I came to an amazing realization today.
This morning I was awake before six. I debated on going to church this morning, my attendance has been poor since the Covid mess began and I figured missing another day wouldn’t matter. Snuggled warm under the cover I drifted back to sleep. I was awake again at six thirty and again at seven. I decided that someone was trying to tell me something. Shoving the cover aside I rose from the bed and made my way through the house. Preparing a cup of coffee I still debated. In the end, I got ready and prepared to head for church. When the phone suddenly rang it was dad wanting to know if someone would take him to get a newspaper. I could have used this as a way out of going to church, instead I asked my son and he agreed to take his grandfather to get a paper. Bundled up in a somewhat worn coat, I got in my cold car and headed out.
I arrived fairly early and made my way into the building and down the stairs to the Sunday School Bible training class I am a member. I was greeted by a warm building and friendly smiles. I was among the first in the class room, each person who came in later greeted me in a familiar, welcoming manner. As if I had not missed a moment of time. As if I have been missed and they were happy to see me.
After class I made my way back upstairs to the sanctuary. Each person I passed greeted me. Most people I passed spoke first in the greetings. Asking how I was, how my parents are, asking and wanting an honest response. Waiting for that response. As I entered the room, I saw that the place where I had always sat in the past, was empty. As odd as it may sound, it felt as if I were home. The entire morning, had felt as if I were home. People were walking up to me, not waiting for me to approach first. These are people who know me, they know many of my quirks, they have followed my writing, and they still approached me to chat.
The service was all that I remembered. The love, the worship, the feeling of peace and hope brought on by knowing God. With it being the Sunday before Christmas, the hymns were Christmas carols sung in full or as part of a collection. The message a reminder of God the Father. His love, His presence, His guidance, His protection. A message of instruction yes, but also one of assurance and trust.
After the service I walked down to my late husband’s grave and added some flowers to the vase. I didn’t stay long, he isn’t there but I still love, miss and will remember.
Now, hours later I am writing this. Now, hours later, the feeling still lingers. I’ve heard the words often in the past of where one does not need to attend church to be saved. No, it is not a requirement, but it does make a difference. My heart still sees those approaching me, those stopping and chatting with me, causing me to feel a part of the family. I am a part of this family, and know that I am blessed richly for that gift. I thought that I was doing okay not attending church, I thought I was okay with watching the online service. I may have gotten the message, but I did not get the emotional strength, the growth and companionship that comes with attending. God is with us always. Where ever we are, He is with us. But when you are in the house of God, with God’s family, there is a great and vast difference. I am very glad that I attended service this morning. I know, what I have been missing and I need to get back in a regular routine of spending time in God’s house with God’s family. One who accepts me, as God does, as family.
Rebecca, this is a wonderful testimony of the presence of God in your life. I have wondered about and thought of these very things too. Thank you for giving me an incentive! Big hug and Merry Christmas to you and your family. ❤️
Thank you John. It did give me a better perspective on who I fit in with better and who cares. I love my Jeep family and I know there are those who do care, but my church family is just different. They have been there for my family many times in the past and have shown they are still here for us.
It’s wonderful that your church family is there for you. ❤️
First post I see on here after signing up, God bless 🙏🏽
And my God bless you richly as well.