I have a fear that one day my daughters might come to despise the church, without ever really knowing or discovering for themselves what it stands for.
I've seen my fair share of pastors' kids or kids with any connection to the Church, turn their back on it all because of any number of reasons. Some, because of all the things it took away from them--recitals, dad at their ball games, family dinners, vacations, Sunday morning doughnut runs. Others, because of the chaos it comes with--fishbowl lifestyle, open home, early mornings and late nights.
I know some parents completely missed the signs; the warnings and cries for attention or help from their children. But some really, really tried. Like really.
That's what terrifies me. I'm afraid I'll try my hardest to be balanced and still miss the mark.
So I started a journal.
For them. I plan to give it to them when they graduate, but maybe before will be best. Or later. I have no idea yet. Still feeling it out.
Or maybe it's first of dozens that I'll write in, pray over, cry through and laugh about.
It's just one more attempt to go out of my way to let them know, to let you know, my sweet girls, why we get up early and stay up late, why we spend most every Christmas and Easter in the walls of a Church.
This is why you know your way around the sanctuary and church halls and where every bathroom and trash can are. This is why everyone you waddle past knows your names and people who were once total strangers are now your papas and grammies. Women who could never conceive, find joy and satisfaction in seeing you grow up. People who've only had suffering in life, have been comforted by your smiles, your countenance, your comfort.
But even if none of that existed, this is why we do this beautiful thing called "Church":
Because Jesus loves us.
He saved us.
We, me and Dad, we shouldn't be here.
He wasn't planned.
I was supposed to be a sexual abuse statistic.
We are not supposed to be here, in this place, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
We made some bad decisions.
Petty, self-righteous, and sinful decisions.
AND GOD'S GRACE WAS STILL SUFFICIENT.
Trust me, that's some crazy good news.
We sing because we have to. We have to tell the world about this magnificent grace and love. We have to show you that it's the most real thing you'll ever experience. This is why we sing, and dance and act like crazy people on and off the stage.
Grace, love, peace.
It's all because of Jesus.
And trusting Him with our family is one of the toughest yet easiest decisions we've made yet.
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PS. Our family worships and serves at Shoreline Church in Austin,TX. If you're local we'd love you to join us! And tell us when you're here. Obvs :)