When I turned from child to adult, circumstances led me away from the church of my childhood. I became an active member of several other congregations (not at the same time). I stayed very involved no matter where I attended and experienced firsthand the building up and the tearing down that can happen simultaneously in the name of the church. At times my attendance and involvement in church wained. What never dissolved was my relationship with God and in the spirit of full disclosure, my relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. While my faith has not wavered, my churchgoing has evolved into not churchgoing and that pains me. This is partly due to circumstance and partly due to choice. I live in a city that is about a 4 – 5 hour drive from what I consider to be my church home. I've lived away from that home for five years and have only recently come close to finding a place of worship to belong to here at the coast. I've missed it; it being Church. I miss being involved. I miss the corporate worship. I miss being alone, yet not alone; being a part of a group worshipping with gratitude, with pain, with love, with fear, with FAITH!
Life has taken another twist. My husband is a minister. He has been out of a pastoral role for more than a decade. My Reverend is now looking at returning to an active pastoral role. That, my friends, will put me in the role of pastor's wife….oh my! So you see, the time has come to face my church avoidance head on! As I write this, my Reverend (also lovingly known as The Bishop) has gone off to services without me.
In counselling we speak of 'baby steps' (or maybe that was only in the movie, "What About Bob?"). I am taking baby steps back to the weekly practice of attending church. While I may never find the sweet aroma and delight of the church of my childhood (much like the lost Advent of old – Post Seventeen), I hope to discover something new and beautiful where I can blend my voice and faith with others to give praise worthy of a God who has maintained His presence within and around me on my journey thus far.
This week I'm attending my first ever pastor's retreat, as a pastor's wife. What new territory will you be entering this week?