Some will be shocked, some will be happy (Stephanie, I know that you always sneak onto myspace and read my blog faithfully so I will be placing you in that category lol). Tonight we went back to a fundamental Baptist church. I never thought I'd hear myself saying that... but I backtracked to my roots. Remembered where I came from. I have no issue with the Baptist part. I'm a Baptist from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I have no problem with the fundamental part either...I believe that if the Bible says it...it's true. What I have a problem with is that those two words put together usually mean way too "religious", old-fashioned and tending towards legalism for my taste. And the music usually stinks. But for a few reasons that I won't go into we needed to go and after talking to the pastor today he told me that Awanas (it's kind of like a christian boys and girlscouts) had their first meetings of the new school year tonight so the kids wouldn't miss anything. So..... we went.
I have to admit that I wasn't very excited. I was nervous. And I wore PANTS. lol Some people might be thinking I'm crazy by saying that, but people that grew up with me or in churches like Idid will know exactly what I'm talking about. I went in with a smile in my face but with doubt in my heart. Then the strangest things happened.
I got the kids to their classes and we entered the auditorium and sat down. There weren't a whole lot of people there at the beginning so we were sitting there in the quiet just taking it all in. Even though it was a totally different church than I grew up in with a totally different look there were still so many similarities. First of all, most sanctuaries have the same smell. It's a musty kind of smell. I looked at the worn hymnals. There were NO hymnals at the charismatic church we had been attending. I looked up front at the platform...or altar should I say. There was NO altar at the other church. On one side of the platform there was an organ and on the other side there was a piano. On the platform towards the back on one side was the American flag, on the other side was the Baptist flag. There were NO flags at the other church. Then someone walked past and smiled and stuck his hand out saying "HI!! I'm B.J. It's so nice to meet you!" No one had ever greeted us at the other church unless they were told to "turn around and shake hands with three people near you." or something like that.
It felt like going back home. I felt so comfortable. It was so familiar. I started to secretly hope that the rest of the fam would love it too. I was sure they wouldn't because it was so uncool in so many ways. They didn't have the flashing lights and huge projection screens and full praise band onstage. They just had simple, normal people there to support each other and serve God. Oh! And just as the service was starting, The Davis family that I grew up at Tower with (Soapie remembers them!!) came in and sat right in front of us! She looked at me and smiled and said "I recognized you even from behind but never thought it could really be YOU!!" :) It was really nice to see sweet faces that are so dear to me.
The preacher had a short mid-week message and then we broke off into prayer groups of women here and men out there. I thought that would be it because scott usually doesn't like to do new things alone and he kind of gave me a look when they first stated we were splitting up like "we're doing WHAT?" lol But he went and I stayed. We had some really good prayer time and I got to know a small group of women there. I kept thinking that I hoped Scott would like it because I think it would do alot of good for him to be in the company of christian men. He needs to make friends and have some good role models. After prayer when we were leaving one of the ladies I met gave me a hug and slipped something in my hand. She whispered "I know you've been having some health problems and it's tough to be the main breadwinner. This isn't much but it's enough to buy some milk and other things." She smiled and walked away. I looked in my hand and it was a $10.00 bill! That brought tears to my eyes. Here we were leaving a church that seemed so selfish and wouldn't even counsel us and here was an older woman blessing us just because she could. In that moment it's like I felt God giving me a hug and saying "welcome home babe."
Afterwards when we all met up again outside, before I could even get out the words "so how did everyone like it?" I was hearing how much they LOVED it. LOVED. EVEN COURTNEY LIKED IT. Oh yes she did girl! lol And for the grand finale Scott was exclaiming how much he really liked it and felt so immediately comfortable there. He loved that several people actually went out of their ways to shake his hand, introduce themselves and welcome him. He loved it and can't wait to go back.
What a surprise blessing. I begrudgingly went to a church that I thought I would hate every minute of and ended up with a new church home! It's so awesome the way that God works! Now if only he would surprise me just as quickly and out of the blue with enough money to pay all of my bills!!! lol :)