I’ve been neglecting church. Yeah, me. The woman with the ministry page that encourages women daily to follow the Lord and to gain heavenly wisdom.
You see, it’s not that I don’t want to go or have had valid excuses to keep me from it. I’ve been struggling.
We moved to Huntsville just over a year ago and started attending this really great church. A girl I met on Facebook invited me and from the start, I loved it. It was extremely welcoming, and the worship was just what I needed after 2 years of not meeting together in person because of COVID.
Let me back up and say, God led us here.
He told me a year and a half before we made the move that we would be in Huntsville. He didn’t tell me when or how, just that it was in our future.
So, when we finally arrived, I expected spiritual balloons and a heavenly party because I’d “obeyed” God. Would that be your expectation too or just me?
Cut scene and cue the here and now…
Since I’ve been here, I’ve been stretched more than I thought possible. God didn’t bring me here to shower me with every perfect scenario. He brought me here to grow me.
He wanted my spiritual muscles to flex, and they couldn’t do that where we were living.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve experienced new relationships, an injured child from birth trauma, getting on an airplane for the first time in my adult (remembering) years, the stretching of my marriage and parenting, and having to open up to people – the real kind of opening up. This time, I didn’t get to rely on my extroverted personality to get me through.
I’ll be honest… It’s so incredibly easy to believe that the stretch is for me and me alone. I’ve been getting wrapped up in my emotions – how I’m (emphasis) feeling and how I (emphasis) want things to go.
One of the ways God is exposing my innermost parts is by redefining what connection means. This has looked like being put in situations where being anything but authentic doesn’t pass the bill.
And with that, I’m starting to notice something. I am habitually self-sabotaging. I mean, it’s bad! I thought I’d overcome this before we moved because I was in my safe zone and things felt good and okay. But outside of my familiar comfort, things shifted!
I saw my fear in a brand-new light and all the things I thought I’d conquered started to profusely bleed from me. But that’s usually how it goes right? New levels, new devils? (Insert sarcastic chuckle)
So, this brings me back to my new church. The one I’ve been leaving on the back burner.
Every time I walk through those doors, I reject myself before anyone else can reject me. I don’t mean sometimes. EVERY time.
I am so afraid of that familiar sting that I’m hurting myself before anyone else has the chance. And my GOSH, it’s been absolutely deflating! Worse than deflating.
I’ve felt helpless.
The thought of showing up on Sunday has made me feel panicky, like some kind of imposter or a big ole’ phony.
Where’s the woman that encourages people? The one that stands in the gap for her friends and always tries to uplift and be the woman God called her to be?
It’s been hard, y’all. But today…
Today, I went to a service. I’d seen people from the church group on Facebook talk about this being a healing service and I KNEW that God had a divine appointment with me.
So, I walked in. Jaw tight and too scared to hang around the front and talk to anyone. I went straight to a seat and looked at my phone until worship started.
Then Jesus showed up.
Just typing it makes me emotional all over again. I felt His presence so strongly that I couldn’t even control my facial expressions. I forgot where I was standing and just remained in a moment, face to Face with my Savior. My Papa. The One who LOVES me more than I could ever imagine.
Every bit of my body was suspended in peace. And when I opened my eyes…
Something was different. I felt changed. I felt seen and heard and noticed and things were lighter.
Now listen – this kind of restoration can only be found in His presence. I solemnly swear it. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced the miraculous.
So, please excuse me if for the next few weeks you see less of me here. I’ve realized how far I’d gotten from the truth of His love, and I know it’s time for me to step towards Him with all I have.
And not just for me – but for all of us.
Yes, oh yes. He restores, my friend.