happily ever after: Finding a Church Home

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Finding a Church Home

We moved here 21 months ago. We went to a church that our friends were a part of, but kinda knew it was not going to be 'for us' in the long haul. We finally decided to leave that little church and find our 'home'. When we walked into this one church a few weeks back, it was like coming home.

Let me do some background for you. I grew up in the church, been attending the same one since I was eight. (SO that was like 20 years ago, those that know me, no leaving my real age in the comments, you little stinkers). Anyway, being a part of the same church for most of your life is precious, but it comes with some struggles. Like never really knowing what it feels like to be a visitor. Or taking for granted all the people that are there, that love you, that have known you from the beginning, that you could call on at any time of day or night. I took all that for granted and never really appreciated it for the true gift that it was. So, in visiting churches and trying to find one that fits us, we felt so very alone and isolated.

Before we even moved, Jay and I felt like God was doing a work in us and preparing us for having our apron strings cut. Moving to a place 3000 miles away from all our family & friends was hard but God cradled us with having us move just down the street from some life-long good friends and going to their small church where we made some more good friends. I don't even know how we would have done it without this gift. But then leaving that church and realizing that it was time to find our own church and get plugged in, turned into a transition time that probably most people go through during the first couple of months of moving to a new area. It's a sad and lonely place. But we held firm to the fact that God had a plan and it will be far better than anything else we could force into our lives. His plan still unfolds, we still don't know what the future holds, but He has given us some nuggets of gold in the past couple of weeks and we are very thankful.

It started with us trying a different Sunday School class one Sunday. My hairdresser advised us to try her class. (Yes, my hairdresser that I have recently found, ended up she goes to this church we were trying out) We went to her class, we loved it. Then the teaching class splits into small groups. I was praying during the teaching that God would really show us which small group to go to. At the end of teaching and before we could think, there was my hairdresser, K, inviting us to her's. I acutally prayed...'sorry, God, we'll go to hers this week, and next week, we'll go to the one YOU want us to go to.' (too funny) But the small group was great, everyone was nice and welcomed me (Jay had an allergy attack and needed to go home). It felt most like our small group back home in CA. Fast forward to the end of the week when they had a ladies night out at the church. I went with a friend, Th. We walked in and didn't know where to sit as all the tables were labled with name tags. I asked the lady at the door that greeted us and she took us right over to her table. Turns out that was the table for the small group that I had visited. This was the lady that hadn't been there Sunday. This was the lady that I'd been praying for because my hairdresser had told me about their adoption story. Th and I had such a great night getting to know these ladies and even better, they understood my sense of humor and when I laughed too loud at all the wrong times, they thought it was great. :o) Then after the program we were just sitting and mingling when a lady came up to Th to say hi and low and behold I knew this lady, she's from my home town and had been Calvin's pre-school teacher! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! Too funny!

The next Sunday we had an Sunday School class to go to, had a small group that welcomed us and remembered our names, even stayed for the new member's class. We're starting to feel that feeling of just 'being home'. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's a feeling that we'd been craving for some time now and it's happening. The boys already love the church, the boys already have friends, the boys already beg to go to their classes on Sunday and the Wednesday night program. But Jay and I were needing to catch up with them. Jay and the boys went to the men's golfing retreat and made some friends. When we walk into the church foyer, the administrative pastor greets us by name. It's feeling like home. I cried through most of the service on Sunday and I'm so thankful for this precious nugget from God.

there is a small old fashioned church at the corner of our road, every week they change their sign, this was last week's, just loved it. Now they've changed it to advertise the 'pig-pickin' they're having this weekend. 'pig-pickin'...it's a southern thing.