I had a conversation with a dear friend a couple of nights ago. In this conversation, she mentioned, (in a loving way, not condescending at all), that many people in our church think that I am hard to get to know, or even stuck up because I don’t put myself out there to make friends.
Now, I knew this, because she and I had talked about this before. It didn’t make it hurt any less, especially because it’s true. I don’t make friends easily. I don’t put myself out there. In the past, it was always because I was afraid of getting hurt. I am one who tends to give all that I have for a friend, and it’s come back to bite me many times over.
Over the past few years, though, my reasons for not going out of my way to form friendships have changed. My life is now consumed by my responsibilities at home. My marriage, our seven kids, the laundry, the dishes, the fact that we don’t have a vehicle that seats all of us, the fact that hubby’s car is sitting in our driveway and is broken… and on, and on, and on.
Yet somehow, (by God’s grace), I am always at church at least 20 – 30 minutes early. Most people are amazed by this, but here’s what they don’t understand:
When I walk into church, it’s my chance to catch my breath. I walk in the door, get the kids settled, sit in the pew, and just exhale. For those 20 – 30 minutes, I don’t have to think about anything going on at home, our vehicles, or anything else that might be stressing me out. It’s my chance to sit, quiet my heart and my spirit, and pray that God will use that service to speak to me. Also during this time, I take the chance to look around and take in those also in the church. If I notice someone looks like they are having a rough day, I will stop right there and pray for them. Sometimes I get up and go to them, but usually they are already surrounded by people, and I’m afraid of interfering. So I just pray.
I will say, though, that if someone does happen to come up to me before a service, I will immediately stop what I am doing, and they are given my full attention. Always.
This is an area that God is really dealing with me. A Bible study I did recently referred to it as being a “Here I Am” person instead of a “There You Are” person. Simply put, it means that you want people to come to you, rather than going out of your way to find them. I don’t ever want anyone to think that I don’t care about their needs. And I am trying. Really. I am not the social butterfly that my husband is, but I am working on it. I want people to know that they are important to me, and I care about what is going on with them.
I’m just finding it hard to give up those few minutes of peace and quiet with my Savior before each church service.
So, the next time you see me sitting alone before a church service, please don’t think me rude. Please feel free to come and let me know if you have a need or just want to talk. I would love to know specifically how I can better pray for you, and I’d love to hear about your day.
And, I promise, I will do my best to get out of my seat more often and let you know how important you are to me and that you are loved.