Our family attended the same church for pretty much all of our children's lives and most of mine until last year. It was a tough decision to leave, albeit a prayerful one. Nathan and I felt a tug to be somewhere else with our children and the whole process made them MAD! We have found a church that (we think) we love but it's hard work getting in there as part of the family. A process. We are working on it.
Sometimes, we go visit our old church. They are our family. They have been with us through childbirths, deaths of loved ones, everyday stuff, my stroke and so much more. They have seen our babies grow all the way from babies in the belly to the young man and young lady they are. They have given a safe and loving church home to my niece and it is there that I find endless hearts and relationships that will always be a part of me.
Today, I felt the children and I needed familiar. We needed a soft place to land. And so...we went to our old church. During family praise I got to stand up with our son at my side and I got to share the pain our family is experiencing. During the prayer, I was surrounded by the multitudes. As I looked at the faces around me, I at first felt ashamed. Ashamed as in I felt I only came here when I was sad but nobody was counting my visits, they were just loving us. My shame faded, my tears slowed, and the faces I looked at were angels. I felt peace and took note of this moment as a bit of Heaven on earth.
A dear friend led me to the prayer chapel where we shared our hearts and hurts for over an hour. At that time, another dear friend joined us. This is what it means to be held. This is what it means to be Jesus with skin on. This is what it looks like when love wins. The rest of the day was difficult, but the strength I drew from my visit gave me a little oomph, and hopefully my kiddos too.
Home is where the heart is. It was good to be home today.