• A blog about a smidgen of time each day and the hope you spend it with me

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes, Ya Gotta Trust.




           Sometimes, ya gotta trust.


                       Almost 17 years ago My husband and I got married. We met while he was in the army and I was living in new york working and going to school at night. Even though we were both Christian; we grew up in completely different churches. I attended a Roman Catholic Church. I remember my mother pinning a delicate white lace veil on top of my head to go to mass. I remember My Dad working tirelessly painting the church pews.
                 
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My Husband attended a Brethren Church, and he remembers his mother making sure all the kids were dressed in their Sunday best, and his Grandmother lovingly talking about God.
                 
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               We figured that once we were married we would find a church to call home.


The problem was that I loved my childhood church and found it hard finding another to attend that we both liked.


In 16 years we attended off and on 5 Catholic churches


               a Methodist church once


                         and one Episcopalian church for a short period of time.


The last one welcomed us with opened arms and seemed to have everything.
 
The problem was that it didn't feel right.


It wasn't that the church was lacking.


It was that it was not Home for us.


A church has to feel like home.
 
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Because in a way...that's what it is. The people there become a family. My Childhood Church was that for me.


I wondered why if this place was so great ( and it was) why then did I struggle so to get myself to go? Sunday mornings became a battle of wills with me pushing my Kids  to go when I myself didn't have the urge. We went anyway.

I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. "Maybe," I thought "This is just the way it's it going to be. I just have to work through this feeling  and wait for it to feel like home.


It didn't


After a while we stopped going and I became really sad about it. The feeling that I was failing my kids was even more daunting. Having a Church to call home had become a quest and after 16 years the fact that It may never happened made me feel like I was a failure.
 We started to read the bible as a family at home. ...But it wasn't enough. I mean how could I teach my kids when I myself needed to learn so much?


It saddened me that Sundays would come and go and we had no Church family to share that day. I began to think that maybe there would not be a place out there that we could call home.


I prayed. We prayed ....and asked.
                                        
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Last year I asked my husband if we could try a church that I had passed every day. I remembered he himself had suggested it a while back.


"Alright" he said.


I didn't want to get my hopes up. But that light deep inside me (that is given to us all ) flickered with hope.


We entered and felt awkward...like that feeling you get when you're the new kid at school. The Pastor greeted us and smiled. I guess we stuck out like sore thumbs. We probably looked like lost little puppies.


The music played and instead of a children's choir or organ music a band played contemporary music loud and clear.


"OK that's different." I thought. I had never heard anything like that before. They were joyful and happy. Not somber and quiet.

Then the Pastor started to talk about the Word.


It was as if The word of God was turning that key to my heart. I listened and I understood. Later in the car I remained quiet as I waited for my family's reaction. I hoped beyond hope that they felt the same.


They did. My Husband turned to me and said " Well, I think we found our Church."


We have attended ever since. The people there have no idea what a blessing they have been to me and my family. I hope that as we continue to grow that I may be a blessing to them.  I am still trying to find where exactly I fit in. I am quiet, I stammer and I'm never ever able to eloquently verbalize what is in my heart. I find that I express myself more with my writing. At the few prayer meetings that I have attended I was in awe of the heart felt prayers that people were able to speak out loud.  I stood there wanting to speak out loud too, but I knew that all I would probably muster is a childlike "Thank You God"...so I spoke in my heart...God hears me I know that.
                                 
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Throughout my life I have had periods of searching...wanting to be closer to Him, and I thought that once we found a Church to call home that the feeling of searching would end. It has turned into a hunger. A hunger to learn more. A hunger to read more. A hunger to be closer than ever to God.


For months now I have contemplated whether or not to get baptized. I was baptized as a baby. I have pictures of my God parents smiling as they held me while a priest with 60's styled glasses blessed and poured holy water over my bald head. My faith was a gift. As far as getting baptized now I decided that I would wait for a sign from God. I figured when it was right I would see or feel a sign from Him and that is when I would begin my new life. I would take that gift that my parents gave me and bring it with me here.


About three weeks ago I got up during the service and walked up to the Pastor and told him that I was ready to make that commitment.


I bet you are wondering what was the sign that I received from God.




                                 There was no sign.




That morning I had no idea that I would walk up. In fact the mere thought of walking and standing in front of a Church full of people makes my heart pound in my chest with fear.


I sat there with my Husband, I was thinking about this sign that I was waiting for. Then I thought. God doesn't have to give me a sign. . I had to trust Him. He has always been there for me


Through my Dad's death when I was so angry at God and I yelled in frustration "Why?"... He was there. He waited patiently as I came back to him.
He was there when I was alone with two children while my husband was away in Iraq. He took all my worries and turned them around to start this journey to Him.
He was there when I had Cancer and I thought my heart would break with thoughts of leaving my kids and Husband.
He has been there with me since before I was born.
So why then am I waiting for a sign?

He is waiting for me to take that first step. I have to trust Him. My sister-in-law later said " The Red sea didn't part until Moses trusted and stretched out his hand over the sea; and then the LORD caused the sea to go back."


So I stepped out of my row. My husband didn't know what I was doing. I walked up the aisle and the pastor gave me a welcoming hug. I didn't realize that my husband was right behind me. He supports everything I do.
I couldn't help the tears as they streamed down my face and I was happy, scared and filled with joy all at the same time.


So on Sunday Feb 5th I will go into the waters of baptism and when I come out I will be taking my first breaths as a new Christian. It will be the birth of a new me and my Journey with God will continue and strengthen. I am excited and scared and happy and joyfully awaiting. . .
                          
                    
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15 comments:

  1. That sounds wonderful Joanne:)

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  2. I am crying and crying now!!!! What a beautiful and inspirational story you have!!!! And you are so right about so much. The parting of the Red Sea, deciding not to wait for a sign. You have so much to offer this church!!! And I know it will come in time...God has given each of us such special gifts. Moses stammered, many men of God thought they couldn't do anything. I would be interested in what this church is? Is it non-denominational? And here it was right under your nose all the time! But I think God was waiting for the RIGHT and PERFECT time for you. After all, if you hadn't gone to all those other churches, and not liked them, it wouldn't have led you here and you wouldn't have realized what a perfect fit it is!! What is the membership, how big is it? Tell us more!!

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  3. A very touching post! What a loving husband you have.

    I have been baptized twice. Once as a child in the Methodist Church and as an adult a good dunking in the Baptist Church. I am a Methodist still at heart. I am sure as you have found out that each church is different with different beliefs. The common denominator is God. I am so glad that you found a church you all like.

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  4. Oh, Joanne, what a blessing to read this!

    I know that feeling, searching for a church to call home. And, then finding that church.

    Feb. 5 will be a joyous day when you announce to all, "Jesus is my Savior! God found me, loved me, and lives in me!"

    Like, Ginny--tell us more!

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  5. seems to me you have found your way and so happy things are going well for you

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  6. This gave me chills to read. Oh, Joanne, I am so happy for you. Your testimony has just made my heart leap with joy and made the tears form in my eyes. God is faithful. One of my favorite verses is: John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

    In many ways, there are so many similarities here to my story, and yet in many ways it is very different. I too went forward many years ago shaking life a leaf and rededicated my life to the Lord. I had come to know Him as a child, and only came back after my divorce. I was baptized as a Christian after being baptized as an infant. This happened 30 years ago.

    I've been searching for a church home in the town where I live for over 20 years. I have attended many, but have not found my home yet. You have given me great encouragement.

    God Bless You and Your Family.

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  7. This is one of the most powerful posts I have ever read. And I read a lot of posts. I think we are kindred spirits. I too may have found my church home, these past few weeks. Church homes are SO important. I am happy for you and will follow your blog.

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  8. Congratulations!! It is wonderful to find a church that feels like home. I had that before I moved and now I am searching again. :-) Feb 5th will be a beautiful day! Hugs.

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  9. I love your story and so glad you posted it. It is so inspirational and encouraging. My husband was Roman Catholic as you were and I was mostly Baptist before I met him. We wanted to compromise and attended a few Churches and found a home church at a Methodist Church for several years. I was active in the choir and we participated in many things. We grew to love the people as our family. We moved a few years ago and have attended several churches and have never found what we would call a church home yet. Maybe we should trust Him more though prayer and let Him guide us to the right place. Thank you for your message.

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  10. What a wonderful story. I totally understand about a church needing to feel right. I was raised Episcopalian, and that feels most comfortable to me. It was very open and accepting.But I 've been to Episcopal churches where it didn't feel comfortable. I actually love all churches because they feel peaceful and are so beautiful. there is an incredible OLD cathedral here in Santa Fe that I like to go and sit in. At times in my life I've longed for the ritual of Sunday church. At other times, it's been fine to go without it. I'm in that phase now. I feel a bit like the world is my church at the moment. But when we settle somewhere again, I'd like to find a smallish Episcopal church to go to.

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  11. Oh! I have cried! What a blessing you are! :)

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  12. What an encouraging post! Thanks for sharing how you found the right place for you and your family. =)

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  13. OMGosh my dear you're making the tears well up in my eyes right now! You are such a blessing to me and I just know that light lead you to the right place! I have had the same thing happen last year to me. It's so nice to walk in and feel that warmth you only get from a happy place!

    Blessing to you and the baptism! LOVES XOXO

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  14. I stumbled on your site "by accident" and must admit, tears are there! I am so glad you found your church home. Today is a new day!

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  15. Ooops, I meant to ask, and was looking for your email address to email privately, I have tried to set tabs on my blog as you have (I use blogger also) but have not been able to figure it out . . . is there an easy way to do it? Thanks!

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