I am sitting on my pack porch enjoying a sunny day. It’s crazy to think that on Sunday we had a few inches of ice on the ground, and today it’s 60 degrees! But, that’s Kentucky for ya! We had multiple days of being stuck at home and I hoped that would give me a chance to write. I tried, but mostly I stared at a blank computer screen. The struggle with writer’s block is real right now. It’s not a shortage of thoughts. It’s a major traffic jam! Read on if you dare. This is purely me trying to get unstuck.
I alluded to a life changing decision a few weeks ago. After many months of praying and waiting, we made that decision. My husband and I decided to leave the church that we have been a part of for 30 years. It’s a great church. It’s where we cut our teeth as baby Christians. It’s where we fell in love, got married and built our family. It’s where all of our friends are! It’s been our social life, our kids’ school and our compass. But, over the past couple of years we have felt increasingly like square pegs trying to fit into a round hole, and we knew it was time to go. It was terrifying and sad, but I can honestly say that I am so relieved now that the decision has been made. I know that we did the right thing for our family.
I confess I’m rather surprised at the place where God has us right now. We have been visiting the Russian Orthodox Church in our town. I first learned about this church years ago when I wrote an article about it for our local newspaper. It was so different than anything that I had ever known. I was intrigued, but the thought that I might someday be a part of that church never crossed my mind. Then my sister-in-law, who is from Russia, moved here and was looking for a church. Of course I told her that I knew of a really great one, and she has been going there ever since. She invited us to come a few times, but since it met at the same time as our church, I never made it. Then, a few months ago my son started attending there. I saw the young man, who I had been dragging to church for several years, suddenly be excited about going to church. He got himself up on Sunday mornings, dressed up, went to church, stayed late for coffee hour and then came home excitedly talking about it. This got my attention! When we decided to part ways with our old church, we decided this was where we would visit and see if maybe God was calling us to Eastern Orthodoxy.
While the services are still so foreign to me, I actually love them. Worship is all encompassing and beautiful. I love the sense of unity that I feel when I realize that Christians all over the world are singing the same songs, listening to the same liturgy and lifting up intercessory prayers together. I am amazed at the emphasis on readying oneself for communion. I thought that I might walk away from something so different than what I am used to with a lot of questions, but to my own surprise, I find myself walking away with answers to questions that I have always had. I also find safety in the fact that this church has not given way to whims and trends, but has remained the same for a couple thousand years. And I also like the safety of the hierarchy. I still have a lot to learn, and we are still seeking the Lord about where He would place us, but at this point I can honestly say, I hope it is here.
I am anticipating some joyous occasions in the coming months! I will tell you about them as they unfold, but where 2020 was a year of mourning and adjusting, 2021 looks to be a year of celebrating. The Lord is good! Over the past weeks I have marveled at how the Lord always goes before us and always prepares us for what He is about to do. I was talking to a woman yesterday and she said, “You seem like the kind of person who has a lot of amazing stories to tell.” I just laughed. Our Heavenly Father is amazing!
Well, maybe I have successfully cleared the traffic jam. A big question that I’m asking myself right now is, “Why do I write?” And, “Where do I go from here?” I would appreciate your prayers as I try to answer these questions.