I went to church today. On a Sunday. With my daughter.
This is the first time I have gone to church on a Sunday since my mother died. I can think of two times in the history of my history that I attended a Sunday service without my mother (well, that's not true, some more when I visited friends' churches as a kid, but I am speaking as an adult here). Today was time three.
I have been wanting to attend church for some time. But each week brought a new excuse. Too tired. No clothes. Don't want to go alone. Beach day. Out of town. Did I already say too tired? But last night it hit me. I'm avoiding church because I don't want to go without my mama. I don't want to brave a new place all by myself. See, you aren't really a grown up until your mama is gone. I'm still adjusting. Being a grown up sucks, btw.
I woke up this morning. I wasn't too tired. I found clothes to wear. I was in town, and didn't feel a pressing need to get to the beach. So I got dressed, Googled local churches and picked one at random. Upward Church. I liked the way that sounded.
Today's message was all about loneliness. Funny, that's why I didn't want to go to church. I felt too lonely to go. The message wasn't catered to my personal situation, but I took so much away from it.
Throughout the sermon, the pastor talked of David. David who went from being a no one, to the very top, just like that. And then he LOST IT ALL. His wife, his friends, his home, his power. But he rebuilt. And again, he lost it ALL. His power, his family, his children and his friends. He was ALONE. And yet he turned to God. He found solace in our amazing God.
The pastor kept saying, we have to change the messages we tell ourselves. WE can't say, "I'm so lonely, my mom is dead. I'll never find another mom like her. She's gone, gone, gone." Instead I have to say, "Jesus, I trust you. I turn to you in my loneliness. I know I am worthy of love, for GOD loves me. I will not be lonely forever. I will take comfort in HIM."
I have kind of been doing that. But I need to do it more. It's not okay to feel this sense of isolation and loneliness. God wants me to have community, to have others I can depend on and talk to. I have to change my ways and reach out more.
The pastor said, when we are all alone, God places us in a family.
How true is THAT?
I lost my mom. And since then, people have never been more kind to me. People I barely knew, are now a PART of my life, through absolutely NO effort of my own. I have mom friends new and old, Ladies Let's Gather friends that care for me, Charity Chapel friends that are there for me, even though I do not attend that church. I can't attend that church. I said goodbye to my mama there. My in laws have been nothing but supportive and loving to me. I've grown closer with them as a result. I have internet friends, who loved and supported me even though I've not always been the kindest. I've met new friends through my weight loss surgery. I DID NOTHING to get any of this. God placed all these people in my life. He gave me a family in my loneliest hour. And now, NOW it is time for me to start being an active part of that family. To reciprocate and to love back.
I think so much of my friend Kim. Who lived here for such a short time. She may not think so, but I think so, that God gave her to me. She saved me. Without her in those weeks after mom died, where would I be? I don't know. She saved me from self destructing with her honest and strong/tough love. God gave me her. She was my family. She is my family. I will never forget the family she was in those days.
I'm grateful for soooo many people. I don't tell them enough. But so many ladies have touched my life in this past year. I don't know where I'd be without you. These are women here in Pensacola, and women half the country away that I've never even met. Women are my family. Some call it a tribe. I will stick with family.
God has blessed me with great family. These people just landed in my life. And I have to start realizing that. I am not alone. I am not. God gave me family. He provided for me, when I could not provide for myself.
I'll be going back next Sunday. I can't wait to learn the lesson. :D I have so many lessons to learn.