Sitting in church didn't feel the same. Fellowship didn't feel the same. Nothing felt like it clicked. I was logged into Instagram more then paying attention to the words coming from the minister's mouth. I didn't feel like I fit anymore. I constantly was looking for something that was wrong instead of everything in the world that was right. Selfishly I was annoyed at my husband for actually being joyful as we walked out of the doors. I lived in a sea of dread literally dreading Sunday morning. One person upset me and it sent me over the edge. I was ready to walk out. I was ready to quit.
I officially hit the church funk. The funk that drove me to look into every single church that apparently was in a 30 mile radius to see what they could offer me that my own didn't. If a church website could track the times I landed there, they would probably think I was stalking them. I was constantly enthralled with the "ooh's and aah's" of what might be bigger and better other places. Places that instantaneously were going to just fix it all. I would be cured. I would walk into church and literally feel in paradise. Wrong.
We visited one. It was WONDERFUL, don't get me wrong. We may visit there again. We may include Landree in youth activities... but it wasn't home. It wasn't the people that took us in when our lives were turned upside down. I stood in the parking lot crying because I knew it was "wrong." I knew I was chasing something that wasn't going to be fulfilled by four walls of a church.
Satan stole my Joy. My true inner joy. The joy you feel only with God's inner peace. He wanted me to keep questioning everything right in front of me. He wanted me out of the church that feeds my soul so he could feed on me. I was miserable. He wanted me to church chase for the "stuff" instead of the meat of God's word.
It took a three year old to bring me to my senses. Amazing how God uses children in the most amazing ways. She said to me ... "Mommy, I want my old church. I want Miss Linda. I love Jesus." I stopped dead in my tracks. She gets it. She gets the reason she is in those four walls.
I thought our church had to give me everything. I felt guilty when it wasn't fulfilling every single need that I spiritually have. A friend told me about a bible study she started for moms and women in general in my age range. Immediately Satan was messing with me... just leave. Go there. That's it. Be done with this church, obviously the other church is more in tune with your needs. I prayed. I realized... why can't I go to multiple sources to be fed? We were never meant to be fed from one source. I would just keep chasing my tail. I could have both. The beautiful lessons of Tabbatha and our beautiful faith family. I could attend events at other churches without "cheating" and bring back wonderful concepts to my own church.
How could I not see everything right in front of me? How did Satan distort my view so bad that I didn't realize that these people truly love us? When did I care what I would be offered instead of what I could offer the church? When I finally broke through, I realized God put a phrase on my heart. Be the change you want to see. Bring to the table what you want to see because more then likely, someone else is praying about the same thing. Be honest and authentic about the struggles that you are facing in your faith with those you trust that will guide and pray for you.
I'm not saying in any way a church will be your forever church. As our minister told us, if you evolve and change, the church will evolve and change. You have to follow what is best for your family and for your faith to lead your family forward. People are going to upset you, get back up and try again. You aren't going to believe every single thing you hear and may strongly disagree. You aren't going to be captivated by every single sermon you hear... maybe God has it intended for someone else's ears that need it. You may not find your fit where you click. Reach out and shake a hand. You never know who God may be putting in your path if you are willing to receive it.
I need my family. I need my faith. I love my church. It's my home. It's my safety in a chaotic world. It's the family and support we need as a family living so far from home and our own families. We were meant to fellowship with others. This church loves us. Truly, emphatically, bottom of their hearts love us.
Find the church that truly cares about you. The church that notices when you aren't there and truly reaches out to you. Find the church that makes you want to be a better person and to push you to step out boldly in your faith.
Reidsville Christian Church, you are stuck with us. Your bright shining amazing faces that fill each and every row... you get to stare at our busy bee daughter for the foreseeable future. I am so proud to call this wonderful church, HOME.
Photo Courtesy of Reidsville Christian Church