Tag Archives: church

I got this

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Last weekend our church opened the doors on a new building.  While husband and I have only been around for a few months, the church has been mobile for over six years.  The church started in a home and later moved to the gym of an elementary school.  Everything about the sanctuary was put up and taken down each week.  Now we have a home.

There was a prayer and worship service on Saturday night before our first official Sunday morning.  It was a time of thankfulness of all that God has done in this body of believers in just a few short years.

I cried buckets of tears on Saturday night.  The first tear fell during the first song, and the last tear was wiped away as I walked out of the building.  I’m not totally sure what all the tears were about, but I do know I heard a whisper in my spirit.

I got this.

What’s my role, what do You want me to do? – I’ll lead and guide you, I got this.

What about __?  I’m worried about her. – Don’t worry, I got this.

Over and over again, I offered my worries, my fears, my jumbled thoughts to God.

Over and over and over again, He whispered back.  Don’t worry.  Don’t be afraid.  I got this.

The next morning was our first service.  The parking lot was full fifteen minutes before service started.  Seats started to fill, then chairs were added and finally it was standing room only.  A celebratory mood filled the room, any tears shed were tears of joy.

Dr. Walker spoke on John 6, the passage where Christ feeds the five thousand.  Dr. Walker talked about the three responses to Christ wanting to feed the people

It can’t be done.

We have some, but not enough.

A boy who offered his lunch.

When the boy offered his lunch, he gave it to Christ and left the results up to God.  The boy didn’t worry if it could be done, or if his offering was enough.  He simply gave what he had and left the rest up to God.

I got this.

I know these two things are connected.  I have to give up my need for control and submit to Him.  I only have to offer what I have, my time, my talents, my treasure and allow God to do with it what He wills.

Love You More

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Hispanic woman holding large, woven heart

It’s a thing I send to my best girlfriends when we’re texting and have to say goodbye.  “Love you.”  “Love you more.”

I say this to my mom or my sister when we’re ending a phone conversation.  “Love you.”  “Love you more.”

So when the words came out of his mouth, it brought immediate tears to my eyes.

“Have a great week pastor, love you.”

“Love you more.”

Three small words.  Three small words which crumbled my heart into a happy bit of rubble.

My pastor loves me.

Really, this shouldn’t be such a big deal.  A pastor is supposed to care about the people in his church.  A pastor is supposed to teach, lead and guide.  A pastor has many ‘things’ to do in the life of a church.  And a pastor should love the people in his church, unfortunately many don’t.

Then my pastor said “Love you more”.

I wrote awhile ago how we had started the search for a new church.  We had visited a few churches in the area, but nothing seemed to stick.  So when husband said we should check out the church down the street, I figured the same thing would happen again.

We’ve only missed a handful of Sunday’s in the past six months.

We walked in and found a place where ‘real’ness and sincerity met.  We walked in and found a place where safeness is a goal.  We walked in and found a place where it’s OK to be broken and healing.  We walked into a family, we walked into a home.

And it freaked me out.

Terror filled my spirit.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of being hurt again.  Fear of being disappointed.  I wanted to run away, the risk seemed too great.

But each week, I return.

Leaders are showing themselves to have integrity.  Teaching is deep and challenging and biblical.  The people are sincere and willing to come along side and walk life’s journey together.

Each confirmation, each step forward causes me to shed tears.  Tears of freedom.  Tears of healing.  Tears washing away the stain of hurt and bitterness.  Tears that drip down my face and chin, leaving their trails on the front of my dress.  Tears which are breaking down the wall I built for protection.

My pastor said, “Love you more.”

And so it begins…

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Husband and I went to church on Sunday.

Two months ago, I wrote about how we were waiting to get through some of our own junk before we tried again with church.  This last Sunday, we decided to stop waiting and put some feet to our faith.

Before we could go, we had some things to discuss.  Discussions of my fears, most of which boiled down to me putting too much pressure on a single Sunday.  Discussions of not allowing a critical spirit to come with us to service.  Discussions of being in the moment, allowing God to speak and giving back to Him in worship.

I’ve never had to think through so much just to go to church.

It was a good Sunday.  It was a little weird to get up and go after not having gone for six months.  It was good to go and have the support of a few friends.  It was good to be with a body of believers.  It was good to hear a strong word from a strong pastor.

The process has begun.

And as is with so much in my life, I’m wishing I knew the end from the beginning.

For now, I’m going to hold onto what Pastor Pete said, “Don’t miss out on what Jesus has for you because of what the church has done to you.

For now, we wait.

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My husband and I aren’t attending church right now.  There are various reasons, time for a break, a lot of travel, hurts that we are working through.  It’s an odd thing for this girl, having grown up in the church.  There are long memories of frilly dresses, communion plates, singing in choir, youth group and Bible studies.  Church is part of my DNA, but right now I have no place to call home.

Have you ever bought something big (like a car) and then noticed how many of them are actually on the road?  Or had a somewhat common surgery (gallbladder removal), and then found quite a few people you know have had the same surgery?  These things tend to become a second nature conversation, and suddenly, you’re having this conversation with ever other person that you know.  Have you been there?

That’s where I’m at with church.  I’ve made a conscious decision not to go, and suddenly I find person after person, blog after blog with people who are speaking and feeling the same discontent that I am.

The cry is the same for us all – I’m tired, very tired.

Tired of the smoke (literally) and mirrors.  Tired of the church formula – 2 songs, announcements/prayer, 3 songs, sermon and the closing song.  Tired of the lack of authenticity.  Tired of trying to make a difference, only to be shut down because you’re not the professional.  Tired of not being led, but being expected to have the skills to lead.  Tired of Jesus being talked about, but not really lived with, not really welcomed.

I am tired, very tired.

And yet, I long to be a part of a community.  I want to go and be a part of the routine.  I want to be hugged hello and have long lunches after church.  I want to be part of the fray, following the leaders on stage with no question of their integrity or motivation.   The worst part, I just can’t.

I feel jaded.  The feeling when you’ve dated a couple of guys with the same name, they both broke your heart, and now you will never date another _____ again.  I’m scared of going into any church and judging them through the eyes of my hurt and anger.  I’m scared that no church will want what I have to offer.  I’m scared that a fit will not be found.

So for now, we wait.