Today, I tried out a new church for the second time. One that I found on the internet several weeks ago. I scrolled through the website and perused the information within every tab. It sounded about right.
Finally, a church that fit me—at least by the looks of the website. I was, honestly, impressed by the website itself. Most churches I have attended in my life have poorly developed websites and that is probably because they have been lovely, traditional churches.
Churches with members who truly care. Churches that are a home. A perfect website just seems to belong to those big, almost commercial churches, of which I have never belonged.
I was slightly wary of the appearance of this beautiful website, but slipped these hesitations to the back of my mind since the description of their core beliefs and values aligned perfectly with mine. It actually reminded me of my church back home. I miss it dearly.
Since I moved further south to finish up my degree, I have searched for a real church home. It has been hard to find one, though there are many great churches here.
They just weren’t for me.
I went for the first time about a month ago with my friend who was visiting. I fell in love with it. The people, the pastor, the service, the worship, and the sermon fit my beliefs and the way I grew up in church. It even looked similar to my church back home. When I left, my heart filled with joy and my face held a smile.
I thought about that church for weeks.
Spring break happened and then I visited my family, but finally I was able to attend a second time. Two sweet ladies sat next to me on a cushioned pew. They gabbed about how nice it was to see me and asked if I lived nearby. This was the first time I had ever met these women, but they seemed truly delighted to spend their Sunday morning with me. I felt genuinely welcomed for the first time in months.
The sermon began and, with my journal flipped open, I delved into the message documenting as much of it as I could. I was a sponge soaking it all in. My pen started to fade by the end of the sermon, and I realized how much I took in at church this time.
He spoke about freedom. And I was there to stay.