I hope you are all sitting down. I have big news that will be a shock those of you who know me well. Hold on to your hats.
I cried in church today. Twice.
OK, I'll give you a sec to catch your breath. I am not a crier. Ever. Most especially in public. I don't even know if I cried at my mom's funeral in front of anyone. It's just not in me but I did it TWICE this morning. For the purpose of bringing a lot of folks up to date and to try to explain the spiritual journey that our family has been on for the past few years, we'll talk about why I cried in church.
We have decided to switch churches. This was not an easy or quick decision though because it was not something we talked about much it may seem that way. For 11 years we have been at Crossroads and it has been home to us. Crossroads is a seeker-driven church that has a heavy emphasis on outreach into the community. They do a great job of bring the news of God's grace to many people who would never set foot in a church. While we loved that part of Crossroads, many other things just didn't seem to be a good fit with our family. Tim and I both grew up in Christian Reformed churches with a heavy (sometimes too heavy!) emphasis on knowledge and "book learning" part of the Christian life. We also spent our jr high and high school years in smaller youth groups where we were able to have relationship with our leaders. Even thought I haven't talked to them in years, I still Greg and Mary Beth among the most influential people in my teen years. We also had the opportunity to participate in such denominational events as the YCF Convention, SWIM, and SERVE. While Crossroads has a great youth program, it does not provide these things that we want for our kids. While we are looking for these things in a kids/youth program, we saw a young man make Profession of Faith this morning. He is currently serving in the US Army and will be deployed to Afghanistan next spring. When he stood up there with the pastor and youth pastor and answered those questions, I cried. More than anything, I want my kids to stand up there and answer those questions and we have decided FOR US a different church is the best way to assist us as parents to lead our kids to that point. Just so you know, this is a personal decision for us, we are not making any statements that Crossroads is wrong or ineffective in their ministry to kids.
So after Profession of Faith we are moving at a rapid clip through the service until we get to the Celebration of Communion. We recited the Apostles Creed. If you need a reminder about how much I love creeds and such, you can read this old post. As we said the creed, I got all sniffly again. Not just because I missed it and love to say it but it was at that moment that I had confirmation from the Holy Spirit that we were doing the right thing. I jsut had that feeling that yes, we made the right decision. It's hard to move on. We have lots of friends at Crossroads and I am afraid we'll lose them. That fear~and a big dose of laziness~kept us at Crossroads for probably longer than we should have stayed. Things are starting to fall into place. The new church is starting a MOPS program and I have already been invited to be involved. We'll see if I'm ready to jump into MOPS again! So we are now where we belong for this time and we're happy.