I've (mostly) tried to leave my quest for dedication to one denomination off the blog. The dearest people in my life range quite devotedly from Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic and everywhere in between. And on any given day you can find me.....somewhere in between.
I'll argue with you to the death that I am a saved, Spirit filled, baptized child of the One true God and still all people really want to know is, "What church do you go to?" So tempting to give a crazy, off the wall answer like......well, I won't even go there.
I grew up Baptist, went to a Methodist university, went to the Methodist church.....twice, went to a Christian church for a year, went to a Charismatic church for 3 years and returned for a brief siesta in the Baptist church in recent years. Mixed in were several life changing, relationship with God altering, eternal moments at the Monastery worshipping with the monks mostly in complete silence. Add to that praying the Daily Office in my own life and with an amazing community of believers on-line and it's not hard to see why I've perhaps confused myself. Which, among other reasons, is why I have referred to me at least 3 times just this week as spiritually schizophrenic.
The constant bzzzzz in my head in the past 6 months has been, "gottafindachurchgottafindachurchgottafindachurchgottafindachurch" and not for lack of trying.....I have not. I HATE being the visitor at church after years of being so involved. I hate starting with, "Hi. I'm Brenda." during visiting time thinking I'm probably not even going to come back to this church! I much prefer the "at least someone already knows my NAME for crying out loud" scenario. Glass half empty-----I know.
I have to wait for my feelings to catch up with my mind and my heart sometimes and this decision has been no exception. I've visited some amazing churches and felt like a visitor. I've enjoyed watching other people belong to their congregations and left thinking, "that was....nice." But, each time leaving with a feeling more like "let me out" and not so much "can I play too?"
Enter Christmas Eve service. My friends say all the time I need a t-shirt that says, "I play with the high church on holidays." Guilty. I love the high church. I love the liturgy and the music and an order of service. I can't help it. Something (Someone?) draws me to that style of worship. So, last night at the midnight service at the Catholic Church I just needed a moment with the Lord. We needed to connect.....big time. My friends and I decided to sit apart from each other so we could focus (trust me) so I sat by myself in the back amidst at least 200 people.
Maybe because it was so late. Maybe because the service was so stunningly beautiful. Maybe because the connection was there. It took me a moment to put a finger on that feeling.........Peace. You'll have to trust me that peace and church have not been connected in recent months and my brain took awhile to connect that. It was so comforting. I left with tears streaming down my face and my friends who have walked this road with me this year left in tears too. (Everyone should have a friend that will cry with them.....mho). I left from there and went to work enveloped in peace that can only come from The Lord for hours.
Which may have left me even more confused, because as my friends insist on pointing out almost seriously, "You're not Catholic."