Tonight I sit here sipping coffee. (don't worry mom, it's decaf) and thinking back on the events of the past month. Well to be honest, the events of the last several years. I've been drifting along in a state of hopelessness for a long long time. Time after time I have asked myself, "how can I call myself a Christian and be living like I am. I hate my life. I love my kids but they are out of control. I love my house but it's falling apart. I love my husband but our marriage is a desert of nothingness."
One day, on an infrequent Sunday Morning visit to church, I had a fight with my kids. They just refused to get ready for church. They just didn't want to go. They dawdled and I screamed and cursed at them. Typical Sunday. But by the time I got in the front doors something in me cracked. I got fed up with the garbage in my life. I told my kids that our once a month visit to church was not enough anymore, as we went in the front door, and that I felt like God wanted me to be more committed than that and we were going to start coming every week. Well this was met with sour looks and hostility as we entered and put on fake smiles for the few ushers that remained at the door to greet latecomers. I fired a parting shot at the kids before we went in. "Don't sit by me", I said, "I don't need your attitudes."
I sang along with the church but I was seething inside. I was really angry at myself for letting things come to this. Then the pastor began to speak. The topic was on casual Christianity. I sank down in my seat, both awed that God could reach my heart and ashamed that I was one of the ones "coming to church for my once a month charge", as he put it. It was like the finger of God pointing right at my heart. I knew things had to be different. I didn't know it then, but that sermon would have a dramatic effect on my life.
I came back the next Sunday, without the kids (they won the battle that week) and was actually early. I walked in and announced to the ushers that I wanted to become a member. This was met with consternation. I guess that wasn't the way it was usually done, but I had never been a member of a church since I had become an adult and didn't know that. They told me I needed to speak to the pastor, and so I waited until church was over and approached him. He told me I didn't have to do anything, just come on up to the front next time he called for new members.
So next Sunday, I dressed up. I was sure he was going to call us all up there, but he didn't. I was somewhat disappointed.
The next Sunday, I dressed up again, and again, nothing.
The next Sunday, I wore my old tattered jeans and tennies and a Dallas Cowboys t shirt and my hair in a ponytail.
They were just getting ready to dismiss when the pastor announced that a new couple wanted to join the church. He went on at length about who they were and where they had come from. Then I saw his eyes scan the audience and light on me for a second, as he paused and said that anyone else wanting to join should also come up and stand with them. I was horrified (why do always seem to get caught out in my worst fashion moments?) to realize I was going to have to stand in a receiving line with all these people. But knowing it was right gave me a boldness I didn't know I had. I stepped out in front of a large room full of strangers and gave myself over to three hundred handshakes, hugs, and congratulations, and one "it's about time".
So to make a long story short, I began going every Sunday. It was strange how the sermons always seemed to be spoken to me personally. It was probably six months before I began to go on Sunday nights, as well. This led to being invited to a home group, and this led to a Bible study on Monday mornings, and prayer on Tuesday mornings.
No longer was I sleeping away the day, angry at myself for wasting my life. There wasn't enough time to feel sorry for myself anymore. Even if I had nowhere to go, I still stayed up. I started to feel like I would miss something if I went to sleep. I began to spend time in my own personal worship every single day, because all of a sudden there was a love affair going on in my heart with Jesus Christ, and I would do anything to keep from losing it.
All this has led me to a place I have never been before. I feel like I am on the precipice of the unknown and God is asking me to step off with Him. Whatever the unknown is, I want to go there.