Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why I Go To Church

Growing up I was raised in a Christian home. I also attended a private Catholic school most of my childhood. Having this made me feel pretty safe. Safe in my faith and pretty confident that I had all of the answers. I generally didn't have to ask questions of my own. You could call it being sheltered from life or maybe even just being young but I was really certain I had life figured out.

After I graduated I became unexpectedly pregnant. All of my relationships changed at this point. Some ended altogether. Others strengthened. Even more evolved into a different kind of relationship. I chose to become a parent at the same time most people realize they are now an adult. Life was new not just because for the first time I was experiencing life and making my own choices, but because I was making them for someone else.

It was during the first year of my son's life that I decided we needed to attend church. I was a new parent, exhausted and unsure of myself as a mother. I told myself I was doing this for my son. I wanted to raise a good Christian that didn't make mistakes like I did.

I realize now that the REAL reason I wanted a church for our family was for me. I wanted someone to guide me, to lead me, to help me find all the right answers to the big questions. I was lonely, seeking friendship, looking for someone who understood where I was at. We tried a few churches and nothing stuck because I wasn't getting my answers.

What I discovered was that no church can lead me, it was up to me.

Probably not what you expect me to say but hear me out.

No church could lead me because I had to let God lead me. I was looking for answers in churches. I wanted someone to give me a cheat sheet for the final exam. I just wanted answers and I didn't want to do the homework. I was not relying on God. I was relying on some other person's faith in God.

Here is the funny thing though, my messed up attempt to find answers actually helped me find my answers. You can do it all wrong and backwards and still end up getting it right.

Years after we first tried to look for a church our life circumstances lead us to a new one. This time it stuck.

That folks is GOD.

God works through individuals and churches alike. He has a plan for all of us. He has blessed us with the Holy Spirit and when we listen to it we become a part of God's plan. The best part is He works through us even though we are not perfect. Churches don't have to be perfect. People don't have to have it all figured out. Why? Because God has it figured out. God knows all about us.

Psalm 139: 9-10   
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
 if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me,
 your right hand will hold me fast.

 Psalm 139 tells us that we are safe and secure in God's presence.

That my friends is why I attend church.

My church is pretty fabulous. I think we are hot stuff.

I love our choir because they always are trying new music. I love our potlucks and I think we have the best food in town. I think our children's committee throws the best parties and our VBS team has the best dance moves. I love that our church has people entering those doors every day of the week. I love my fireside crowd that scoots over when someone shows up late because hey next week they know it will be their turn. I love that our church has people represented from all generations, different backgrounds, and different political viewpoints too.

But these reasons, as great as they are, they are not WHY I attend church.

I attend church because it is a place where I can find my own answers. It is a place where I know God is with me. It is where I can ask God to lead me. When we let God lead us he works through our circumstances wherever we are. All we have to do is let Him lead the way. God is with us every step of the way.

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