Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Finding Church, again :: 4
I hadn't been to church for three Sunday's in a row in a very long time, but that's exactly what I did. I had a little moment when I checked the box that said "3rd time attending"... especially when I looked at the next box that says "regular attender"... hmmm.
The kids were up and ready to roll... all three of them. I was a little, okay very surprised that my oldest, Pepe was so ready, so willing and wanting. He talked about the 'new' church all week and asked several times if he could invite a friend. (We did end up having a friend come who had been thinking of checking out this particular church for quite some time.... kids were very happy, especially the boys' as now they had their 'friends' with them.)
This particular Sunday was deemed "Mini Muffin Cafe"... you got it, they were going to feed us. And not just muffins, there was entire menu... Pepe was VERY excited about it. We left and hour early, just so that we could fill our tummies before service. It was very nice, the ladies were helpful and caring.
Breakfast ... check
Potty break ... check
Drop kids off in kid church ... check
Enter worship... check
Nervous factor... IN check.... WHAT? Could I be comfortable all ready? I actually managed a smile, I think. I felt like I belonged.... and then I looked up... HOW could they do this to me? They moved the piano and the front pews. I looked at Frugal Franny with that look... why did they move everything on me. In only a way that she can... she calmed me down (insert... she told me to get a grip... maybe not in those exact words, but it was what I needed to hear).
I knew that the service would be different today, it's Palm Sunday, and I was right. We had our palms and we waved them as the choir sang (which is why the piano and pews had been moved, duh). Then, in paraded all of the children... my children included, waving their palms. I smiled... only one of my kids, Phineous, looked like he need to run.
The service continued with a choir contata... LOTS of singing. I was okay with it. Music and I get along. I relax with music, music helps me to learn so I felt good and the choir was nice to listen to.
Then... it happened... the PITTING OUT! It was time for communion. I know that communion is a gift, a remembrance, but it has always stressed me out! And I know why it stresses me out. For 18 years, I sat in my seat as each Sunday the bread and water was passed out to the congregation... I never got up, never walked down and isle, to the front and was put on display. That's how I feel about communion... people are going to watch me... see me... I will no longer be invisible. Even as I write these words, it seems very silly to me, especially since I don't watch other people (okay I really do as I'm a people watcher, but not to be mean, but in interest), I guess I'm saying that I don't watch people to critisize how they take communion. In fact, this would be only the second time I'd actually taken communion and the other time was just in December.
So, as I sat there panicking, literally sweating, palms drenched I finally told myself to 'get a grip'. It was communion... it is a gift... use it to remember. I just kept repeating 'this is a gift, this is a gift, this is a gift' (I wonder if anyone heard me?). I got through it... I don't even think that anyone paid attention to me. I was finally safe, back at my seat and my breathing became normal, the PITTING OUT ended and I may have even smiled to myself... I did it.
The best part was after church, my frugal franny friend just smiled at me and said softly, "you even made it through communion." Was I that obvious? Maybe to her as she is my friend. I'm so glad that I have someone willing to walk down this road with me.
As we were making our annual plans for Easter Sunday, Pepe piped in... What about church? Will we miss it? My answer had a sad tone to it and I realized that yes, we would miss church. What is it about this church? Maybe it is the comfort found with my family. I'm even thinking about getting up really early to attend Sunrise service. We'll see what happens.
As for now, I go about my week, using my quiet time to find myself and reflect about all of the lessons I am learning. Go figure.