So I go to a new church now.  Its a shiny, new, big church.  Seriously, it has like 15 huge chandeliers in the auditorium.  Well, I haven’t counted, but its close.  I’ve been going to conferences at this church since I was about 12.  Its one of those big professional churches where everything runs smoothly and looks beautiful.

I thought it might be hard for me to feel at home here after going to a small country church and living at a camp.  We would have lots of people, but it definitely wasn’t big or shiny or new.  But I have started to feel at home here.

You might think that would’ve started when I sang in the choir, or when we became members, or when we had our first parent teacher meetings.  But no.  I distinctly remember the first time I smiled and thought, this feels like home.

It was when one poor little boy threw up over the other poor kids while the kids choir was singing one Sunday night.  Before you think I’m a horrible person, I really did feel sorry for this poor little boy and the other children who kept right on singing covered in, well, you know.  And also, in my defence, I was not the only adult barely keeping it together.

But it was the first time that my church was not just shiny and new and big.  In that moment it was just a regular church with regular people and sick kids and a clean up on aisle 3 right in the middle of service.

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now.  I spent so much of my life trying to look shiny.  I never let anyone in, tried to make sure I was giving the best impression possible.  I made sure I always did the right things, said the right things, looked the right way.  And it was exhausting.  And I had very few friends.  Go figure.  I was always striving.  Always trying to look shiny and new and awesome.  And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that I should suddenly start doing or saying the wrong things.  But I was fake.  I didn’t tell anyone I was struggling with depression.  I would never have written a blog post about feeling angry or sad.

But I’ve been learning.  As I look around, as I hear other people’s stories, as I tell mine, none of us are very shiny or new.  I think there’s a verse like that, right?

So here in this new church, I’ve tried to be even a little more honest.  I told a few people that going to that same conference that I had been attending for all those years as a “former pastor’s wife” was very hard.  And that I worked in the kitchen so I wouldn’t have to answer questions all day.  When I confided that in one new friend, she told me why she was having a difficult day and we hugged and cried together at the sink and I suddenly felt a connection with her that will hopefully form the basis of a solid relationship.

Shiny and new and big and awesome has its place, but crying together at the sink is beautiful too.


Comments (6)

  • Oh Jen, How many changes you’ve had to make these last few months, I’m sure it’s been very difficult and I know we look like a big fancy church but underneath all those shiny sparkly chandeliers are just real people, just like you. People with hurting heavy hearts ,people struggling along wanting to serve God and worship him together. People wanting to grow in the Lord and become more like Christ. I hope we appear real to you and as we get to know you and your family and you get to know us we can become friends. I’m glad you’re in our church family! And thank you for writing this blog. I read every one. Thanks for being real!
    Love in Christ Donna

    • Wow! What a great comment Donna, Thank you:) I’m feeling more like family every week and am looking forward to the day when I know everyone:)

  • Miss you Jen. Wish I could have gotten to know you better. Love reading your blog. You are so real. God bless you and your family in your new church family!

    • You’ve been so sweet Sherry! Thanks! We miss you and everyone there too

  • Knew you could do this Jen – keep at it – sometimes life is just hard and when we hurt the best thing to do is help someone else – your friend at the sink needed you! There is nothing better then being needed – praying for you and your gang Mrs U


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