approx. 6 minute read
I almost missed church today.
I didn't feel great.
I was tired.
You know how it is some days? Doesn't it happen to you too?
I wasn't going to go. We have a lot to do, as usual and since I was not feeling very well (an issue that comes and goes, and that I am learning how to manage.....) and I figured we could listen to worship music all day, hear a sermon on you-tube..... I suggested to my daughter that we just not go.
Fortunately, she made a line of protest to that idea, so I switched over to the GOOD side with her encouragement, just soon enough to be an encouragement to HER when she changed her mind!
So so so so..... about 50 minutes later I thought we should already be in the car, and she was not downstairs. She was not quite ready. I looked at the clock and started to imagine how late we were going to be.... I went to the car.... came back inside and announced, "It's no use! We are going to be SO LATE. I don't even want to go." (attack of the enemy)
"Yes, we are going to go! We won't be that late!" my daughter said.
"Oh.........OK...." I replied in what probably could have been described in a teenage mopey voice. (I know- SHAME ON ME.)
Then my daughter changed her mind ...(dark side)... and I took final stand, "Yes, we are going!"
We got in the car, drove the 4 miles there and low and behold, the parking lot wasn't even that full. We weren't too late after all !!
We went inside, did miss Sunday School, which had also been a factor in my thinking earlier, because our regular teacher was going to be out. I know-- SHAME ON ME again.
The service was lovely. Tracy led us in a beautiful pastor appreciation tribute, and the pastor's sermon was great as it ordinarily is. He's been pastoring that church for 24 years! He raised his family there.... We are a blessed congregation when he speaks.
But let me tell you, oddly enough, that the BEST part of my church attendance on this day,
was the PEOPLE, the audience, the congregation.
Now, I would like to be clear here. In this whole congregation there were TWO people there today who I would call CLOSE friends, friends who have been to my house, friends who I would call on in the middle of the night if I needed them.
That is partly my fault. I haven't made time.... I haven't invested much. I moved here 11 years ago, and was busy building a house- literally, raising kids (much of the time as a single parent because of husband working out of town), where surviving was the goal. Just trying to take care of my own...........so I am not intimately close to a lot of people locally.
But here's the thing. I still know enough to care, and be encouraged by their presence.
I got to see a former student who makes me smile, and meet his sister.
I got to see the sweet widow lady who is faithfully there sitting alone. (I have started sitting near her.)
I did get to hug my one bestie who got me into the Sunday School class about five weeks ago.
I got to introduce myself to, shake hands with, and welcome a new family who has a boy in my daughter's class at school.
I got to see the gentleman whom I admire because of what I know about him...... divorced, raising a daughter that he found out about maybe a few years ago........ He never misses a service. He faithfully attends, and in the middle of the week he meets with some other adult men peers to study the Bible and build one another up.
I got to see the couple who (according to church folklore or gossip) determined to pray for a number of people.... many years ago.......people who many thought would never come to know the Lord as savior, and......... now most of them are saved and some actively fellow-shipping and growing!
I got to see the man who serves every way that he can, and is now raising his nephews after tragedy left them orphaned.
I got to see a baby, some young families.
I got to see the father and son, who........ the dad had been attending regularly, alone, but short months ago, a certain outreach ministry function touched his teen age son's heart. NOW they both go!!
Oh, and a tall beautiful woman that I have spoken to before, DID COME IN LATE, and I was SO GLAD to see her. Didn't even speak to her today, but thought to myself, "See there, Tammy, just the way you were happy to see her come in...... you should go even if late (in the future). It's ridiculous for you to be so vain so as to think that because you are late, you should not go...."
That was the best part to me. Seeing my fellow travelers, my joint heirs to the riches of Heaven, like me, just doing the best that they can.... showing up. None of us perfect. All of us trying.
That is an encouragement to me. It lifts my mood. It makes me smile inside. It somehow makes me stronger and feel more hopeful. I am certain it is according to God's design.
I am so grateful for my daughter's encouragement when I needed it. I am so grateful that again, I went.
I keep wanting to do it better. I am gonna keep trying. Thank you for sharing some of the journey with me.
I hope that you get to know some of the stories around you, and that YOU are encouraged like I am, by some one special, and also, by your fellow travelers.
May our Sonshine be bright, and our blossoms many♡
I would delight to hear from you in the comments, thoughts you had while reading this. ...stories that you know of from your church experience that inspires you.
I wonder who looks at YOU and is inspired or encouraged?
Love, from Tammy
@ Grandma Mary Martha