I remember going to church when I was young. It was a fun, safe place to learn how to be a good friend and a good person in general.
I remember singing songs and doing crafts in the nursery. The smell of clay, snacks, crayons and glue. I always felt big when the teacher let me hand her diapers for the baby. And I always felt awkward when they sang “I’ve got a friend, her name is Michelle. Thank you God for Michelle.” … Was I supposed to sing along or be quiet until they got to the next person?
I loved walking into the sanctuary with my mother and grandmother. It smelled of cinnamon candy, wood, and red carpet. There was a nice old man who passed out candy – cinnamon discs and butterscotch were my favorite! I want to say his name was Frank? Friendly old ladies in pretty dresses and pearls would greet our family with a warm smile then sing in such beautifully high-pitched voices. And when I got a case of the wiggles, my mom would draw fun things like puppies for me to color.
Church was always a positive thing for me. (Except that time they decided I was too old for the nursery and sent me to a class with the other 7 year olds.) But, as time went on and my mom and I moved further away from my grandmother’s house, it became less convenient for us to join her. Eventually I was gone so long that it felt awkward to go back. So, I stopped.
I miss church. I have tried going back a few times, but I am so uncomfortable in the Sunday School class. My daughter goes with my grandmother, she was really enjoying it for a while there. Then came the drama that led to several important members splitting off into a new church. She does not enjoy church as much as she used to.
I want to get back into church. I even made it my 2016 New Year’s Resolution. But I am finding it difficult to take those first steps. Especially choosing between joining my grandmother and daughter at the church they have been going to vs. starting a journey with my daughter to find a new church. Maybe we could even go back to the one where I grew up.