Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Church-less Family in a Godly Home

I ponder what this really is. What is "church"?

I was not raised in a Godly home. My mom was. But it was not necessarily a kind home. I found Jesus when I was young. I went to Sunday School when we visited my Grandma. This was not often. The summer before 4th grade I was fortunate enough to attend my first VBS. This was a very pivotal point in my life. I accepted Christ as my Savior. I "knew" what I knew to be true. The dark areas of home became much darker; and I survived because I "knew" the Light lived within me. During this 6 yr trial in my life, I personally sought out Jesus. You see, we moved a LOT. In my 4th grade alone I went to 4 different schools. At each house we lived, I found a Sunday School. I walked alone. Once I even was able to ride a Sunday School bus. I did not know about denominations. I did not care about denominations. I yearned to learn more about my Savior, one whom would save me.

Oddly enough, when the enemy left our home (finally), was about the age I learned how to escape. Without the details of my sinful choices; let's just say I walked away from Christ for a season. ('nuff said, eh?) I still talked to God, I still chatted with Him randomly, but I put Him in a box stored in my heart. I randomly came across different youth groups throughout high school. I was the girl your parents warned their sons about. Maybe not quite that bad, lol, but bad enough. Lost. Each youth group became an increasingly worse experience. I was seeking the Truth, and darkness was revealing itself within these groups.


Years later, now with a husband and a child, I sought out the Truth stored in my heart. There is a drive to do the right thing. Church is the right thing, right? We became CEO's - Christmas/Easter only. I knew what I knew to be true. Jesus IS the answer. One does not have to attend church to be saved, that I knew. And one does not have to be saved to attend church.

In my child-like faith, I knew I must get past the milk, and on to the meat of this spiritual meal. and I fervently prayed, for what seemed like a lifetime in itself.

8 years and 3 kids later, my husband was saved. (no details on a public forum; it is his story to tell). We began going to church; I began to realize what church was suppose to look like. In a 10 year growth, we went to 3 churches, and I began to trust the process. The first church we dedicated to had fabulous, Christ loving folks. The pastor fell apart, darkness exposed. The 2nd church-different style, lovely people, not for us. (I continued to help with their VBS each year, until this church disbanned also.) Our last church was a community-based church and that was exactly what we discovered....community...connection.

Now we are in a new state, a new home, a new situation to ponder. 1st we were in a home w/ my in-laws (mom & sister) for about 9 months. We began going to my cousins church a few times. I liked it. Now we are currently living with my parents. We did find a church in this area that we seem to like, yet, I continue to stall our attendance with any type of commitment.
Why?
Because I know we may not be here very long.
Because I know there is a possibility of us moving in a year.
Because I moved a lot as a child, and do not want my kids to feel shuffled about.
Because I know it is hard for me to let go of friendships, so I do not want to start any.
Because it takes work to commit to a new church.

So, what is church to us?
A place where sinful people seek Godly counsel.
Where truth is sought out; where answers are found;
where we lay our heart out on the line,
and humbly praise Jesus Christ as Lord.

Church is kinda like a hospital-
There are sick folk, healing folk, some folks are just walking through, some are visiting, some loiter about, & some stay to take care of the sick & healing.

For a season, our church is from the home.
Church has become a life style, not a building.

A place where we seek Godly counsel,
and God is gracious to reveal our sins.

Where we seek out truth,
and God gracefully provides the answers.

Where we lay our hearts out on the line,
and God meets us where we are at.

Where we praise Jesus,
and God is merciful.

For this season we will nurture, prepare, & guide our "congregation" to equip them how to Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called them heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
Phillippians 3:14

What is that goal?
~to get to know Christ,
~to be Christ-like,
~to be all that God has purposed us to be.

What is your goal?

6 comments:

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

We feel this same way. I dare not comment (private things) anymore, for fear of being followed around the blogosphere (hi!). I will email you why I feel bad about this style of church, and why I feel even worse that I feel bad about this style of church.

Ahem...

Make sense? Thought not.

BTW...I am so glad you are my friend. Why is it that all the women I'm closest to, are far, far away???

Hollinger Family said...

funny enough, you DO make sense! ;^) I look forward to your e-mail.
and a big DITTO to your last statement! (((hugs))) & blessings to you girl.
~Sheri

LLJ said...

I hopped over from Kathi's blog. Thanks for sharing your journey in Christ!
He is so faithful!

Leanne

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

We, too, are living in a "temporary" situation ... so we haven't committed to ministries ... friends ... lessons for the kids ...

But, oh how lonely I have found it to be. (And, my kids are desperately lonely, as well.) I told the kids this week that we are going "church shopping", even if we will only be here for "a time". We need to talk to others outside the walls of our home. We need to hear the gospel preached regularly. We need to minister to others ... even if those ministries will be short-term.

I wish I'd gone church shopping 6 months ago, when we only thought we'd be here for a short time. 6 months is a very long time to not have anything on the calendar ... not have any commitments ... not speak to others outside the family ... a very long time.

I must risk the loss of friendships, in order to gain friendships.

We may be here 2 months ... 6 months ... a year. Only the Lord knows how long we will be sitting in our "holding pattern". We must allow Him to use us, right where we are, for the time that we are here.

I'm preaching to myself ... it's good to process this stuff.

Blessings,

Laurel :)

Marla said...

Prayers to you! I will pray for you in the quest to find a Church. Such a beautiful post. I am so glad you became, such a good person from tough times growing up. You have turned into a lovely person, and are raising a beautiful family. So glad we have become friends. Blessings to you ,and your family.Marla Grace

Daune said...

Isn't it frustrating that we're never taught that WE ARE THE CHURCH? I think I've stumbled over this issue so many times my nose is callous! Yet, He draws us to Himself and then to others that love Him in order to sharpen each other, be accountable and hear His words through His servants, like Eph. 4 talks about...but because of our mindsets, unrealistic expectations and various other things, we enter the hospital and think we can medicate ourselves and/or just leave...we can't leave what we are, ya know?
I often wonder what Jesus thinks of His bride. What an amazing thing that His love for us never changes and He forebears with us as He passionately pursues us.
Just some introspection.
Thanks for your open heart.
I loved the hospital analogy.