Finding Renewal in Returning to Church

in , , , by Linda B Hurd, April 01, 2024

As I sit down, to write this, I'm still overwhelmed by the flood of emotions from Easter Sunday. It's been four long years since I last stepped into a church. This past Sunday marked a significant moment for me and my two children. It was a decision filled with faith, uncertainty, and hope.

The morning began this Easter Sunday with me feeling compelled to get myself and the kids dressed to visit a church. The sun was peeking through the blinds of our one-bedroom apartment. The sky looked a little grey but the air was filled with the promise of spring. As I prepared cereal for my kids, the thought of attending church continued to nudge into my mind. It lingered there for a while, a gentle whisper amidst the chaos of daily life.

For four years, I had distanced myself from organized religion. Life knocked me upside the head and to my knees with curveballs. I found myself questioning my faith. My beliefs. I questioned the essence of spirituality. It wasn't a sudden departure but rather a gradual drifting away.

Easter Sunday carries a unique weight. I watched my children's excitement at the prospect of digging through their Easter baskets. I could not stop thinking how it was time to step back towards something I had left behind. That something was fellowshiping in a church. I had felt back in 2022 that going to church after all I had been through with divorce was only going to place more salt in the wound. After fighting to unsee things and ignoring actions that were being played out weekly in my marriage.

Understanding that we were no longer lovers and just co-parents. I was just a wife feeling like a roommate who couldn't hold her own alone at the time. I allowed my marriage to consume me more than seeking help from God. I sacrificed so much to be in my 30's finding a new meaning to life.

The decision wasn't made lightly. Anxiety gnawed at my insides as I wrestled with doubts and uncertainties. Would I be judged for changing from Baptist to Non-Deomonial? Would I feel overwhelmed with making the sound decision to find a new church home? 

Yet, amidst the uncertainty, there was a glimmer of hope. There was a tiny beacon urging me to take that leap of faith. And so, with apprehension and determination, I gathered my children, booked an Uber, and made our way to the local church.

Walking through those doors felt like crossing a threshold into the unknown. The cool breeze and smiles welcomed us while wrapping us in a comforting embrace. I was directed and asked about being open for my kids to attend the children’s ministry. I was ushered after giving my name and kids names to the Children’s hall and rooms for drop offs. Once I had my daughter warmed up to the daycare my son left to go to the Children’s ministry moments later. As I sat in an unfamiliar seat, I felt a knot loosen in my chest, replaced by a sense of calm I hadn't felt in years.

The service unfolded with a grace and simplicity that spoke to my soul. I was called to be there. I was becoming blinded with tears. After all it took so much to get out the door with my kids and go to church that I knew we were there for a reason. It felt like coming home after a long journey. Then came the moment that caught me off guard – the sermon, delivered with an earnestness that struck a chord within me.

Tears welled in my eyes as I listened, each word a balm to my weary spirit. It was as if the pastor was speaking directly to me. He addressed the doubts and fears that had plagued me for so long. In that moment, surrounded by fellow worshippers, I felt understood, accepted, and loved.

But the true highlight of the day came for my children. As hesitant as I was about exposing them together to religion. Their eyes lit up with wonder from simply being a part of the children's ministry. 

As we left the church yesterday, I felt lighter. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. After so many Sundays that have passed, I finally felt it in my spirit and acted on it to go to church.  The journey towards rediscovering my faith is far from over but for the first time in a long while.

I feel hopeful. I can once again find peace and strength in my faith. I felt hopeful I could impart that same sense of belonging and acceptance to my children.

Easter Sunday will always hold a special place in my heart. Easter Sunday is not just a celebration of resurrection and renewal but a reminder of the power of faith to heal, uplift, and unite. And as I look towards the future, I do so with renewed conviction, knowing that I've taken the first step towards a journey that promises to be both challenging and profoundly rewarding.

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment