Well, I’ll be! Since my last post, I have had several people come alongside me and assure me that the fifth year of a child’s life is a hard year for parenting. I’m so glad that the Linkers are not the only ones that are hooligans when they are five! I think parents of five year olds should have a support group. I’ll come if there’s chocolate.
So we have lived here four (four!) months now. Why, that’s a third of a year! (Don’t worry, that’s where my mathematical skills end.) (Edit: The sad part is, I originally used the wrong fraction and Josh had to correct me.) For the first couple months, we basically lived like we were on a long vacation (during which Daddy worked,) but slowly and surely we are doing things that makes it feel like we actually live here. Don’t worry, we haven’t done anything drastic, like going to the dentist for crying out loud, but we have made it through the first quarter of Classical Conversations, the kids have completed almost a whole season of soccer, we frequent our library and have already paid a few fines, I have a Kroger card (hallelujah!), and we are regularly visiting a church.
Oh and about that, the visiting of churches thing. To be honest, it’s been awhile since we have been in what I consider a traditional church. (And when I say traditional, I mean by organizational structure, not musical style.) Our church in Tallahassee, though traditional in doctrine, was not traditional in structure. Up here, though, we are back in the Bible Belt. And although the Bible Belt is getting less Bible Belt-y every day, one thing is for sure: there are A LOT of churches.
And my purpose today is not to really discuss the different churches we have visited, but to state a realization I have had during this church search process. It is deep and profound and complex and goes something like this:
“Looking for a church is WEIRD.”
So I know you’re impressed with this tid bit of wisdom. In fact, I think you’ll want to press into this, as I recently heard Beth Moore say.
But seriously, when we visit a church, if someone straight up asked us what our motive for visiting is, and if we are straight up being honest, we would say:
We just moved here, and we don’t know you, and you don’t know us. But we are looking for a group of believers to do life with. We are looking for people that are going to become like family to us. We are looking for people that are going to rejoice with us, and mourn with us, and pray for us, and probably do a whole lot of babysitting for us along the way. And we are looking for people that are going to allow us to do that for them.
And, if you took an honest look at that, it’s WEIRD! Or, to put a little more meaning behind the word, it’s counter-cultural. I mean, if someone stopped me in the street and told me this, it would creep me out because it is so outside the norm of what I’m used to. And yet, when we are looking for a church, that is what we are looking for.
And I’m putting this in writing so that, in future, when my family is well settled in a church family, and visitors come in, I will remember why they might feel uncomfortable despite anyone’s best efforts to make them feel at home. Being a part of a Bible believing church is biblical…but that does not mean that the process of finding that church is easy. It might even feel a little weird.