These last couple of weeks have been a challenge. That’s putting it mildly. Imagine standing at the edge of a cliff, knowing the only hope you have is to jump and trust that you will be caught before you are squashed at the bottom. Problem is, you don’t quite see the Person there to catch you. You look behind you and see the angry mob coming for you with their pitchforks and torches, so you know the only choice you have is to jump, but you are so afraid of becoming splatter instead of surviving and thriving.
That’s me up until yesterday. Oh, I know I’m not out of the woods yet, but I caught a respite yesterday that sent my soul soaring. I can now glimpse what it will be like to cross the finish line of this latest race between me and the devil. There have been a few things that I have been sensing I should do, and one of them was to go and try a new church. I have been putting it off for about 6 months or more, but yesterday I finally did it.
I hadn’t been to church in almost a year. Every church I visited, searching for a home, I walked away feeling lonely and ignored. I certainly didn’t feel the love of God. So, when I took the courage to drive the 30 minutes to this new, small church, I was quite nervous. When I parked the car, I almost decided to just leave and not even get out. But I did get out, and I walked towards the men standing at the door who were there talking. One of them opened the door for me and said hello. Standard procedure, so I didn’t get all excited.
I walked in and saw a coffee bar in front of me and people milling about talking. There were some at tables, sitting on couches or just standing around. Three women sitting at a bar high table to my left all stopped their conversation and looked straight at me. They each smiled and said hello to me. I knew the first place I was going to visit was the bathroom, so I proceeded forward looking for a sign. A blonde woman approached me, genuine smile and all and asked if she could help me. I told her I was looking for the bathroom and she began to show me the way. She introduced herself and pointed out the doorway to me. I felt at ease. I didn’t feel like a freak on display, like I have so many times before. It was simple, but refreshing. These people didn’t do anything out of the ordinary except have something that most of the churches I have been to in my past do not. Real love.
I can’t describe it, but I certainly felt it. As small as this church is, it was no wonder I stood out, but I didn’t feel like I was being stared at the whole time and I noticed that the people treated each other with the same friendliness. I wasn’t being singled out, these were real people, not actors.
I’m not going into the details of the message, it would take to long. Let’s just say it was practical, useful and Biblical. Exactly what I need in my day to day life.
That was the beginning of my day. The rest of it went smoothly. Not spectacular, but there were no scenes of anger or frustration as has been so often for the last few weekends. By the time it was close to dinner, my son was leaving to go back to school and my daughter was taking care of her responsibility with the horses. About an hour later, I heard the door open and in comes my daughter. (I had offered her some food to take home) She stayed and talked for about 30 minutes which is a lot longer than she normally likes to stay. She seemed happy and very talkative (not in a pharmaceutical way, either). It was the end to a good day. But more than that, I took it as a message from God, giving me strength and hope. My reaching out to Him, just by finally obeying and going to this new church, He reciprocated and gave me a taste of my daughter, who she is deep inside, her happy spirit and entertaining nature.
I know it seems insignificant but it was monumental for me. Thank You God for Your faithfulness and encouragement. Forgive me for not obeying You immediately before and put in me the spirit of obedience so I will not have to go through this turmoil anymore. For those of you reading, step back and look at your life with a different perspective. It’s really good when we stop interfering with our own plans and just do what God wants us to.