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How God Led Me Home

~~ 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV84) ~~  The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ. 



Photo by Google Maps
One day when I was about 3 years old I got lost in the supermarket.  I was likely only an isle or two away from my Mom but, at that time, it felt like hundreds of kilometers.  I remember feeling so alone and so terrified.  The world suddenly seemed big and scary.  This very nice man talked to me and asked me some questions, and then he helped me find my Mom.  Since I was so young I do not remember all the details, but I do remember feeling so very happy when I saw my Mom again.  It was like going home after a long time away. 
Many years later when I first started to look for a church to attend, I had no idea which one to pick.  At that time in my life I was not Christian in the true sense of the word.  Granted I believed in the basic facts, like the virgin birth, Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection.  I also knew that the Baptism and Holy Communion are important in choosing a church.  I did not have a relationship with Christ, nor did I have any concept of what could possibly mean.  Neither did I know or understand the Holy Spirit.  I had no idea that they are an absolutely vital part of the Christian life.  The one thing I did know though was that I could feel the pull within me to find a church.  I prayed for God to “help me find a church home, like a family where I can fit in, that will become the center of my world”.  I was not even sure I understood what this meant, or why I prayed this prayer so often because I had never heard the terms ‘church home’ or ‘church family’ before.  I had been to a lot of churches in my life and none talked about these things, or this kind of ‘belonging together’.  I only knew that I felt the need for it, that I had never known the feeling of fitting in, and that we are called to attend church regularly just as Jesus did (Luke 4:16 (NIV84) - He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.).  But to find that church... I mean, there are so many denominations; all with their own ‘rules’; and each one claiming their rules are the ‘right’ rules.  How does one know which one to choose?  Does it matter?  I just wanted a church that did not care about ‘set rules’ but instead followed the bible without leaving parts out, changing it, or twisting anything to suit their needs.

My first choice was a church that I remembered being only 10 minutes walk from the new apartment I was about to move in to.  Convenient, since I do not have a car.  The new apartment was in a different city.  I was moving back home and was so very excited about that!  They say ‘home is where the heart is’ and I took the opportunity to move back to the place that my heart says is home, after my life took a huge unexpected turn.  I arrived in town, and that church I remembered being just a hop and a skip down the street... wasn’t!  They had moved.  It seems during the years I had lived elsewhere they outgrew their building.  The old building was now the new location of my dog’s veterinary hospital.  Great... we got our old vet back just down the road, but no church!  This meant that I would have to find another church; and that I would have to get connected with someone who could help me with transportation.  This problem for me was in the same category as the chicken and the egg.  I need transportation to get to church, but I need to go to church to meet people who could help me with transportation.

At this point, the thought occurred to me that since I have to find a church elsewhere, I might as well find one that I felt had the same beliefs as I have.  I figured, if I am to spend my life attending services every Sunday with this group, whoever they may be, than being comfortable with their belief system would make things much more enjoyable.  There are those out there that are not necessarily Christian, though they claim to be.  Then there are those that have beliefs and practices that are just... well, down-right ‘weird’.  I started to do some research and began with the church that I had originally planned on going to; in their new location.  I read their doctrine, statement of faith, beliefs, and core values.  I very much liked what I saw.  They had all the ‘good stuff’ I was looking for and none of the ‘bad or weird stuff’. 

However, I felt that I should keep researching just to make sure I knew all my options.  I checked out many other churches in the area; looking at the same information, mainly through their websites.  There were a few that did not have this information listed; so I emailed them and asked some questions.  Most were more than willing to share about themselves.  There were also a few that did not want to share so willingly.  I saw this as a ‘red flag’ and crossed them off the list right away.  In all my research, I found none that I liked as much as the first one.  Eventually, that first church became like a measuring stick that I used to evaluate others.  One day I said to myself “if that’s the church you want, than just make your decision and go”!  So I did... make the decision, that is.  Getting there was still a problem. 

Then one day my cousin said that she wanted to start going to church as well.  Wouldn’t you know it, she chose the same one I had picked!  So we went together in her car.  However, she changed her mind a short time later and stopped going.  I was so very disappointed.  I had enjoyed the services and the people more than I expected.  There was a certain warmth among them that I had never felt in church before.  There was also something special within their sermons that touched my heart and shed some light in ways that I had never experienced before in church.  Plus their music was a wonderful mix of old and new, which I so very much appreciated!  Nevertheless, I felt I had not been going there long enough to know other people well enough to request a ride on Sunday’s.  So, with no transportation any more, I would have to go back to Sunday morning TV services as my church time, hoping that one day soon I would find a solution.  So I waited for an answer to show up.... for about 2 years. 

Then one day I got an email in response to an advertisement I placed looking for a new roommate.  Without someone to share my apartment with, expenses were just too high to live alone.  This reply came on the last possible day before I would have to move again.  It turned out that this person not only showed up just in the nick of time, but is Christian and is a member of the church I had waited so long to join!  I saw this as a sign from God that this was the person I was to accept as my new roomie.  I felt this so strongly that I before I even replied to the email I called my Mom to tell her the good news that I had found my roommate!  During this time in my life I was very social-phobic.  This new friend ended up bringing me to church, introducing me to people; and helping me feel comfortable.  Since then my heart and my life have changed drastically as a direct result of being part of this church.  I am a whole new person, with a whole new life.

It has been a little more than 2 years since attending my first service there.  My first reasons for choosing a church were simply due to location and convenience.  I did not even include God in the decision process.  For that matter, during those days I did not know I could or should include Him.  He used this to lead me on a journey that would bring me full circle, but this time I would know without a doubt that God led me to this place.  It is His decision where my home church should be.  God is the one who places us in each and every position in our lives; to fulfill His purposes.  If we keep Him in our focus we will complete that purpose; His glory will shine and we will have many blessings bestowed upon us.  Today, I can understand that it is important for me to know God led me here because it leaves me no doubt that this is where I belong.  When we are in a position to see that it is His calling or our lives, we have no reason to doubt or rethink the decision.  We know that no matter what the present circumstances may appear to be, that the future is very bright. 

Since then, the church really has become the center of my world.  I have learned what a church family is and what a church home is.  I have also been introduced to the Holy Spirit, and have developed a relationship with God.  I am growing closer to Him with each and every lesson I learn.  My views on certain portions of my life went from a completely worldly perspective to one that God’s Word calls to live.  I volunteer on a regular basis, I attend bible studies, Adult Christian Education courses, I work at the Welcome Centre sometimes on Sunday’s, and any other areas where I may be useful.  I do all of this because I just love Jesus so much that my heart longs to do these things for Him.  I am part of something bigger.  I have a place and a purpose.  I am part of the Body.  I am part of a group; and I feel I belong there.  I have never had that before in my whole life.  This is a whole new experience for me.  They have welcomed me into their midst, made me a member of their family and they have shown me love like I have never known.  I in turn made a commitment to them when I was enrolled as a member.  Sunday’s are my favorite day of the week because it is worship day.  I get to sing ‘Worship Melodies’ to Him.  There is no doubt in my mind that I am where I was meant to be.  I am no longer lost.  Just like that day when I was 3 years old, I have finally come home. 



~~ Dear God ~~  Your ways, Your plans, Your purposes are all perfect.  Thank You for leading me home to You, and for the incredible position that You have blessed me with in Your divine plan for the world.  Thank You for bringing me closer to You with each and every lesson I learn and every ‘Worship Melody’ that I sing to You.  Even when circumstances are upsetting from my point of view, I know that You have a wonderful ending planned for me.  I do not have to question if I have made any wrong decisions or choices.  Those that I have made You will erase.  As long as I follow You and I will never again be lost.  In Jesus name, AMEN.



16 comments :

  1. LittleGuysMomAugust 22, 2011

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing your journey in finding a church home. I am so glad you found a place that you love.

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  2. Thank you so much. I just get so overwhelmed with it sometimes because I never knew that people could be like that in real life.

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  3. God will lead us every day if we allow him too

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  4. Thank you Kaye. More and more every day I am learning to hear His voice more clearly.

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  5. Thank you.
    rssslhb

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  6. RSSSLHB - Thank you for reading, and for the feedback. It helps me so much.

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  7. Carly, great blog....our stories are very similar! I have felt that need to find a church-family without really knowing what that meant. God is good!!

    Judy

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  8. I seem to find that it happens to me a lot that I go ahead and do something that makes no sense to me. Sometimes even to be the opposite of what I think makes sense or what I think I want... then later God makes it so the light shines and all is clear to me.

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  9. CSullivan83August 23, 2011

    Awesome. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Awesome! I am so happy that you liked it! Thank you so much CSullivan83

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  11. What a beautiful and blessed history you have. Developing that personal and intimate relationship with God affects every aspect of our lives (or should). It takes a great deal of maturity to lean on Christ in all of life.

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  12. Thank you so very much Evelyn for your wonderful words. Hugs, Carley

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  13. Lotus FlowerAugust 23, 2011

    What a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing it!!! I have a similar story as to how I found my church home, circumstances were different, but I saw bits and pieces of myself in this. I'm so happy for you that you found your home.

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  14. Thank you Lotus Flower... the closer I get to God, the more I am learning to feel that peace that I have longed for my whole life. It is a very slow and difficult journey that won't be over until I get to Heaven, but it's awesome!

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  15. I just read this blog( because i'm very behind on my e-mails) and it really touched my heart.
    How do you not get discouraged waiting 2 years??
    I have to work on that-His time,not mine! and I have to keep being positive. No. Not positive.
    Keep the faith and keep on walking with joy!
    I have to pray for patience and persistence.
    Thank you for sharing this!
    Have a super duper great week-end! Hugs

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  16. Oh there were many times when I felt like throwing in the towel... but I'm stubborn. lol When I really have my mind set to something I hold onto it like a bull dog with a bone. lol But learning to calm down, and let myself listen to God is getting better. I have come to look forward to listening to Him about stuff.

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