uncomfortable gratitude – updated
I wrote the following words in January 2011 … shortly after our small sweet church disbanded: It is uncomfortable to be without a church home right now. I shared with a few friends last night that I don’t like these circumstances. But as the scripture says to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” I’m grateful. I live in a country with many freedoms, there are hundreds of churches within a short distance, and there is a place of service for me. And I give thanks in this circumstance of being without a church home.
I’m grateful that God is in the midst of our search for a church home. I was reminded last night, “Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal (a new church home), let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence.” He said … “Enjoy visiting churches … you rarely get the opportunity to worship me in varied ways … and I’ll point out the “right” one in good time … don’t be in a hurry and don’t be anxious.”
Part of finding a new church is the fitting in, the melding as family, the intimacy that comes from worshiping together. I can easily be a wall flower … takes me a while to warm up to others. I’m grateful today for a heavenly father who loves me as I am … even introverted and bashful.
I find myself at this point again. After FFC disbanded it took a while to find a church in which we could worship … and even though we did find it, we did not fully join; we were not an integral part of the community. We were Sunday morning attenders. It was wasn’t long after starting at this church that we knew we would move away. So it served as a place of rest and learning.
Now we have moved. We are delighted to live close to our children and grandchildren. The move has had its challenges and it has mostly been fun … except finding a church home. Not being connected … and not even knowing which of the many churches to try make me feel uncomfortable.
I’ve been emailing a dear friend about our church adventures. She asked these questions: “Do you think God really cares about where we go to church? Does He care more about the servant attitude of our heart? Does He care more about our availability to Him in the world? Does He just want us to find a spiritual community/family where we can bring others in and experience koinonia?” Her questions have stuck with me today.
So I was glad to find this previous posting about finding a church. I believe there is a place for us to serve nearby … and in that place we will be challenged to grow in our walk with our Lord. It just might take time … and trust … and a listening heart!
And I give thanks in this circumstance of being without a church home.
I can relate to this! After being at Bremerton Nazarene for 16 years and not just as a member but part of the ministry team for 10 years a part of the staff , finding a church home has been the most difficult part. Our Bremerton church still is family! Donita
Just yesterday, one of our FFC friends posted that we still seek each other out as church family even though the church disbanded about 18 months ago. Church family ties are strong … hard to find a place that even initially provides that same sense of safety and encouragement!