Hello and happy Sunday! Although it’s overcast and gray here in Pullman, it’s also a little cooler than it was when I returned from my trip to California, so I am very thankful for the clouds and wind! I’m also praying it brings some much needed rain to the areas with fires, as well as dampening the Palouse to keep them from spreading here.
While I haven’t been writing much this year, I have still been working on my art (I try to do at least one thing every day), and my wellness journey continues. Today was yet another step in that great adventure of my life – this morning, for the first time since being at SPU (at least 12 years, probably more), I went to a new church by myself! To some of you that may seem like a small thing, but to me it was a big step, and one I am very thankful I finally took!
Yes, it was awesome that I was able to just go, without waiting for someone to join me, silencing all of my lame excuses, getting out of bed even though I wanted to sleep longer (which, to be honest, is every day, since I don’t really sleep at night), even “dressing up” (although compared to my usual attire that isn’t saying much).
But even more wonderful was the fact that I really enjoyed the experience! The sanctuary wasn’t too big or dark, the chairs were comfortable, the music wasn’t loud, and the best part – the Pastor is a teacher! Not literally, as in he works for a public school, but he didn’t “preach”, he “taught” (I almost typed teached lol).
This is something that is very important to me, personally, in finding a new church home, and one of the main reasons I haven’t really settled anywhere since moving to Pullman three and a half years ago. I tried a few other places, and there wasn’t anything wrong with them, they just didn’t “fit”. Anyone who has gone “church hunting” understands what I mean by this. If, like me, you grew up going to the same church, then you have certain expectations and things you enjoy, partially because you’re used to them, and partially because they just “fit” – like a comfy pair of sweat pants. And sometimes it’s difficult to find a new fit.
My decision to visit Trinity Baptist in Moscow wasn’t completely random; I take my church going (and most all social activities) more seriously than that. It was recommended by Angela, who also goes there, and who is someone I have come to trust, respect, and enjoy very much. I asked her a few questions about it this past week, then found the website online, and decided to give it a go. As I said, I am very thankful I did! I will definitely be going back.
Aside from Angela, I don’t believe I know anyone there (I saw her, by the way, but didn’t say anything; I haven’t yet figured out where she fits on my chart of life relationships – family, different levels of friends, etc. – so I haven’t decided how to approach her outside of the context in which I see her regularly). In some ways that made it easier for me. I was able to sit back and watch people, check out the environment, and honestly decide if it was the right place for me.
This is just one of many blessings God has brought into my life in the past few months, and I will be sharing more about my experiences soon (as well as some art to go with it). One thing I wanted to share today, while on the subject of Trinity and this important next step, is that I realized something as I was sitting there listening to the sermon: I chose this church for the right reason. The two previous churches I’ve attended in Pullman were chosen because I had someone to go with – first to Emmanuel Baptist with Kristen and Kylan, then to Resonate Church with Wendy and Brandon – and that’s a good thing, I really appreciate their friendships and wanting to help me find a good church home. However, I soon realized that those churches weren’t quite the right fit, and I eventually stopped attending altogether.
This morning I went because I know God was nudging me in that direction. I don’t need church to have my “quiet time” with Him, but I do need to have fellowship time with others who share my faith (something I’ve been learning as I’ve been exploring friendships this past year, but more on that in another post). A great way to find those people to fellowship with is to find a church home – and then a home group or Bible study, since there really isn’t time to socialize Sunday mornings.
I look forward to seeing how God will use this new place to speak to me and strengthen me, and I look forward to sharing that here with all of you!