With John being in Seminary and 'working' in 2 different churches, us attending a third and our children attending school at a 4th, I often feel like I'm playing musical churches. Sometimes it's frustrating, running here and there, juggling 2-3 different schedules and churches on a Sunday. We're also part of the Minnesota Via de Cristo community, which adds a 5th church community in there as well.
Even though it often feels like we're juggling things and it's a bit crazy, it means we have a HUGE church family.
Yes, a family.
A family made up of God's precious children of all shapes and sizes, colors and abilities.
And it is a family.
We care for each other.
We argue with each other.
We lift each other up.
We get angry with each other.
We help each other out.
And we're always there for each other.
Doesn't that sound like a family? I think so.
These last few months have been especially tough for me for some reason. Part of it is that I've felt so disconnected from my church family - we're 'taking a break' from our activities and 'our' church to have some time to think and process and pray over what God whats us to do next in our lives with our faith life while we're waiting for John to finish Seminary and accept his (our) first call. It is a lonely place to be.
Since John got called in this morning, I packed the kids off to one of his 'working' churches by myself, with a roaring headache, a bad stomach ache and my mind spinning with all the things that 'need' to get done today. I sent the kids to Sunday School and went to the adult class myself - which was a nice place to be. We headed off to worship and I ran into one of the few people I know more than just 'in passing' we chatted for a few minutes - she asked where John was, and how the kids were enjoying Sunday school, small talk stuff. I mentioned that our schedules were crazy and it was a bit hard right now.
Then she stopped, looked straight at me, and said "Do you need a hug?"
The dam broke, tears flowed, "Yes." I sobbed.
A hug, a pat, a smile, a kind word. And the knowledge that I had a family to go to if I needed it.
In our busy world, we tend to shut ourselves off from family - be they biological, chosen or faith. We carry our burdens ourselves and wonder why we're burnt out, lonely, scared and hungry for love. We feel overwhelmed and overburdened.
Being able to open my heart and mind to my faith family and help them carry our burdens with us is just what my soul needs in this season of life.
Even if it is a simple hug on a snowy, busy morning.
Truly, my church family - all 5 branches of it! - is one of my favorite things.