I come from a long line of artists and musicians, and grew up watching my uncles play, while my mom waitressed, in this small Texas pub… I remember sitting up at the bar with my grandpa, while my mom worked and her brothers played. My grandmother would come get me pretty early, but I remember it feeling like a safe comfortable place for me.
Then over the years as my relationship grew with the Lord, I stopped going to bars and clubs, and instead opted to venture into churches. That decision over the years that followed, would cause me some very deep wounds…I’ve had some incredibly bad experiences in churches, some that caused me to question every aspect of my faith.
I’d venture into a new church, and then someone would do something really ugly..and I mean childish, mean, Jezebel spirit kind of vicious. (you know backstabbing, manipulative, and “I will destroy you” kind of ugly. It became a cycle of going into church, getting hurt, then running back into the arms of the world, then realizing that just wasn’t who I was anymore, then getting alone with God to work through the pain, and then eventually trying another church. Round and round I went.
Then by the grace of God, I eventually found a really good church where I stayed for the last 8 years…at one point I was going 4 times a week! On Saturdays (the Sabbath) I’d go for the sermon, then on Sunday (when they’d play the sermon recording on the big screens, at different service times throughout the day, while also holding theology classes on various topics in the smaller rooms) so I’d go in for the classes, then on Tuesday I’d go in for the Healing Ministry, then Wednesday go in and again take the classes, then sometimes they’d have the Jewish service on Fridays (once a month) …so 4 and sometimes 5 times a week I was there. I felt very welcome, and grew in my spiritual maturity a great deal. Now however, I’ve moved across Texas and am no longer close enough to attend the church that has been my home for so long.
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I should find a local church in this new town we live in, so Cassiel and I can get plugged into the community…have fellowship and a church family…but have found that I am terrified.
Church people frighten me, far more than bar people. Is that weird? I can drive by a shady looking bar, with Harley Davidson motorcycles out front, and I feel no apprehension, no fear. But when I look at a church, I know that inside THAT place, could be some real, devastating, long lasting pain. And I just don’t know if I’m up for it. Any thoughts?