All my life I have belonged to some group of Christians who gathered together to fellowship with each other and worship God. Most people I’m sure would call me “churchy.” Since first joining a church at ten years of age, I have been on the roll of seven different churches (that covers a period of 72 years). I do not change easily. Every move has entailed great emotional upheaval. My “pigweeds” story told of one such move.
Today I am writing of another time that I changed churches—I left a place I loved because I knew God was ready for me to go even though I had no idea of where I would go. How did I know? God didn’t tell me with words. I don’t know what to call this – a dream, a vision, a memory – I don’t know. It was a different form of God communicating with me. It had never happened before and it has not happened since.
I enjoyed my time at my church; I was deeply involved with Sunday School, church board, and Children’s ministry. I spent a lot of time through the week putting up bulletin boards and in other ways decorating the hall and the rooms and doing what needed to be done.
One day when working in the children’s department, I was walking down the hall, I looked into a room and it seemed that I was seeing a memory from my past. This feeling lasted for a few minutes. Everything I looked at seemed to be something from my past. I’m not sure how to describe how I knew what it meant, but I did know it was all over for me. I told the pastor. He asked where I was going. When I told him I didn’t know, he responded that he could believe it more easily if I knew where I was going. I agreed, however, I knew I was going but still didn’t know when. That happened in October. In December when the quarter ended, I knew it was time to go. I turned in financial records and quit my obligations there.
I was lost—a church lady without a church! A song kept running in my head and out my mouth. 😀 A Bill Gaither song, “I will go on, My past I leave behind me. I gladly take His mercy and His love. He is joy and He is peace, He is strength and sweet release. I know He is and I am His, I will go on.”
The next couple of months were pretty awful. I hated not belonging. I went here and there, hinting to pastors that I needed a place to belong. I couldn’t believe that there was so little interest in having me come. After all, I cost nothing! 😀 One lady in a church invited me to go with her, but no pastor invited me. I finally went to a church nearby that seemed like the obvious place to go, but, to my shame, I was holding a grudge against that church because some people from my home church from many years before went there to start that church, and I was pouting about that for all those years. I went, I got involved, I loved—I found “home” again. I loved those people and they loved me. To my God who does all things well, I thank you.
By the way that is the church that I had to be pried away from. The one I told about in my “Pigweed” story.