This post is very personal, and more about a process I’m going through right now. It may not be that interesting to everyone, but I needed to put it out there. I needed to make a public statement (this will make sense if you do read the whole thing)
Our church has been going through a lot of change. The church I have been going to since 1999 has been dying a slow death, and now a larger, more successful church (that is busting at the seams) has come along and partnered with our church to merge.
“Merge” sounds like a sweet word, but the truth is, it has been hard. I have this piece of paper in my office at home that says I’m a member of SHCC. It is no longer valid. I can’t just walk into the new church and swap it for a new membership to Westgate Church. I am now taking a class to get to know my “new” church. I am becoming a member of a new church.
In this process, I started to think about whether I would choose this church if I had just moved to town. I felt like maybe this is how I should be approaching this. I didn’t choose this church and I felt like it was choosing me. I felt I didn’t have control of my path (it’s always fun when you try to take control…it’s almost like you can hear God laughing).
The hubby, the youngest son and I decided to visit some different places to see what was out there. We visited a few very different churches that all had beautiful music, great sermons, and wonderfully welcoming people. Some fit us better than others. One really felt like “home” for me. This only made the struggle to choose worse.
At the same time, with all the changes, I was feeling disconnected and useless in my “new” church. Youth small groups were put on hold to give people time to adjust, and even though I needed the adjustment time, it made it hard to feel useful. I went to the youth pastor and his wife (two people I trust deeply) with my heart in my hands.They asked people in our youth staff to pray for me.
In the following week I was showered with love from all sides by people from my “old/new” church. People I have volunteered with for years came forward and were connecting intentionally with me and making sure I was being cared for and prayed for. It was a hurricane of love.
Even though it has been a tough choice, I am choosing this new Westgate Church. I want to be with the family I have been with for 15 years. I want to worship next to my son, who wants to choose Westgate as well. I want to continue to work with one of the best youth staff I have ever met. I want to hang out with some of the coolest teen girls I have had the privilege to mentor. I want the hubs and I to sit together on Sunday and know we are in family unity and that we will worship together as a family.