Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Where to Sit In Church?

Where to sit in church?

I have always been a faithful person and attending church all my life is what I grew up doing. Mike, the girls, and I had recently (about 6 months before his death) started to attend a different church and were loving it very much. The congregation embraced us from the start. The day of Mike's accident, the pastor was on this way up north for a family vacation and when he got the call, they turned around and headed home, cancelling their trip to be with us. That is the kind of love we were shown weekly! I so much appreciated that gesture of kindness. As the weeks of returning to church after his death became more and more difficult, I wondered what in the world could be wrong with me. My faith was growing by the day, I loved the Lord, I didn't have any anger toward anyone...I was struggling with going to church. I went alone, I took the girls with me, we sat in different places around the church, nothing seemed to help. I was miserable sitting in church listening to the sermons and singing praises, but couldn't figure out why. I would go on Sunday morning to our church and then on Sunday nights with my aunt to her church and there I would feel like "I was being filled". This was what I needed, wanted, and always had had in the past. So, one day when pastor came to visit me, I explained my struggle and how I didn't understand how my faith could be growing and I felt God so close to me, but why was "going to church" so difficult. He had the answer immediately, he explained that when you are in church with your spouse, you are side by side worshiping and praising the's a very intimate time in our week. He told me that only 10% of widows stay at their previous church once their husband passes away. This all made such sense to me. I got it! When we are at home, we are room to room and so on, but in is intimate and worship is such a special time. I felt so much better discussing this with him and realizing that I wasn't going "crazy" in not wanting to go to church and wondering as I walked in there where I would sit and "be comfortable"...

My girls and I have since left that church (pastor retired and some other issues lead us to leave). Just two weeks ago, we joined our new church family. It was a great feeling to join "our" was a big step because now that I am the spiritual leader of our home it was up to me. God lead me every step of the way. I can sit anywhere and feel comfortable and know that God has lead us to our new church home for some major growth and healing~

© 2012 by Carrie Jo Kistler Shride. Used by permission. Visit Carrie's blog, Finding JOY In Our JOurneY and view the original post and comments here:


  1. I totally understand your feelings and the words from your pastor was great revelation to me. I found it difficult because my husband and I were in leadership and he was the watchman on the wall(and he took it seriously). It was hard also because everything about the church reminded me of him. I also felt very unprotected without him being there to watch over me. I actually told my pastor I wanted to run away. I push through it with much prayer and sitting at God's feet. I had a lot of encouragement from friends, family and my church. I also took 10 months off, stepped down as director of our School of Ministry and allowed God to heal me. The healing process takes time. I just started back teaching and working with the deacons of my church (my husband was the overseer of that ministry). I'm taking baby steps and everyone is allowing me to do it at my pace. I decided to stay and wait on God's timing. Blessing to you and your children. Each day we get stronger and we are never alone. Hugs and kisses from California.

    1. Baby steps....perfect words for the grieving process. I am so glad you took the time for God to heal you. You can go back to your position at church stronger and wiser than ever, serving God, yourself, and even your church. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post today. God bless you.
      Carrie Jo

  2. You are so welcome and thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Carrie Jo,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I've found the insights from your former pastor so helpful.

    I, too, am facing a transition from my home church to a new place. It is another grieving process as I miss the love and support of my beloved pastor.

    Brain fog from chemo makes it difficult to concentrate and to benefit from services, and limited energy makes long services overwhelming.

    Multiple griefs and multiple changes (from stage three cancer and congestive heart failure and unbelievable fatigue and stopping work and my mother's death after my husband's death) keep me challenged without having to explain and educate the well-meaning, but curious, folks who cannot relate to me.

    The Lord is my Shepherd. He loves me with an intimate and perfect love and will meet all my needs. I trust Him to lead me in His good time to His perfect place for me. I am content to rest in His care, even when I can do nothing. I am blessed beyond all telling.

    God bless you.
    Honey Bee

    1. Dear Honey Bee,
      I am sorry to hear of all the set backs in your life right now. On the other hand, I can tell you have the fight and perseverance to conquer it all. As you said, the Lord is leading you, and you are following. Continue to rest in His arms along this journey. A home church can provide such a safe place for us. I have found my new church as offered me so much more growth than I may have been exposed to staying. I know you will accept the change with a joyous heart. God bless you. Carrie Jo


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