Image credit: Napier CU
As you (may) know from my previous post, The Transfer, I had a mild case of location change and as a Christian, that meant my having to look for a ‘new’ church. My previous church had its own character and in my search, I wanted the kind of community, though small, I had in it.
In one big church in the city, I received a welcome pack, was hand-shook by those around me, filled in an information slip which I expected, at least that’s what happened where I came from. I can’t remember if there was a special welcome song but . . . (**hums ‘♪♪welcome today … ♪♪’**). Anyway, service ends but no one collects the slip from me, no one tries to speak to me about the church. I get an email like a few weeks later welcoming me to a different church site. I go there again but it just looks like it’s going to be hard work to settle in there. I still get emails from them from time to time, which in a sense is nice but . . . .
So I try a different and bigger church, I felt welcome to be honest, I even made a new friend by the second or so visit; I believe GOD actually led her to speak with me as I was still in mourning then. I went there a few Sundays, signed up to many events, most especially the home groups, about 5 or 6 different times, but no one got in touch save for one for a training on work nights, which I couldn’t get to (no car then!). I give up!
Image credit: Thinking Through Christianity
This leads to home-schooling myself on Sunday ≡ distant-learning church. Thank GOD for the internet. In comes Bethel TV, which I ‘join’ at 6.30pm, which absolutely blessed me, still does, so I subscribed (unlike me as I have commitment issues with subscriptions, I always think there must be an easy way out of these financial ‘marriages’!).
My mum then comes for the Christmas break and I have no church to take her to. I decide to find the location of an RCCG I’d found online. It’s either I forgot how to read maps or they had put the wrong address – I later found out it was the later…lol¹. I shaa couldn’t find it that Sunday. As I was already in town and would have felt bad if I’d just gone into Tesco (last time I checked, they didn’t have 10am Sunday services), I walked into a church in the middle of town I’d seen passing by – Upper Room Christian Fellowship (URCF), and as I semi-expected it was rather ‘older white’ – not exactly what I had in mind, #justsaying.
On entering in, one of the elders (I found out later) gave me a big welcome hug which was different to say the least, but it made me feel welcome. So I stayed till the end of the service. Next Sunday, I bring my mum; the Sunday after that when I was in town, I bring my brother. URCF had no welcome sections of the service nor slips to fill out but I felt welcome; no offering ‘times’ but I could not not offer after being blessed; no drums nor loud music but the SPIRIT of GOD and the WORD drummed into my spirit. I’ve gone there every Sunday I’ve been around and even when I want to try other churches, there hasn’t been a release in my spirit to do so. And GOD has graciously not yet shown me why not.
Image credit: QuotesGram
My point: SOMETIMES, THE THING YOU NEED THE MOST IS WRAPPED UP IN THE PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, OPPORTUNITIES, ETC, YOU NEVER EXPECTED IT TO BE IN NOR EVEN WANT IT TO BE IN. (Culled and paraphrased from a message by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church).
GOD knows what I need the most now and if I let HIM, HE will show me how much real estate I take up on HIS mind (Isaiah 49:16).
Bottom-line, let GOD blow your mind and sometimes your expectations away (Ephesians 3:20-21).
¹ I finally found the church after a while; someone in URCF and a local hairdresser gave me descriptions.