Last Sunday, I woke up at 8:00 (which if you know me, is quite a feat on the weekend – actually it’s quite a feat any day. I’m so NOT a morning person…)
Anyway, I woke up at 8:00, left my house by 8:45, and drove 30+ miles to a new church.
I was anxious and nervous, but I was also happy.
I was excited to begin a new phase of my life and was hopeful that this new church would become my church.
As I drove, my mind began to over-think and over-analyze. I began to feel apprehensive. Would the introvert in me really be able to adjust to such a big change? Where would I sit? What if I took a regular’s seat? Where should I park – I mean I’m technically a guest, but I’m looking to eventually be a member – does that mean I park in guest parking? At what point are you no longer a guest? What door should I use? Will there be signs to tell me where to go?
40 minutes later, I pulled into the parking lot (and parked NEXT To guest parking). Almost immediately after I parked, I spotted a young family headed inside – awesome, I could just follow them to see what door to use (you know you do the same thing!) Once at a side door, I was warmly greeted and welcomed in, right away the whole place had a sense of belonging.
Thankfully the church also had plenty of signs directing the way to the worship center (and it didn’t hurt that I had been in the church for an Awana training a couple of years ago and could roughly remember the layout). I was able to find the sanctuary and an empty pew (slightly to the side and toward the back).
As I sat down and read over the church’s info sheet, another family sat behind me. I wasn’t really paying much attention, until I noticed that the grandfather was telling the grandson that he could go stand with his “Mimi” if he wanted. When I looked up, I saw that “Mimi” was my good friend, Jessica’s, mother. Turns out Jessica’s parents regularly attend and often bring Jessica’s niece and nephews with them. Instantly I felt more at ease. Here I was worrying about not knowing anyone and God had sat a family that I was so close to right behind me!
And that was just the beginning of all the “little things” God did to put me at ease in this new place. The songs were contemporary versions of traditional hymns I knew, the Bible message was clear and evoking, the place felt like home.
After the service, I took my completed ‘guest card’ to a special kiosk to get a free gift and meet the pastor. (One thing I have to say, this church has their marketing and graphics down to a science. I was super impressed with their video presentations and pleasantly surprised to be getting a free gift that I could hold in my hand).
However, when I got to the kiosk, the primary pastor was speaking with another couple. The gentleman at the kiosk was really nice though, and called over one of the associate pastors to speak with me and get my gift (a nice coffee thermos). Turns out the associate pastor is the Singles Pastor and his parents use to attend my old church – small world, huh? Yep, another God thing happening here.
Anyway, after learning my name, it turns out he already knew me! A good friend of mine served as the Children’s Director for the church before she and her husband moved out of state – apparently she had already spoken to the Singles Pastor about me possibly coming to Central. He was very nice and invited me to attend the Singles class next week.
I’m not sure if I’ll go yet or not. It’s what I want to do eventually, but I really thought I would be going to the church for a couple of months, then go to the singles class, then transfer my membership.
I’m sort-of worrying that I may be rushing the process? jumping ahead of God’s plan? or am I just standing in the way of His plan by thinking that I’m supposed to wait a certain amount of time before taking the next step…
What do you do when new feels like home so soon?
Suggestions/Advice/Prayers always welcome 🙂
*PS: After checking my facebook Sunday night, I found an inbox message from the Singles Pastor. He thanked me for coming to the Pastor Booth and again invited me to the Singles’ class. How awesome is it that they’ve gone out of their way to find me on facebook and thank me for attending the church?