We are slowly coming out of our four month cocooning time with Ella. We have even been to church two weeks in a row. Getting 4 kids dressed, fed, masked and to church by 8:45 feels wild. I arrive typically hair still wet, usually having forgotten something and ready for the morning to be over. Ella is not ready to be away from us (more on that in another post soon). So we hold her while she wiggles around. She climbs back and forth on the pew while I try to keep eye contact with her (more on this later, too!). She shakes her favorite bracelets around and then decided they’re more fun to throw on the floor. She tries to crawl under the seats. Paul tries to take her, but she refuses to go. She waves and smiles, sometimes wanting to go to complete strangers (again, more to come!). I hang on tightly reminding her that we are her people. Holding her in my arms, I try to close my eyes for a moment, trying to focus and my glasses get snatched right off my face! Finally, the big kids are off to kids church and Paul straps Ella into my back before he goes up to preach. The next 30 minutes we walked the width of the sanctuary over and over. When I stop, she cries. So we kept on walking.
Sundays are hard. I leave feeling tired and overwhelmed and burdened by some of Ella’s emotional trauma. It would be easier to stay home. Why do something that doesn’t leave me feeling energized? Because it’s not about me. He is worthy of my worship. He is worthy of my presence. I may not see it in the moment, but it impacts my heart. When it feels good and when it feels hard. When my sermon journal is perfectly up to date and when I hear bits and pieces of the Scripture. When I feel the Spirit’s presence in worship through song and when I can’t sing a word. When I feel connected to people around me and when I feel like I’m in my own world that’s not understood by many. He is worthy. Hearing His word and worshipping through song, scripture reading and teaching with my brothers and sisters does not leave me unchanged.
Things may get better over the coming weeks and months. Things may feel easier and will get more comfortable. Yet, there will be other seasons when church doesn’t check all my boxes. But I need the reminder that it isn’t about me, it’s about Him. He is worthy of it all. And by the way, she is so worth it, too. #hopewins #hopestillwins