February 21, 2010

Thankful

I know. A double-post. *shock*

On a Sunday, yet. *double-shock*

But I have to write, and this is where it goes.

I had intended to do some "work writing" but this is what came out instead.

Today has been a very emotional day for me. Sundays always are. I think if church days are not somehow intense emotionally, there's something wrong. Either you didn't get a "high" at church or you aren't getting attacked by the Enemy - in either case, you've missed something somewhere.

Church was amazing today. And again a reminder of how much I'm dreading leaving.

Every week, our church has been doing a little video testimony of someone in the church, usually a family, talking about what types of fruit or growth they see both personally and in the church corporately. I haven't been asked to participate, but if I had, this is what I would say:

I've been a member at First Southern since the 2nd grade, so over 15 years now. I came with my family, and now it's just me and my sister still here. My parents have since moved to a different church.

Last year, "SoldierMan" joined the Army. It was a very difficult and drawn-out decision, because neither one of us had seen that in our future. He was working at a good job at an insurance agency in a Christian office, we had a 5-year plan, so to speak. Everything was swimming along.

Then last year, he felt God calling him to leave his job and enter the Army. I remember when he announced it in Sunday School and asked for prayer for wisdom. You could have heard a pin drop, even on the carpet, no one moved.

Since then, we've had nothing but love and encouragement from our church family. Of course, being from a church that is so heavily military, that helps. Our class is made up of a diverse group, but the majority of military couples in there are retired, not active. The Sunday before SoldierMan left, they gave him a going away party, which was sweet. But more than that, they each took turns publicly offering him encouragement and support, and many in the group committed to pray for him for a specific week during his training.

Since he left, not a week has gone by that someone hasn't asked how he was and how I was and said they were praying for us. People I may not even be very close to, still come by and check in and are praying for us. I'm fine sitting by myself in church, it actually helps me focus, but more often than not, some family asks me to sit with them, so I'm not alone.

Every Sunday now feels like a countdown, and as good as it is, it's just like every week is another reminder of what I'm leaving behind. Last week they announced we were finally hiring a new music minister (we've been without one for a while). However, he doesn't have an official start date yet, because he doesn't want to leave his current church without a replacement (A noble, if original, idea). And I was really excited and thought, "Gee, I hope he starts before I leave." And then it kind of hit me, what I just said. Gosh. It's totally possible that he won't.

I don't know how I would be able to make it through this without my church family. I don't think I could. I don't know how other people do. There's a reason we're told to "not forsake the gathering." Being a member of a local body of believers is essential to a Christian's life and growth, and I had no idea how much until recently, when I depended on it so much.

8 comments:

  1. This almost made me cry. I would LOVE to find a church that made me feel this way-- let's just say that I have had some not so nice experiences going to church, which is REALLY sad!!

    Usually they'll have Christian women's groups on posts, I've heard of "Protestant Women of the Chapel," and I'm sure that you'll find something you enjoy :)

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  2. Wonderful post, I am glad you have so much support.

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. I had the same thing with my church family in NC. We'd only been attending there for about a year, but it was amazing to see our small group hold us up. Joe's enlistment came after he'd been laid off, so the decision was a little unexpected. I wouldn't have gotten through basic if not for my small group, and other members of the church that I was close to. I really hated leaving...I miss them all dearly. I was just thinking how much I missed them when we were leaving church today. It hurts. I never thought that I'd come to call my church a church family. But that's what they are. I hope that we can find another one like it wherever we go. =)

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  4. It's wonderful that you have so much support, so many people around you who care. You're very lucky. Keep smiling.

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  5. Wherever you go I am sure you will be able to find a church that you like. It may take time and you probably won't find anything like back home but you WILL find something! The chapel has some really great programs and Bible studies at most all postsand you don't have to attend the chapel to go to the Bible studies. There is also PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) that has some great programs.

    And you can ALWAYS keep in touch with the people at your home church. My church sends me the monthly calendar and I keep up with a lot of people through facebook.

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  6. Such a good post! I don't know what I would do without my church family either :)

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  7. It is so great to be a part of such a great church family!

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