I stayed involved at my church, attending Wednesday night classes. Most weeks my pastor, Deron, checked with me to ask which church I had visited that Sunday. He even suggested some churches he had liked when he visited during his sabbatical the year before. I was fortunate that both Deron and our worship minister, Jeff, were supportive of my time away from serving on Sunday mornings. Being able to take a break and step back into service when it was over was not something I took lightly, but it was something I knew that I desperately needed to do.
It would have been easier to just sleep in on Sundays and avoid any possibility of change but I knew if I did that, it would have made it all too easy to just walk away from church altogether. So all but a couple of Sundays, I got up and visited a new church. It was a reminder of how hard it is to walk into a new church, particularly when you're walking in alone.
As the weeks went by, I established a routine. Most Sundays, I attended an early worship service and then made it home to sit out on the deck and watch my own church online at 11:00. Throughout July, I felt like I was just going through the motions, still suffering from burnout and feeling drained. At the beginning of August, that changed. I don't remember if I attended a church that morning -- I think it was one of the Sundays I stayed home. While I sat on the deck watching my church online, I felt the beginning of healing. I felt enveloped in the presence of God. At one point in the message, as a beautiful cardinal perched on a branch just a few feet away, Deron suggested that we ask God to give us one word. As I looked at that cardinal, I knew the word God had for me was peace.
If there is only one moment in time that I will remember from 2015, it's that one.
Until next time . . .
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16