (like he did at the doctor’s office Friday when the doctor swabbed his throat *shudder*).
Tonight, I’m trying to remind myself that I’ve lived almost 32 years with no real faith to speak of… no relationship with Jesus, or even a clear understanding of who he (He?) was or what he did and what any of that has to do with me. So I suppose it’s going to take longer than one measly Sunday morning for me to “feel it,” let alone understand any of it.