She walked into the building trembling inside, trying to trust even though the fear was overwhelming. The urge to bolt was strong, if she could just sit in the back she would feel much better.
She suddenly felt like she needed to share her secret, if she told it maybe she could just sit in the back and get a grip on the fear that was plaguing her right now. To share a side of herself in person with someone who might not understand would be hard to do, but at the moment it sounded easier than the alternative. Besides she was in church, it should be safe to share what she was feeling at church. So she made the decision to confide in a friend the fear she was feeling, laying her heart out vulnerable as her secret was told
What happened next hit her like a punch to the stomach. She had been hoping for relief but instead she was met with annoyance and anger as the words “you need to realize you are not the only person with stuff going on” were said to her along with the story of how badly this person’s day had been going so far. Suddenly she felt embarrassed and ashamed. She felt ashamed for being so selfish, and embarrassed for being so weak. She wished she could take it back, wished she had listened to the voice inside that had warned her to keep her mouth shut.
The feeling to bolt from the room was now stronger than ever as she wondered what was wrong with her and why couldn’t she couldn’t just get a grip on herself?
If God was here, why did she feel so alone at this moment, in the one place where she usually felt Him the most? Wasn’t this a place that she was supposed to feel safe?
Though she wanted to run away, something stopped her and her stubborn side kicked in. With every fiber of strength she had left she walked to the front of the room and sat down on the front row. She swallowed the lump in her throat and pushed back the tears that were threatening to pour down any second and she made the decision that no matter how she felt she had to do this. She was tired of running, she was tired of hiding. God had never failed her before and she knew he wasn’t going to fail her this time either.
The service started and after the first song she suddenly remembered that she had forgotten to silence the sound on her phone. She pulled her phone from her purse to turn it off and as she hit the volume button a text message flashed across the screen. The message said ‘I love you!! I read what you wrote, this morning, I have been down the same road…I see why God sent us here, because we need each other! You are a blessing to so many people and I will be praying for you all this morning!’
She looked at her phone stunned and then she knew she had just seen the hands of Jesus right there on it’s screen.
She sat there lost in thought for a few moments when she suddenly realized the pastor was getting ready to pray and he was asking the same question he asks the congregation every week, “Does anyone in the room have something on their heart that is hard to share today? Just raise your hand and I will put it on my personal prayer list,” Her hand went up along with other hands in the room.
As a prayer for the room was said, a sudden peace like no other began washing over her.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
God was here…
Calm and reassurance began taking place of the fear she had felt only moments before, the words ‘you are not alone’ filled her mind as her heart became entwined with the other hearts in the room.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever.
God’s power was present in a huge way that day as she realized that YES it was true, she was not the only person with stuff going on. We all have ‘stuff” and God had brought them all together in that place to be there for one another.
The church is a place for the hurting and the broken people. It is a place where all can come together as one and lay our burden down and rest our weary heads. The church is a place that has been built on love, God’s love and there is always plenty of His love to go around.
God can wipe our tears and answer each and every single prayer. He answers the spoken and unspoken requests and His peace flows in abundance and is free for anyone who wishes to partake in it.