Bends in the road became familiar as we approached the town and soon we pulled into the casino parking lot, the only physical space to maneuver our ginormous trucks and trailers. After all those hours nesting our hinds into the foam of a vehicle my husband and I continued to sit. Instead of a steering wheel and the responsibilities of driving thirteen tons (or in my case a mere three-quarters ton) our hands held drinks a luxury. Glazed over eyes we watched our children enjoy the freedom to roam, stretch and explore Unfortunately, moments like this don’t last forever, or even fifteen minutes.
Full bellies and fatigued, the squabbling began, as did a mad dash to the hotel room. Through the commotion of tears, whining, and stern voices we managed to close the day and a chapter of our lives. I laid awake, guilty about the four-way bickering until my eyes ended the senseless self-flauging.
We woke to a beautiful Sunday morning. Oh how I love Sunday mornings and the anticipation of going to church. A deep love of attending church stems from my other life. When I went through my divorce the day I walked through the church doors took significant courage but I wanted God more than I cared what people thought of me, let alone the hidden details of my life. Parched, in desperate need of Divine comfort, reassurance and healing Sunday morning worship became a weekly fueling station for my soul.
Over the years I’ve found regardless of my personal time communicating with God during the between days, meeting with other believers, singing worship songs and reading the bible together reminds me we are not alone. As our circumstances change, as struggles swell before they mend, church is a place for support, fellowship and renewal. This Sunday morning I missed church literally and figuratively.
We Could Have Gone…
The family at the ranch invited us to join their church service when I called to explain our delayed arrival but reluctantly I declined the offer. They’re from a different denomination and are more reverent than the nondenominational churches I grew up with and still attend. That’s not to say they are holier than other denominations, the blood of Jesus makes us equally holy, but they live carefully, intentionally and purposefully for Jesus.
Throughout adulthood I’ve participated in bible studies with women from this denomination and respect their expression of love, commitment and service to our Lord. I didn’t want to bring our crazy fresh-of-the-road mess into the fellowship. If I’d known that morning what I learned over the next few weeks I’m certain a different decision would have been made.
I checked the time and fought back tears. They’re singing right now…David’s teaching now…Already I missed our friend/pastor’s teaching that took me closer to the cross and deeper in contemplation of the faith I hold dear to my heart. Why God? Why would you take me from a ministry you put on my heart? Why would you take our family from a church home that is the breeding ground for a deeper love and understanding of You?
Answers I resist chasing after. Faith-filled and surrendered life is exciting and the answers didn’t come quickly or easily, but soon enough we’d get a glimpse of God’s plan and as time stretched on, His purpose.