Rewind to this morning, where I had contemplated going to church. It’s unusual for me to miss church. If I’m really ill, or out of town, or at work, I’ll miss out. But today was one of those days where I had to make a choice. Do I let fear of the unknown overtake me? Do I allow these negative thoughts about myself control me? For the past year or so, I’ve battled through some pretty intense digestive system issues. Its on and off, but it’s a struggle sometimes. I thought to myself, “I can’t go to church feeling like this.”
Meanwhile, I had forgotten the whole purpose of going to church. In the grand scheme of it all, it’s not about me or how I’m feeling. It’s about Someone bigger than my issues. Going to church is not about putting on my Sunday best, and making a good impression, all though I’ve been guilty of this at times. Rather, it’s about carrying the broken parts of our lives into a place where broken is, or should be welcomed. It’s about worshipping the Lord no matter how I feel because feelings are fleeting.
It’s about carrying the broken parts of our lives into a place where broken is, or should be welcomed.
Up until this point in my walk of faith, I’ve learned that sometimes the most real, most tangible experiences with the Lord are in those times of feeling so weak. (Read 2 Corinthians 12:9). I could not have made it past my front door this morning had it not been for the strength of the Lord resting upon me. He says that I’m valued, no matter how I feel. He says that I’m never alone, no matter how isolated I am. He says He can use me, no matter how broken I’ve become.
Fast forward to the end of our church service. A woman whom I never met before introduced herself to me, and shared something that was rather shocking. She said to me, “Someone told me I should talk to you because I’ve had a bit of a rough week. I failed my exam to become a physiotherapist.” She went on to say that she was completely devastated when she got her results. A divine appointment between me and this woman I’ve never met before.
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” I said, “This week, I found out I failed my nurse exam.” We immediately began to support each other, encourage each other and uplift each other with our faith. “I just don’t understand why I didn’t pass,” she said. “I studied, and I prayed that God would help me.” I tried to resonate with her as she searched for answers behind what happened. I know what it’s like to try and search for the meaning behind certain things. But sometimes, we aren’t meant to know all the answers. Faith.
Sometimes, all it takes is an act of obedience, simply trusting that things happened the way they happened for a reason. I looked at her in the eyes and said”I truly believe that this is happening to both of us to strengthen our faith. If we didn’t have a need, we wouldn’t need our faith. Plus, you and I would not be having this conversation right now if this wouldn’t have happened to both of us.” Our conversation ended with a sense of comfort. Comfort in knowing that someone out there may be walking through what you’re walking through, and can pray for you throughout the experience. I am so thankful to have taken that leap of faith, by going to church this morning and meeting this woman I never before.