Church is family, I guess it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty ok. I have my real, biological parents as part of the bigger church family for the past 10 years, but it wasn’t always the case and I did a lot of being substitute Christian parented for a long time. I’m so grateful to the men and women who gently modelled what stability and a solidly rooted life should look like. And who taught me that one enormous looking road hump doesn’t necessarily mean the entire road is going to be like that! I needed to learn that – it’s a good skill to have, either for driving or living.
I’ve learned over the years that I am hard on myself. And that puts me in the vulnerable position of having a totally shot internal compass. I find responding to sermons really hard! I want to be obedient to God and don’t know how to evaluate the challenges presented. I have asked God in the past to teach me through other people, through his word and through the holy spirit because being challenged can kick off a critical chain of dialogue internally. (Usually to try harder, which I know isn’t the truth) I have found that the voice of Jesus doesn’t sound like the stuff in my head – it’s a clear, fresh water, airy bright morning kind of voice and it’s always ok to hear, listen and take action. Jesus as far as I know doesn’t nag – just sometimes brings the conversation up again. Which is why I have a verse of the year – it’s reminding me that God “will quiet me with his love” – which I need to hear as often as I can – which I guess is why it keeps cropping up in things I have listened to.
Thankfully I find church teaches me in lots of creative ways! Often (suprisingly) through the children’s stuff and all the visual aids our church churns out – sheep you can stick on your computer screen, little post it notes, pipe cleaner crosses, and mostly in the general interactions and love which remind me that although I don’t have kids and won’t have a partner I am still wanted. I love church!! (Usually) It has to be said that it’s easy to forget that when the worship is a little too family oriented, and I have things I won’t talk about because I think I will bore for England. I have to go home sometimes and remind myself just how fortunate I am to have a big family who do daft things that make me hugely fond of them.