Sunday, February 6, 2011
Today I went to an "About" class at a church by our house. I have been on a search for a church home for about six years. I LOVED the one I went to before I got married, but partially because my hubby's house was so far away from it, and partially because said husband is not much of a church-goer, I wanted to find something closer to home. I defaulted to the Presbyterian church I grew up in (kind of) because it was nearby. But then we had S, and it was difficult for me to go alone with her, so I only went a handful of times after she was born.
Then we moved a year and a half ago. And Baby R was born. So I started searching again. We live fairly close to the Catholic church that DH was raised in, so we've been there a few times, and I really enjoyed one that a friend invited me to, but it is HUGE (there are 4 sites around town and the sermon is broadcast from the original site to the satellite we went to) and not that close. There is one right by our house (5 minutes away, if that). It's fairly small, about 400 attend the two services on Sunday mornings. And when I came the first few times, I felt welcomed. Everyone was friendly without being nosy or pushy. So I decided to attend their class to find out a bit more about them.
I have had a fairly broad experience with churches. My dad was raised Baptist and my mom was raised Methodist. My dad is an only child, but his two cousins he grew up with both married Catholics and had big families (ie, we went to a LOT of Catholic weddings growing up). Dad is not a big fan of church but he and Mom took us to the aforementioned Presbyterian church when we were young. We moved fairly far from it when I was about 8, and that was pretty much the end of my official time in Sunday school.
In middle school I was blessed to have an incredible group of close-knit best girlfriends. There were seven of us: three Mormons, 1 Catholic, 1 Nazarene, 1 non-denominational and me. I have attended services and events with all of them. It was an amazing opportunity for me. At a time when lots of kids are beginning to rebel against their parents, their upbringing, their mandatory church attendance, I was able to really search out what I believed. I was saved at a retreat with some of those friends.
Once I had a boyfriend, I went to church with his family at a non-denominational church for the rest of my high school career. In college, I found a Methodist church to attend. After graduating and moving back to Kansas City, I spent quite a bit of time without a church home. I don't believe you have to go to church to have a relationship with Christ, but I do think that for me, it helps keep me on track. Eventually I found a Bible study that I really enjoyed. It led me to a church I attended for awhile. Then I found my first real church home, a non-denominational Christian church. I got plugged in, joined a small group, volunteered to help with a service team, and made some close friends. There were a few great years there where I really felt like my walk with Christ was genuine. I was learning and growing and really on the right path.
Then I fell away a bit. I still was active with the church, but I was also single and partying and doing that whole thing. It's not that you can't do both, but I could tell I was diverging from where God wanted me to be. I distinctly remember feeling like there were times when I was avoiding Him, as though He were sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of my room, watching over me, waiting patiently for me to return to Him.
My walk has been full of times when I've strayed from the path and then returned. It's been exceptionally difficult being in an unequally yoked marriage. For me, that puts an even greater importance on finding a good church fit. So I'm excited to have found one that seems to be on the same page as me. The second half of the class is next Sunday, and of course, I'll need to spend a bit more time getting connected, but I'm hopeful I've found a new home. I'll keep you posted on my progress!