When I was a sophomore in High School I had a friend who invited me to her church's youth group. I went that Thursday night and also attended on Sunday mornings. I not only met Jesus in those early days of attending church but I also met some of the nicest people I have ever met in my lifetime.
I was 15 and really excited about this new thing I had discovered called Christianity. My mom decided she should go to church with me on Sunday and make sure I hadn't fallen into some cult or child trafficking enterprise.
She came. She found Jesus. We were both baptized.
My Dad also started attending the church and my parent's got involved in the couples ministry and made some really great friends.
My years at that church during High School and College were some of the best of my life. We had a wonderful youth group and I made several life long friends there.
I met my husband at that church and married him there in front of all the people I had grown to love like they were members of my own family.
One of those people died this past week. Her name was Patricia and she was the mother of one of my High School friends as well as a member of the church group my parents socialized with.
I loved going to Pat and her husband Bud's house. It was warm and cozy and made me feel happy. We had many a happy game night in there family room.
I was so saddened to hear she had died from breast cancer this past week. I hadn't seen her in probably 15 years but I still felt like she was a special part of my past.
My mom and I went to her funeral today. At that same church. The one where I met Jesus.
Nothing had changed.
The church still looked exactly the same. When I walked through the doors of the sanctuary I felt like a large blanket had just enveloped me in warmth and comfort. I was home.
I don't feel this way when I enter the doors of our current church. I'm not exactly sure what that means.
We saw people we hadn't seen in a decade. Old friends. Twenty years had passed since I had seen many of these people and yet it was as if time had stood still.
I was home.
One of my old High School buddies is now the pastor of the church. Many of the kids that were in that same youth group attend with there families now.
Same church. Same families. Same warmth.
If this church were not 70 miles away from our home I would be attending there every Sunday. However, it is just to far away.
We attend what would be called a "mega church". We have attended this church for all but two of the past 16 years. It is the only church our children really know.
I was wondering on my drive home today if my kids weren't missing something special by attending such a large church? Yes, we have many friends. However, what I feel is missing is a intimacy with those worshiping around you.
My kids didn't know what a potluck was until a few months ago.
The potluck is one of God's greatest creations (c'mon, you all know you agree with me.).
I feel God nudging us towards making a change. Hubby feels the same thing.
My feelings after today seem to be solidifying this fact.
I think I may be writing a blog post soon with the title "How Many things Can One Family Change In Their lives in one Year"?
I think God has picked 2008 to kick our family in the butt and he wants us to stir things up a little, make some changes, and leave our comfort zone.
OK, Lord, I am here to listen. Again, I can't wait to see where this crazy ride called life will take us.