A couple of days ago I posted a blog called Church is Where I Go, and it talked about all of the reasons our "new church" has been a challenge. A lot of what I said was spot on and I stand by it but in my times of self pity, it's easy to get wrapped up in whats going wrong, when the truth is, I hold just as much, if not more, responsibility for not making it home.
When we moved here, Indy was home. Our church was our family. Our neighbors were our family. Sure, our old church was incredible about jumping in and forcing us to be included in the church family but looking at the other side of the coin, shows me some different parts too.
When we came to TN, I missed Indy and missed our friends there. I missed our gigantic support system, I missed having help when times were hard, I missed having people check in with me, and I missed the comfort those things offered. We got sick when we first moved and there was no one to bring us food or check on us, we didn't have anyone to take the healthy kid out of the houseful of sicklings, and there was no one needing a baby fix who waded through the germs and played with Kip so I could rest. We didn't have those people because we'd just moved here and didn't know anyone yet. We probably didn't have those people in the first two months we were in Indy either, but I didn't see it that way.
Another key difference is that we moved to Indy in the middle of summer. That's when everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Everyone is in a little better mood and has a little less stress. We moved to TN in the end of October. Right when things are getting chaotic in most families. The weather is starting to cool off so people want to stay indoors, school is in session so everyone is busy with homework and extra curricular activities, and the pace is just a little more hectic.
I pointed out all of the things my new church family had and hadn't done, but here's my list of things I neglected to do.
I haven't joined a bible study
I haven't joined the women's ministry or asked if there's a spot on the team.
I haven't forced myself out of my comfort zone to talk to new people.
I haven't asked anyone out for lunch/dinner/coffee.
I haven't coordinated a play date for my kids.
I haven't asked where I can fit in.
I haven't made the effort!
Sure, when going to a new church, it's easier if the existing members do all of the heavy lifting for you but if they don't, it's not an excuse to curl up and be sad.
The new church loves. They embrace each other, they honor God's word, and the love all of God's children. There are open and honest conversations in the classes. There is preaching that will knock your socks off and fire you up for Jesus! The congregation sings! They love singing and I love that they love it so much. There have been several times that I've sang in church and at the end of the song, I felt like I should clap because it was so good, and at the new church, they do it! They are sinners and they love sinners. They are genuine!
There is no better example of the people I'm describing than Mike and Melanie. Naturally we love them, they're wildcats, but more importantly, they exhibit all of those great qualities that have kept us coming back to our church. They've really been an anchor in an uncertain time for me. When I said I was leaving the church, they supported me. When I told them we were coming back, they celebrated with us. I'm so thankful for that, and I know they are definitely part of God's plan!
So yes, we've had a rocky start. And yes, our church probably could've done better, but I definitely could have done better, and I WILL. We will begin doing life with our church family. We will become engrained in the congregation. Everyone might as well make the best of it, because they're stuck with us now! And if they don't believe it, they can ask Mike and Melanie, or even our old congregation who couldn't even get rid of us through a move! Love you and miss you Indy! Love you and am thankful to be where I'm at TN!