Why I still go to church

I have church issues. Living in a pastor’s home for my growing-up years gave me a front row seat to the good, the bad and the ugly done in Jesus’ name.

Coupled with my natural tendency to see the cup as already half-empty, I ended up pretty guarded and distrustful. Jesus, I could get behind. His people, not always so much.

And still…

Today I am reminded, I know in the core of my being, that it’s right for me to be here. Gathered with other messy, broken people who are desperately needy for grace. Even when we disagree on how loud the music should be or whether we should vote right or left, we all eat the same body, drink the same blood.

There are lots of reasons why I still go to church… maybe one day I will write about more of them. But today, the reason is this: I can breathe here.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is a hard season for our family. Trauma sucks. Mental health services are hard to find and keep and schedule and finance. I’m tired in every possible sense of the word.

We’re dealing with problems that don’t have easy answers. One situation in particular I’ve obsessed over and brainstormed about and  googled and fretted on for many hours without any good solutions. It makes my brain explode. It makes my chest tighten.

But here I can breathe. I am surrounded with love. With grace that doesn’t judge. My heart is free to hope a little and my brain gets stretched in different ways… thinking of new options, new possibilities for what feels impossible.

Church doesn’t make everything better. It doesn’t even make anything easier. But it gives me a moment to breathe. To hope. To believe that we will get through this. And even if it’s messy, even when it’s ugly, I know I have a safe space to rest and breathe for just a moment.

Today, this is why I go to church.

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