I took a really big step yesterday today. I went to church....all by myself....for the first time in a very, VERY long time. It was way overdue....and it was so much more difficult than I thought it would be.! Living in the South there is an abundance of churches to choose from. However I was looking for a place where I could worship...REALLY worship....and a place where God's Word is alive in the members.....and a place where I can grow spiritually.
I did a great deal of praying as did others....because I want to be where GOD wants me to be because only there will I be in His plan for me. My son who is very active in his church made some suggestions and we finally narrowed it down to one church. We studied the information on the website and I found myself getting excited about going to church! Nervous but excited as well.
Because the church has two services listed and because I have more energy early in the day, I had made the decision to attend the 9:00 a.m. service. Had my quiet time with God, drank my coffee, dressed and left the apartment.....excited to once again be worshipping with other Believers. The church actually meets in a local movie theatre which is kind of cool. I pulled into the parking lot and almost immediately, my heart began pounding, my hands started shaking and I started thinking, "I can't do this.....what was I thinking?....I'm not spiritually ready to be part of a church.....on and on the negative thoughts kept pouring in.....I was overwhelmed!
Then I put up my hands and said STOP! I knew those thoughts were not from God and I had no use for them. I prayed for His peace and His strength, got out of the car and walked in. The people I encountered were friendly and smiled greetings as I made my way to a seat. As I sat in the semi darkness of the theatre, I felt a sense of anticipation growing within me. By the time the service began my body was actually humming as if with an electrical current!
All I can say is that morning, I worshipped as I'd never felt free to worship before....it was like I was in the theatre alone...just me praising God with body, mind and spirit. Never have I felt such joy and completeness. When the pastor delivered the message, I was amazed as he addressed every issue I'd faced in the past week! Again...just me and the Word God wanted me to hear....where I was no longer mattered...the people around me seemed to disappear......it was me and God and that was all that was important.
One thing has become clear to me over the past few stormy weeks. A Christian needs the love, support and fellowship of a body of believers to stay true to God and His teachings. I know this on a deeply personal level. Even so, as I sat in that church service surrounded by people, the ONLY thing that mattered to me was that I heard God on a personal level and I responded in kind. I felt as if I had come home after a long weary journey in a dark and dangerous place............and He was there to welcome me.