Have you ever seen that part of Sister Act 2, at the very beginning where Deloris is singing about how you “better shop around” for a man?
Lately, I’ve been feeling that I’ve been shopping around for a church. It’s been really hard to pick one just to go and visit, let alone decide to connect myself to. I think I’ve just been putting it off for so long that now I’m just so reluctant to the idea.
I haven’t been to a church service (outside of Easter and Christmas) for at least two years. I used to go all the time but I just lost interest. Then, with supply work, and working at Tim Hortons, Sunday was my only day that I had off from both jobs to just relax, so I stayed at home. Then I just slipped into this spiritual coasting I guess. I didn’t want to pursue my faith. I let myself stagnate. I let myself become comfortable with not going. I was always telling myself that if I was meant to be in a church, I would have this desire to be there. That I would have a yearning to go, to fellowship with others, to worship with others. But I didn’t. I felt like I was being repelled from the church like we were the wrong ends of a magnet.
I’ve felt like that for a long time. I’ve felt like I was less of a Christian because of it. That, due to my lack of desire over going to church services, that I was less worthy to call myself a child of God. But I also didn’t want to force myself to go. Force myself into the pew each week, dreading it, leaving feeling like I’d wasted all that time and effort for the hour.
It was easy to keep myself away from the church these past few years. In Korea, you can find English speaking churches, but I didn’t go looking for them. I went to my regular church during teacher’s college but the new pastor had started to tear down all the good things about it. I went to my parent’s church which is small and lovely but not for me. And then I just stopped.
Then, lent arrived this year. I’ve never participated in lent before. I wanted to try it to see if I could ignite that fire that I am told is suppose to be inside of me for God. And I guess it’s starting to work. I’ve been actively trying to find a new place to worship for the last month. I’ve researched different churches, had long discussions with my brother over which ones would be a good fit for my “church going personality” and for my core set of beliefs. I never knew it would be so hard to find something that fit those boxes.
I had basically given up. Nothing around my new home seemed to fit for me. Nothing even caught my attention enough for me to go and try a service. But then I was out last week, going to a craft store. I decided to grab lunch before heading back home, and right beside the fast food place I was eating at was a church. A baptist church (which is what I was raised in). I checked out their website and no red flags surfaced. It seemed to fit all the boxes I needed in a church.
All week I was super excited about going to the service. I was planning what to wear, and searching for bus routes and knowing when I needed to wake up. I even was able to get a doctor’s appointment for Sunday afternoon which meant I would have to go down there anyways.
Yesterday I was talking myself out of it. This morning, my anxiety really started to ramp up. I felt icky, my heart was racing. But I forced myself to go. I always have super bad anxiety doing things for the first time. I left too early so I got there super early – not a good thing to add to the anxiety having to sit and wait for 20 minutes while people start to file in around me, but I did it. And it was awesome. Like really awesome. The worship team was well put together, the songs were great, the message hit me right in the face and heart. And I will most definitely be going back. Now I feel at peace with this. For the first time in I’d say a solid 6 years, I have a desire to be in a church service, not just an obligation.