Yes, You CAN Go Back to Church Again

Around 7 years ago, my husband and I made the decision to leave the Church that I’ve known as home for over 30 years. Mistakes were made on both sides. Right or wrong, whose fault it was is irrelevant. We no longer felt peace and instead of God’s presence we went there salty and feeling betrayed. So, in everyone’s best interests, we left.
The morals & doctrine there have always been & will always be sound. When our youngest started 6th grade, he wanted to attend the youth group there. I happily took him every Wednesday. We did not bad mouth the congregation. We never said a word. We simply left. I felt there would be no issue with him attending and there wasn’t.
Every year since then, he’s participated in their Fine Arts program, doing a short sermon. Every year, we go to support him. We’d smile nice and because my mom & aunt still attended, we’d exchange pleasantries with their friends. No one had ever called and asked what had become of us. A few people asked my mom or aunt, but, no one ever called me. I was hurt. I harbored it in my heart and throw a lot of meaningless jabs at the people (mentally, not verbally). The pastoral staff had changed- the senior pastor left. The associate became the senior.
At the Fine Arts event, the new pastor’s wife came up to me and hugged me. Genuinely. Sincerely hugged me. I was confused.
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Who Do You Yell For When You’re Scared?

When I’ve been in scary situations, usually the first thing I yell is ‘Jesus!’. Not in a cursing way, of course, but as in ‘Jesus, help me!’ Sometimes the danger has only been perceived, but, when I’ve slid on ice with the truck, fallen, or otherwise hurt myself, I yell for My Savior.

That’s why I was quite surprised at myself the other night. Actually, more mad than surprised. It was late. I was sitting on the couch reading with Buster next to me. He began fussing about, sniffing the air and such. I tried to calm him, but he was noticeably agitated.

Seconds late, some kind of bug that I’m calling a beetle hybrid, landed on me. Instantly, I screamed like a small child. But, who I yelled for was Buster. In fact, it was ‘Buster, help!’ Immediately, he leapt from the couch, grabbed the bug (without even nipping my shirt or me), threw it to the ground and ripped it in half.

I was startled. He was quite pleased with himself, even walking to the kitchen for a ‘Good boy treat.’ I gave him one of course. After all, he did save the day (I guess). But, after congratulating him on his victory featuring a fatality (the bug), I begin to think about the whole incident.

On one hand, I was thrilled that Buster had done what I’d always hoped he would. Pit bulls get a bad rep in general, though I’ve never met a ‘bad’ one yet. I had always assumed that if I needed Bus he’d be there. He was. I am grateful. But, it also made me look at myself in a different way.

Why didn’t I call out to Jesus? Was it because it was a very simple, earthly type problem? One I could easily rectify? Yes, it was a very silly problem. It was a less than 2 inch bug that simply startled me- without malice. But, why did I yell for Buster? I was kind of disappointed in myself.

I don’t want to put Jesus in a ‘box’. He shouldn’t only be called on for the big stuff. My initial reaction should have been ‘Jesus, help me!’ True, I believe Buster was a gift from God. He has been my friend, companion, laughter, and snuggle buddy. He has been an agent of joy and peace- both emotions are God-given. But, Buster isn’t the go-to answer. Jesus should be and should’ve been.

So, lesson learned. It made me very conscious of my priorities and taking simple problems to God. I hope, that should a similar situation arrive, my first instinct will be to call on the Lord first. Buster may be a major league protector of the house (& me), but he isn’t the one to take my problems to. Jesus is.