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believe in who?

I claim to be a spiritual person.

I say that I believe in God.

I have gone to church, but not like I used to.

I believe in something.

I can feel something.

But what is it?

This, emptiness, is something that I've struggled to communicate for years.

I know that I believe in something.  When I walk into our home church, there is almost always "that feeling" that comes over me and I cannot explain it.  When I sing in church and a song really hits me, I can't help but get misty eyed about it.  Just because I can feel something real...

But what is it?

Growing up, we went to church almost every weekend, for most of my childhood.  We were involved in youth group, Sunday school, mission trips, and a variation of other church-like activities.  In my opinion, we were fairly active.

After I started college, I wasn't a very good Sunday-church-goer, but I went when I could.  When I started dating S., we went on and off at first, but then he was asked to sing in a band at a contemporary worship service at a church MILES from our house.  He did that for about 6 years and it was nice.  We loved the church for a little while but we weren't part of their community.  We didn't participate in anything but the Sunday service when he was paid to be there and when we didn't go, we didn't go anywhere else, either. Going to church, started to take well over 3 hours and sometimes more.  It became a chore, not something we enjoyed doing.

After our 6 years attending the Lutheran Church as a couple and then we moved further from the church, we decided that it just wasn't doing it for us anymore and we needed to part ways.

I was brought up in a Presbyterian church, my husband in a Methodist church and when we went to the Lutheran church, it was only a little different than what we were used to.  It was still church.

My husband didn't really go to church much when he was a toddler, as I remember him telling me.  But as his older brother got into Young Life, his family started to attend church a lot more.  They became very active in their (rather large) Methodist church.  S. was in the choir and would go on traveling choir tours, his brother later became a Pastor himself and they all became and appeared to be very spiritual people.

After we split from the Lutheran church, we (unfortunately) took a very long break from church.

When we had our house guests living with us (my in laws), we started going to the local Methodist church with them.  They preferred the traditional service, we like the contemporary service, so we would flip flop week to week and we'd enjoy going.  But then the contemporary service got weird, the choir was creepy, it became too predictable and we no longer enjoyed going.  People were really fake (choir members), it wasn't too welcoming and just didn't feel like it was a good fit for us.  After our house guests left, we pretty much decided that it wasn't working for us and we stopped going.  Shortly after that, my in laws stopped going to the traditional service, for other reasons.

Since then, we haven't been to a church for a regular service that isn't holiday or funeral related in over 2 years.

Sad to admit, yes, but the truth.

Our philosophy was and is that God doesn't live in a building, so, why stress about going to a church?

It's always been important to me. When I take the time and reconnect and really feel the connection.  It's good and it's there.  I want my relationship with God to be present in our day to day lives, enough so that it influences our family and our children.

Right now, S. and I both are sort of in this same boat.  We haven't felt the draw to attend a church, not only because we are unsure about what we need or want from a church, but also because we haven't looked for a church.  We haven't made it a priority, and we realize that this needs to change in order for us to build the relationship again.  At the rate we're going, it's going to take some time to get back in the groove and feel what we used to from a church.

But, the other question that we both have... is it God that we really believe in?  And how do you feel fulfillment from a church when you aren't really sure that the people around you really believe or just lift their hands in praise, because that's what people do.

We know that bringing Christ into our family is important and we are making plans to do this.  We don't have any specific church that we need to attend based on denomination, so it should be easy to figure out... right?

So far, our plan is to start attending this church that they are building just a mile from our house, when it's done.  It's non-denominational, close and new.  It might hold what we're looking for or it might not.  Either way, we plan to give it a try and at this rate, that will be better than what we're not doing.

Yes, God doesn't live in a building, but sometimes it feels really good to walk into a building where lots of people are welcoming him.  Hopefully we find a place that we can call ours, soon.


Josey said…
It's interesting how having a child makes you reexamine your spirituality. I was raised Lutheran, my husband Baptist and the Presbyterian, but it really wasn't until we've had Stella that we started thinking about formal Church education for her and how we'd handle it...
Whitney said…
I totally can relate to "the feeling" you sometimes get at church. We've gone through a whole wild range of churches (ahhh, the sacrifices made to get pretty wedding photos...) and now love where we go! And as our boys get older and have questions, we're really grateful to have a place and people we can turn to for help, guidance and answers. My advice: Don't give up on looking! The understanding you two have will be a lot harder to relate to your kid(s) as they get older.
Leah said…
I love your honesty in this post and really hope that the non-denom church will be a great fit for you!

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