It was 10 years ago this summer that I found my last church. I had watched the church I grew up in dieing for years. Leaving that first church really wasn't all that hard. I searched for what seemed like forever at the time, but in reality was not long at all. Finally one Sunday I opened the phone book and put my finger down and that was going to be the church I was going to that week. That was it that was my church. I suspected it when I walked in, and I knew it as soon as I heard the minister speak. I was at last at home.
That church became so much more to me than a place to go on Sunday morning. There are people there who are friends. I have shared some of my happiest moments (like the birth of Emily) and some of my saddest ( like loosing both my parents in 10 months) with them - and you just don't forget or easily walk away from people who have been through things like that with you. But that formal connection is now gone. And I am once again looking for someplace that isn't a house where I live, but rather a family and a way to live, that I can call home.
The search has not been that difficult if I am honest. So far we have visited several churches. Some were where friends attend. Some were places we had wanted to "check out" and some were just places that caught my eye as I drove by. During the week, I just need to check the web or call the office to make sure that we have the right times, then show up on Sunday morning. Like I said, not that hard.
BUT, It hasn't been easy either. I realized today that I will probably not have the same experience. I don't think that I am going to walk into anyplace and feel "home" like I did before. Then I remembered something that I had read in a Janette Oake novel. She was referring to a character that had lost her first husband and remarried. She learned to love her second husband as much as the first, but in a very different way. The first love came with bells and whistles and butterflies in the stomach. The second love came softly and over time. I have had my bells and whistles and that was what I had known. That is what I was looking for again. Although it may happen that way again, more than likely it will not. This love will be one that comes softly.
So with that lesson at last learned, we headed off to a church of our choosing today. I stumbled across it driving home from picking strawberries. If you didn't know it was there, you could easily miss it. But I didn't. Emily attended VBS there this summer. And even after that (seeing how they run their VBS program has turned me off to more churches than I can list) I still wanted to go back. They had Sunday school for all ages and a friendly congregation. They have a well spoken minister who speaks truth from the Bible. So today's church is one of 2 we attended this summer that will warrant a second look sometime
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