I don't talk about church very much. I haven't belonged to a church family in a long time. We've visited churches and stayed at one place for several months, but I never felt like it was 'my' church. We loved (most of) the people, but their beliefs just don't jive with ours. And then that thing happened...that thing that's not really that big of a thing, but a thing nonetheless.
The only time I truly felt like I belonged to a church was back in 1998. Kitty went to a church and got me to go with her. Please keep in mind that this was when I was 16 and pregnant. They accepted me. I loved their music, I loved the people and what the pastor had to say. After I had Britney, everyone immediately fell for her. I really felt like we fit in somewhere...finally. I continued going to church there until Bobby and I got married a year and a half later. Brit and I went to church the following Sunday, and as soon as we walked in the door, the pastor cornered me. He started spouting off his crap, which basically came down to him thinking I had lost my mind. "How could you get married to someone his age?! He's almost my age! And you're so young! You should have talked to me first! I could have talked you out of it. I could have helped you see this is a mistake!....BLAH BLAH BLAH" Never once did he ask me if I was happy, or that he would like to meet Bobby. He just judged. He judged Bobby without ever laying eyes on him. He judged me and it was crushing. He was everything I was afraid he would be the first day I walked into his church pregnant and nervous. I never walked through those doors again.
The kids and I (Bobby had to work) went to church this morning. Karen has been inviting me to Epic for at least a year. I've heard amazing things about this church. I've wanted to go. I really have, but I've been afraid I guess. I don't want to fall in love with a place, the people, the music, the feelings and then have that ripped away from me again. That hurt. A lot. But I feel like it's something I need...something we need as a family. I'm really glad we went today. When the service was over, I didn't want it to be. It's the kind of place my old church was...great atmosphere, great music, great message, great people. It was one of those times when I felt like everything the pastor said was being said directly to me. It's the kind of place I've been wanting to be a part of again.
It's time to give another church a try. A real try. I can't be afraid of the 'what if's' anymore. So Karen, thank you for inviting us 3,671 times. I'm glad you are a persistent woman:) I will see you at church next Sunday.