Sometimes it is difficult to get out the door Sunday morning groomed, fed and dressed (especially with two girls in tow), but I never regret the effort. Some mornings my keys go missing and I have been known to search the house frantically until I find them, sometimes turning my house upside to do so. By the time Sunday rolls around I am desperate for uninterrupted time with my heavenly father.
There is something so beautiful about assembling together with other believers and worshiping. It is powerful, moving and exhilarating The other night I attended an evening worship service and danced for the first time in years. I wept and I danced and it was amazing!!!!
Time with my heavenly father revives and encourages me. Now matter how challenging my week has been, how broken I feel, the Lord meets me where I am. I can sing my heart out, lift my hands, weep and enter into the presence of God. The beautiful thing is, that I can do all of these things at home, but often I am so distracted by life's daily demands (the dishes, making meals,...) that I forget to. When I go to church I am there for the sole purpose of worshiping him, seeking his face and learning more about him.
I have always been skeptical , logical and cautious but I cannot argue with my experience of his presence. I cannot define it, I cannot ignore it. So when I am scrambling to get out the door on Sunday morning, you can understand my motivation. Undisturbed time my beloved, time to bask in his love. In my opinion, there is nothing that compares. Being in God's presence is better than the euphoric feeling I experienced after I gave birth to my girls and held them for the first time, better than intimacy with my husband, better than the endorphins that rush through my body just after a trail run on a mountain, better than the most epic cheesecake ( and I LOVE cheesecake), better than a kiss, better than that sweet moment when my child wraps their arms around me and tells me that she loves, me, better than anything I have ever experienced. His presence is all encompassing, powerful, and life changing. It is during those times that I become aware of just how much He loves me and how much I need Him. He reaches past all the rubbish and barriers I put up and goes straight to the my heart of hearts - the core of who I am. During those times He reminds me that I am his beloved, his child, that I am NOT alone, and that he has forgiven me and will always love me.
There have been many periods in my life when I have neglected my relationship with Jesus, where I have given other things more priority. Life carries on, of course, and things feel fine for the most part, but I always have this lingering sense that something is missing - that even though I have a wonderful husband, healthy children, a beautiful home, friends, hobbies.... there is a void. A void, that I have learned, cannot be filled with items from Home sense (my favorite store), a beautiful pair of new boots, a heart to heart conversation with a friend, intimacy with my husband.. All of these things are great and make life pleasurable, but they don't fill my void. Without intimacy with the one that created me, I am unfulfilled, hungry and restless.
Perhaps you have heard people share their "testimony". They typically follow a similar refrain. Someone was living in a life of sin and brokenness until they had a revelation of God's love for them and their lives were transformed. In the past I have avoided sharing my "testimony" because I didn't feel as though it as powerful or dynamic as other people's. I always long to share my faith with others, but I don't always know how to. Sometimes I worry about offending people, although that is NEVER my intention. In my heart of hearts I long for everyone to know God's incredible grace and unconditional love. I long for people to experience him the way that I do, not as some distant entity to be feared or avoided.
I come from a stable home, a loving home where I learned about God's love daily. Around the age of eleven or twelve I was at children's church at a family camp and I choose to give my life to Christ. Up to that point I had always attended church, sung church songs and prayed before bedtime, but I hadn't really made a decision to make the faith my own, I had simply followed the motions. One evening, as was singing "as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after thee..... you oh Lord are my heart's desire and I am long to worship thee....", I experienced something that left me on the knees sobbing my my heart out. I finally understood just how much Jesus loved me. My faith, my religion, my relationship with God became personal that day and has remained that way since.
Link to a song that encapsulates my heart perfectly