I had the rare opportunity to take Bonus Daughter to church with me yesterday. I tried really hard not to stare at her during the pastor’s sermon, but I was trying to gauge her reactions to what he was sharing with us.
You see, I have asked her several times to join us on Sundays and she has always declined. She goes to a non-denominational church with her Mom when they go and I think she was worried that maybe she would be cheating on her church by going to another one. Or maybe that she was being disloyal to her Mom because that was their thing. I talked with her about it a little bit and tried to make it very open and accepting to her choice to go or not go. I was truly surprised and excited that she chose to go with us.
Then I got nervous…
I remember how I felt about religion at her age. Maybe it was the being 11, or maybe it was because I felt like I was getting nothing from the church, but that was a very hard time for my faith. The Catholic Church was not the kindest to me or my family. They shunned my mother when my parents divorced and only going every other weekend with my Dad meant we never signed up for any of the children’s teachings. I never felt like I belonged there.
In my life, I have traveled to many different churches of many different faiths trying to find somewhere that I felt God closely with me while I was there and continued to feel him with me even when I wasn’t there. When my daughter was just over a year old, I found my current church and just knew it was the right one.
When we sing, I feel my heart swell and my eyes tear up and I feel so loved. It is like stepping out from a cold building in the middle of summer to feel the heat of the sun shine on your face. It warms you instantly and continues to warm you as long as you are receiving it. I feel welcome there. Nobody cares where I’ve been or what I’ve done, they accept me and my mixed up family with open arms.
Can you tell I’m glad to be back at the church? After almost a year, I have made it a part of my life again and I feel so much better.
At the end of the sermon, I asked Bonus Daughter if she understood the message of the day and what she thought about it. She really got it. She really heard the message and got it. I am so proud of her and her desire to have a relationship with God. I am also thankful that she allowed me to share in this part of her life and can only hope that she will continue to do so.