I tried a new church today.
After sadly leaving one church home because of a big shift in leadership a few years ago, and running from/being kicked out of another last year, I think I needed some time to really define what my issues or wounds are, as well as what I want and need from a church.
And I think I needed time to miss it.
So I took some time. And I sporadically attended a rather large church in the area (which, bless them for having a noon service). While it did enough to at least remind me that being a part of a community is important and gave me an avenue to worship and learn more about God’s word, it didn’t really feel like home.
In that time, what I’ve learned is that I didn’t miss church so much as I missed God. I missed being deeply spiritual (or spiritual AF as I like to put it) and being free to pray and to worship confidently and courageously.
And the church I met Jesus in for the first time was that way.
I felt free to worship how I felt compelled to do so. I felt comfortable enough to ask questions and still be passionately in love with Jesus. It was okay to be a little “crazy” or “weird,” and expressiveness was welcomed.
I loved it because I loved the way the Spirit moved there. I loved the openness of those around me to that movement. You could feel the fire in the souls of those around you, and that gave me the room to have my own heart set ablaze.
I miss that. The blazing.
Nothing gets me more excited than being on fire for the Lord. I love to feel passion stirring. And today, as I observed this new community worshipping and responding to prayer and the message, I felt like I was home again.
I almost got emotional about it, like here is a place where freedom is really experienced and encouraged. Here’s a place where healing is a priority, and it’s not ONLY by God’s word that this happens, but ALSO, by the Spirit. (Naysayers, please note the emphasis).
I’ve not been to a church where I felt right in too long. And while I don’t want to be blinded to the fact that this is still a community of flawed believers, so I know it’s not exempt from flaws, because I’ve only been there once – I can’t imagine my sense of the Holy Spirit is already gone, that my ability to discern God speaking to me or beckoning me has dwindled away completely. So I’m optimistic. So optimistic.