I never meant to take such a long hiatus from writing. I love to write, and I need to write. It was actually sort of painful to do that little writing in 2013. I had so many topics and ideas and funny kid stories floating in my head, but it didn’t feel right. In October of 2012, our church closed. The pain I experienced with that was so much more than I imagined, and it lasted much, much longer than I thought it would. In my adult life I have been through very few things that hurt that much. So I needed to step back in order to process it all. This just didn’t feel like the forum to do it. A church is like a family, and I wouldn’t take to my blog to detail out family or marital issues. I wish I had journaled it, though, because I think the act of writing would have done me some good.
Things go wrong in churches all the time. People make mistakes. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s enough to make people turn their backs on church, and even Jesus himself. I get that. These things happen, no matter how much we wish they didn’t. Church should be a safe place that you can count on, but sometimes it isn’t. I wish there was a better way for these things to be handled. I wish we were more open about things that hurt us.
But the bottom line is, we still need church. The New Testament is full of verses on the importance of the church, and the description of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18, Colossians 3:14-16). We all have different gifts, and I believe we are supposed to use them together to help each other grow and to spread the love of Jesus. Just drawing on my own experience, I know I need church. I need to belong, I need to serve, I need to learn from others, I need support, I need my life with Jesus to be about more than just me. I have no doubt that God will bring good out of the death of our tiny church. I’m sure He already has.
After visiting SEVEN churches, we’ve settled down in the place we thought we’d never be – the opposite of our previous church. It’s ginormous and huge and exactly where we need to be. The church search experience was eye opening in so many ways. We have Covenant Church hearts and history, but there is no Covenant Church in our area. So when we looked at churches we tried all kinds, in many denominations. Mostly, I learned a lot about our family. We started to figure out what things were important to us, which was a little different from what we originally thought. Watching our church disintegrate was incredibly hard on our kids, too. I was more concerned about finding a place that they enjoyed going than finding somewhere I wanted to go. I thought they wouldn’t do well being dragged to church after church. I should not be surprised by now to learn a lesson from my kids, but they were amazing. They found something good about every place we went. They were excited and game for anything. We would get in the van after church and ask them what they thought, and Ella, in particular, always had something good to say. As a matter of fact, I think they wanted to stick with every church we went to, except for maybe one. And really, that one was more about a lack of space and crowded feeling than anything.
It was fascinating to attend a variety of churches with an open mind. Part of me wanted to write letters to all the churches we visited to give them feedback. I kind of wish I would have. I always think it’s interesting to see what other churches are like. Plus it’s just really comforting for me to know that there’s a church out there for everybody.
So that’s where we are. We have grown, and we have found a new home.