First Day In Church

By Sarah • October 21, 2017

It was nearly time to go, and I had managed to work myself up into a state of high anxiety. I'd been to church before, but never for something that wasn't a baptism, wedding, or funeral, and definitely not to a church of this denomination. My boyfriend had asked me to go, and I wondered what it meant for our relationship.

The service was scheduled at 8 am, and I had been up since 6 am fretting. Was I dressed appropriately? What if I did something wrong? What would happen if I didn't show? I took a moment to pray, and knew what to do.

My nerves calmed on the drive to the church, but flared back up as I pulled into the parking lot to find three similar buildings in front of me. I stayed in the car for a moment and watched people go in until I was sure of which door would take me where I was supposed to go. When I walked through the front door, I was greeted with the loving smile of my boyfriend, all dressed in his altar boy garb. We hugged and he told me where to sit, and I was greeted with more kind smiles on my way in.

As I sat in the back watching the service and participating as respectfully as I could, I realized how calm I felt. It wasn't about me anymore. It was about Him. I felt the reverence of those around me. I watched my boyfriend perform his duties with a practice that alluded to his long relationship with God and the church. I found myself loving and respecting him all the more for it.

Later, my friend joked with me that being nervous about going to church is a sure sign that I shouldn't go, but I disagree. I was focusing on myself, and this experience called me on it. It shoved me out of my comfort zone in many ways, which I believe is when God does some of his best work. I think that day strengthened my relationship with God not because I went to church, but because it gave me a different perspective on the relationship we can have with Him.

New things can be scary, but don't hold yourself back for selfish reasons. You never know what good things can come out of it


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