This morning I went to church for the first time in about a year. I've already failed my goal of 3 out of 4 Sundays each month, but as my Aunt Linda says... you can't fail.
I forgot how much I love church. Well, not just any church, but Westwinds. I forget how at home I feel there, how moved I feel. Before we had Porter, we had checked out a few different churches. I came across those blog posts this week while working on my Blurb Book. The other churches were okay... even good, I'd say. But I always left feeling like I should look more. When I came to Westwinds, I had no need to search anymore. I had found my home.
In church yesterday it felt so symbolic. It happened to be a baptism day. I didn't expect to feel emotional about it, but I did. I know I wasn't the only one wiping tears from my cheeks because all around I saw fingers inconspicuously swiping their faces. The music was loud, the baptisms took place and after each person rose from the water there were cheers and screams and whistles. It was amazing... to see these lives being transformed. I was there, in that water, almost 5 years ago. That was me, committing myself, vowing to follow God and His word and to walk my journey with him. And at times I've kept my end of the deal and there are times, many times, I haven't. How appropriate for God to show me this on the first Sunday I come back "home."
I felt in a way that it was me being baptized, that God was saying to me "Start over... you can be renewed." And I feel I am. I feel that in the past few weeks there has been so many changes to ME... in a way I don't feel like ME anymore, but I know that I am still me. I'm shedding the parts that aren't me... the parts that I don't like, the parts that aren't truly me and I'm working, so hard, to get back to the real me.
Along with the "One Little Word"... I thought this video from John Voelz, oneour lead pastors at Westwinds went along with the OLW theme quite well.
Westwinds for thoughts....
What is He asking you to notice and participate in that you walk or drive by every day?
Could you somehow make a difference in the life of a person from whom you buy your gas or lunch? (Heather, this reminded me of you)
What small wrong in the world could you help set right where you live, work and/or play?
And finally, after a awesome discussion with my Aunt Linda this afternoon about issues Not To Be Discussed, I feel understood. She feels my anger, hurt and resentment. And I am going to follow her advice because I can tell from the tears in her eyes as she told me her story that God will change my heart as he changed hers. So this week I will pray. I will pray willingly and unwillingly. I will pray for those I don't WANT to pray for, because I know HE wants me to. And I know He already knows my feelings, no matter what those feelings look like on the outside and no matter how I try to hide or ignore those feelings. There is nothing to hide from Him.
That's what I have, for now.