So, I was a typical teenage girl with an exuberant amount of boy problems, arguing with my parents all the time and some unanswered questions about this life. I say "typical" but maybe not so much so. I don't know many "typical" teenagers that visit churches by themselves looking for a church home. But that is exactly what I did. I would venture out on Sunday mornings in search for people like me, and by that I mean confused adolescents. I didn't find any, what I did find though, were over-eager people ready to tell me about God's love and so many reasons I had to join their church. It was nice to feel wanted but at the same time I felt like people were trying to shove their church down my throat.
Funny story...one time I went to this church that was held in an old mall. I had heard that they had some contemporary music there and the people were friendly...friendly wasn't the word..."crazy" seemed more fitting after my experience there. I don't want to sound judgmental, and everyone has their own way of connecting with God, but these people really got into it, and I was unprepared. I was approached by several people before the service even started asking me if I would like to join their study group and asking me personal questions about myself, my life and what had brought me there. I was intrigued by these people that wanted to know so much about me, but also freaked out. Before I knew it the service began and everyone started dancing and singing and randomly screaming "hallelujah" in the middle of the pastor speaking. There was somewhat of a conga line formed around the room and several people tried pulling me into it! Unprepared. I was completely unprepared for this experience and as I sat there I got more and more uncomfortable. After about an hour I was praying for an end of this (literally) when I realized that the service wasn't stopping, it wasn't even slowing down. Another half hour came and went and still...no signs of closure, that's when I realized I have to go...I don't know if this is one of those churches that last half the day or what, but I wasn't going to stick around to find out. So, while everyone was bowing their heads to pray and I quickly and quietly got the heck outta there! The guilt kind of hit me when I got to the car but then I realized I probably saved myself from another Q&A session after the God-only-knows-how-long service and I was relieved I had made my exit.
That was the end of my church exploration. I realized that my little country church, no matter how predicable and repetitive it seemed to be, was where I belonged. There is something so comforting about the fact that you know what is coming next and no one is going to shout out "hallelujah" out-of-the-blue. There is peace there, and the older I get the more peace I find in attending my church. There are no strict rules to follow, no one judges, everyone wears what they want and the people are friendly. I am a big believer you don't need a church to be holy, or connect with God, but I also think it helps to have a place to go where connecting to Him is the main concentration. I am proud to be a member of my church and very proud to say that my husband is on the church council and I have volunteered to be a part of our 150th anniversary committee.
There has been talk of closing our church due to the aging congregation and dwindling funds. My husband and I have decided that we will do everything in our power to keep this church up and running for as long as we can. As I have said, I have a lot of memories at this church and I made my rounds to discover this is my place, my church.
This coming Sunday the church will be exploring options for our future. It will be an interesting and hopefully productive Sunday. In the meantime I need your help, I have been working on creating some logos for our church, and I want your input! I will be posting them soon, please come back and vote on your favorite and give feedback. I appreciate your help! Thank you for reading this long, long post. May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life and may your church home be as comforting as mine is to me! Thank you!