When Church Is The Hardest Place To Go

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I can handle Walmart.

Long rows of isolation.

A few passers-by and a nod.

That’s all I have to give as I look for laundry detergent and dog food.

But church?

There’s hugging and laughing,

and so much smiling.

And people praising God for answered prayers.

Then there’s me.

Feeling defeated and weary.

And I know there’s others, too,

who feel like me;

but I just can’t pick them out……………..

at church.

Because church is the place where God is good………….

all the time…………

but sometimes,

I’m sorry,

it just doesn’t feel like He is.

So, I get people who stop going.

I understand the feeling of “I’ve got better things to do.”

I really, really do.

But, I’m here today to say that the church needs you when you’re broken.

Showing up with your sadness, your anger, your fear…………….

the church needs more people willing to do just this.

Showing up may be the hardest but best thing you’ll ever do.

I showed up yesterday.

Minimal sleep.

Eyes puffy.

Hair not quite feeling “church worthy.”

And it changed everything about the rest of my day.

As the women in my Sunday school class looked toward me, ready for the day’s lesson to begin,

I couldn’t hide it anymore.

I just said,

“Are you ever just proud of yourself for showing up?”

And then it happened.

I couldn’t hold it back anymore.

Unlike the people in Walmart, these women weren’t going to push right by…………..

My tears began to fall,

and I poured out everything……

because sometimes a Sunday school teacher’s lesson doesn’t mean near as much as her honesty.

Yesterday, I left Sunday school knowing this:

I need my church the most when I want it the least.

Next Sunday, I hope you’ll show up.

I hope you’ll take off your mask.

I hope you’ll allow someone into your pain so that you can know……………

you’re not alone

you’re loved

and

it’s going to be okay.

Church.

God’s family.

Show up.

Even when it’s hard.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:4-5

2 thoughts on “When Church Is The Hardest Place To Go

  1. This post hit my heart like an arrow! But, what do you do when you go to Church & you still feel isolated? Lonely? Like an outsider? I’ve been there for a year now. Trying NOT to feel that way. Pasting on a smile, saying ‘hello’ to each face I see. Trying to move along, thinking in my head, “It’s not about me. It’s about GOD.” Looking for GOD & finding a feeling of isolation from clusters of ‘friends’ too much. I know it is just ‘me’; so I pray about it daily, delving into His Word & listening for an answer. Thank you for reminding me that I need people. Lady friends to reach out to. Thank you for all of your posts. They are an inspiration to us all on some level or another. Luv ya!

    • The church falls short so many times at seeing the hurt and the loneliness of others. I will be praying. Keep going. Keep praying. Keep asking God to lead you to the right friends, the right group, the right corner in which you can feel safe enough to share your heart and your hurt.