Wednesday, July 28, 2010

PORCHLIGHT: Finding Our Way Home

**Let's Talk About Church**

Bridgett said it so well on her blog last Wednesday:
"I'm far from alone at church, but it's where I feel lonely more than anywhere else. I miss walking into the building as a family of five, having help dropping off and picking up the boys in their Sunday School rooms, sitting next to someone during the service and talking about the message on the way home. I even miss being a passenger in our truck! I may look and sound okay, but my heart is still hurting."

Can you relate? I know I could. I found being alone in a crowd of people was one of the loneliest spots on earth. But something about being alone in church was another degree of separation. I haven't quite put my finger on it.

I've gotten to know Bridgett a bit, and I don't think you have to worry that she'll leave her church. She's not really looking for sympathy or encouragement, she was just kind enough to share her honest feelings. Last week she helped with a great week of VBS and she wouldn't quit her church for anything! But the question is this: have you felt the same way? Other widows do.

On Widow Connection website I read, "Approximately fifty percent of widows will leave the church they attended as a couple." The author also said, "loneliness is not descriptive enough of the space that becomes the cocoon of the widow."

What is it about church? At a time we so desperately need the fellowship and the spiritual feeding, why is it a struggle to attend?

Help us all navigate this "new normal" by sharing your experiences. You'll be a great help and encouragement in letting others know they're not alone!

Has your church attendance changed or stayed the same since your husband died? Tell about the difference, or please tell why it hasn't changed.

Thanks! ferree

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rxmflickr/)

2 comments:

  1. Well, my attendance hasn't changed... John wasn't really a church-goer, more the C & E variety. I actually like going to church alone. We have a very worship-oriented contemporary service, and when we're singing, I sometimes feel like it's just God and me, and it is so comforting. I get very centered, and when the service is over, I need to "wake up", not from being sleepy, but from my worship-space. I think it's the only-child syndrome - I am very comfortable being alone. I am not technically an only child - when there are five or more years between you and your next sibling, you can have many characteristics of an only-child. There are 6 1/2 yrs between my first brother and me. I am a first-born, so add the many only child traits and voila! It actually explains a LOT about me...LOL

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  2. Ferree, I"ve debated commenting on this post... Church was the absolute worst and most painful place for me, for about a year and a half. But not entirely for the reason you would think. First it was about the only place my (late) husband Tim and I went together with our young children. So there was that constant reminder. But I think another reason it was so painful for me, is because in those months after he passed away, I didn't FULLY turn to God. So I was going into His house, with the wrong attitude. I believe God allowed me to be uncomfortable, to further get my attention. As soon as I rededicated my life to Christ, church became the place I couldn't get enough of. I began spending more time in the church building even when no service was going on. And in time, the place that God opened the door for me to meet Chris. It has been my church family that I go to when the struggles become overwhelming, or when I need to share a joy in my life. God had a purpose for bringing Tim and I there, and I'm very glad I weathered the misery to find true happiness in the Lord there!"

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