Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Honest Truth

Today I went to church for the first time since Easter.


There are many reasons why it has taken me almost 6 months 
to get back into the walls of a church, 
but the most dominant of them was fear.

I was afraid of what people might think.
I was afraid of being alone.
I was afraid of feeling out of place.
I was afraid of the discomfort and inconvenience,
and the way that would disrupt my coping mechanisms.
Mostly, I was afraid God would not welcome me back in His home.

When I texted one of my dear friends this morning,
telling her I went to church after such a long hiatus,
she asked me if it was like a breath of fresh air.
To be honest, it wasn't.
It wasn't a profound experience.
There wasn't this awe-inspiring moment
that changed me forever.
But, in some ways it was better than that.

I felt loved. 
And not just by people.
Don't get me wrong, 
the greeters with their giant yellow smiley face stickers
were friendly and welcoming, 
and the couple who invited me (and Greta)
 and then let us sit next to them
were nothing short of loving.
But the way I felt most loved was through the eradication of my fears.
It was from the inside out, not the other way around.
The Lord was working in my heart.

As I sat in the my chair worshipping, with Greta in my lap,
I realized deep, deep within my soul,
that the way I was holding my daughter,
providing her comfort and protection with my presence alone,
and the way I was singing over her, 
hoping to soothe her and let her know I was near,
was just a glimpse into how the Lord loves me.

My mind started to wander into my deepest desires, 
one of which is for Greta
to know and trust our good God. 
I know she will "mess up" and not get it right all of them time,
heck, most of the time,
but I never want her to shy away from His love and goodness
because of her mistakes.
In fact, that is the exact time I would want her to fall into Him.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. 
This is the desire of my God's heart not only for Greta,
but also for me.
And there I was, stunned.
Stunned by the way He loves me.
Stunned that He would gently remind me of this truth.
Stunned that He not only wants me to follow Him,
but He wants me to do so authentically ... as I am ... mess and all.

And so, I sang It Is Well With My Soul
 with tears in my eyes (as I always do),
understanding just a bit more the true meaning of the verses,
When peace like a river attendeth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll
whatever my lot, you have taught me to say
it is well
it is well
with my soul.

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