Monday, April 23, 2012


All I knew walking into Christ Church the first Sunday of January 2011 was if this church didn't feel like home, I wasn't going anywhere else ever again.  Dramatic?  Maybe.  The truth?  For sure.  I wouldn't say God acts on our threats necessarily, but I do think he knows, maybe before we do, when we've waited long enough.  

I knew nothing about the Episcopal faith and no one.  I had no idea where to find the words, the music, and spent much of that first hour amazed that everyone seemed to know when to sit, stand, kneel.  I was fascinated and completely freaked out during The Peace when random people started hugging me and shaking my hand.  "We're so glad you're here!" Something in my heart couldn't help but believe them.

All I knew leaving that first day was I had to go back.  And I did.  Again and again and again.  Until I knew when to stand.  Until the prayers started getting way deeper than the words of my mouth.  Until everything I grew up believing about the liturgical faith began to unravel.  Quickly.  It started slowly seeping into everything I thought I knew......Jesus was here.....too.

I'd spend the next year asking God to let the truth surface.  That more than what I knew for sure, more than what I thought I might know - he would reveal the truth.  He's been gracious and faithful to answer that prayer.

Saturday I received Confirmation into the Episcopal faith.  I've yet to find adequate words to describe what happened at that alter, but in the days to come, I will.  It felt in that moment, surrounded by my closest friends and the body of Christ, that the struggle was worth it.  And all I really know for sure is that it felt like a definite end to a complicated chapter.

But, not just an end.  A brand new beginning.  All of the details I don't have yet, but the start of something good for sure.  So, where to go from here?  

"Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!"

Yes.  I'll start with that.

**Confirmation service at St. Thomas in Thomasville, GA.  


Penelopepiscopal said...

Awesome. Really. :-)

Meredith Gould said...

What a gorgeous church and, no joke, my eyes filled with tears the nano-second after I realized I was looking at a picture of you kneeling at the altar. Penny has used the word "awesome" absolutely correctly!! Awesome indeed.

tdraz said...

I thank God for sending you to Christ Church! I look forward to the next chapter in this awesome adventure! You will have plenty of fellow travelers along this road.

Sue said...

Congratulations, Brenda, on your confirmation, and on your finding your particular "home" within the Body of Christ.

I thank God that there are many denominations and ways to walk with Jesus... I too find the Episcopal Church to be home and wouldn't want to worship in another way.

All that sitting, standing, kneeling and the prayers that seep into one's bones really allow God to show up. The familiar prayers allow us to go deep into our internal experience during the liturgy.

I think that's what people who don't "get" the liturgical church don't appreciate. But as I see the pictures of you kneeling there, I think of someone who feels deeply and is overflowing with the love of God--because it shows in the photos.


Brenda said...

Thanks, friends. You all have played an important part. Grateful for each of you.

Rob said...

Can't think of anything intelligent or coherant to say; just sitting here, grinning like crazy, and wanting to give you a big big big brother hug!!

Kay G. said...

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!