I have been to church 2 times in the last 3 weeks. That is huge for me. I have had issues with church since I was a teenager. The ironic thing is I don’t have any issues with God or my Faith just the act of going to church. I have always felt out of place, like I’d be judged, and like being myself was would not be good enough. I’d sit in the pew anticipating the end of the service instead of enjoying it and then feeling guilty that I was not enjoying it like everyone else. You see, issues, lots and lots of issues with being at church.
I listed visit a new church as one of my 35 for 35 goals. So 3 weeks ago, with the assistance of my cat who wanted me to wake up at 8:30 AM, I visited Epic. My cousin had mentioned it to me. She understood my church issues and had gotten good feedback from one of her friends about Epic. My first visit was a good one. It was casual, young, and welcoming without being pushy. There was encouragement to return, get baptized, and participate in church activities but there was no hard sell or guilt trip. Yesterday was my 2nd visit and it was equally as good. This time I remembered to bring my bible so that I could read along with whatever scriptures were mentioned during the service. (My dad advised me to always do this. Never blindly follow a religious leader. Read for yourself). Epic passed my scripture test plus had me laughing during the sermon. The big bonus for me was when Some Biggie Smalls Lyrics were referenced in a joke that supported the pastors message that having more money and more things will not make us happier, Mo Money, Mo Problems.
I will share with you my two big takeaways from my two visits.
When faced with limited time when you have to cut some activities. Cut the ones that someone else can do. Keep the ones that you and only you can do. Only you can be your kids parents, your partner’s spouse, your parent’s child, your brother or sister’s sibling. These are the areas to focus on when time is limited.
You are dong better than you think and God is doing more than you think. So often I fell overwhelmed and upset that things are not going exactly how I want or how I think they should be going. It is a good reminder that things usually are not as bad as we think and that God is always doing so much behind the scenes.
Hopefully I will continue to have good church going experiences as I would really like to be able to worship with others and maybe even make some new like minded friends. I will keep you all updated about my church experiences and hopefully share some more joyful takeaways from service.
Have you ever struggled with church? Do you attend regularly? If so what do you like most about your church?