I didn’t lie in church this morning. A few weeks ago after all the “church people” had left and it was just us preparing for CR, I said something to a friend about being able to tell the truth now. The lie of Sunday morning with all the smiling faces was behind me. But this morning, my smiling face was for real. My answers were genuine. I was indeed amazing. God is healing me. I am following Him and forgiving.
The amazing part: I came to church in a bit of a rough state of mind. I had spent the morning essentially with God, which was incredible, sort of. I was doing my inventory. I was doing it honestly. The past two times I have worked through the steps, I worked them to the best of my ability at the time, I suppose. I just didn’t know much. I had no sponsor to tell me that no resentment or anger was too small to put on my list. I would indeed want to forgive EVERYONE I was holding a grudge against. Not just the people who had seriously injured me in ways everyone would say is unkind. This time I am going deep. I had a good conversation with God before church, but it was emotional and I needed comfort afterwards.
I even put myself on the list of people who had hurt me. Then I wrote down why. Ow. I have been really mean to myself, and I didn’t even put my neglect of personal care for myself on the list. That was a million miles from my brain at the time. I was documenting the addiction stuff and all the other dumb decisions.
So after adding three college-ruled pages to my inventory, I set off for church. Not devastated but asking God to comfort and encourage me in church this morning. He did! That is the amazing part! When I took communion at the end, I just thanked God I was beginning to experience Him with people. There are so many things for me to celebrate that have happened in 2014. I am so excited this is going to be one of them. I am beginning to experience Him in church. How amazing is that!
Over the last few years, I have heard amazing, challenging messages at my church. They have caused me to grow. They have changed my life. But while I experienced God by taking the principles I was learning and putting them into practice in my life, I seldom, if ever, was aware of His presence in a Sunday morning service. It was something I had to do to be a part of a community of believers. It was something I didn’t care much for, but after 29 years of showing up once or more a week to do “church”, how is one to break the habit?
This year I get to celebrate I can experience Him in church. I can actually come to a service discouraged and leave encouraged. Who knew? Mi Dios es tan fuerte, grande, poderoso. He is. There is none like Him.
So that was super cool. Then there is the whole “CR is getting to have a front row seat watching God change lives” thing. A good day.
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. – Psalm 146:1-5