Choosing to belong

We hadn’t been going to any church regularly for a couple of years, yet we felt the yearning to belong to a local part of the body, to be connected. We had a few friends at a church who had invited us along, so we made a decision: we would go for an entire school term and then assess if we wanted to stay. It has been more than two years now, since we started going to our church.

The first Sunday service shook my world. Not because it was amazingly awesome, or because we felt God moving, or because we made incredible connections with people. No, it wasn’t a good shaking.

I could barely look at the front wall, where in proud red letters it said, “Jesus Christ is Lord”. I didn’t know where I stood with Jesus anymore. My faith was so confused and deconstructed. Luckily, I had a two-year-old who needed lots of attention and a six-year-old who wanted regular reassurance. It was months until I made peace with those words, until I chose to stand in the mystery of how God could be human. Every Sunday I looked at those words and they never changed. Every Sunday the service centered around Jesus, this God-man who confounded me. So, I had to find a way to change myself; I had to find a way to meet God in this place.

Other parts of the church I still haven’t made peace with: we were told that women weren’t allowed to preach or lead at this church. I nearly didn’t go back. In fact, I was tempted to walk out before that first service even really got started.

But my husband and I had agreed to go for a whole school term. We felt like God was asking us to just bear with it and try this church out.

So, we went back and kept going back.

Unity doesn't mean sameness, it means togetherness. I belong here because I choose to, not because I fit.

Original photo by Nirzar Pangarkar.

I’m over at The Mudroom today, sharing my story of choosing to belong at my local church, even when it seemed like I didn’t fit. Won’t you come join me?

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