This morning I awoke to the sun shining bright into my room, the breeze blowing my curtains and birds chirping outside my open window. I woke up knowing that it could be a good day! Last night was a tough night for me, filled with tears, self doubt and self criticism, but I woke up with plans to go to church and fill that void inside of me.
As I sat in the sanctuary this morning and looked around me during the first song, at 11am contemporary worship, I realized how many people were sitting in the pews. There were probably 120 adults and 45 or so kids who would soon be off to Sunday School following the children’s message. Yet, I was 1 of about 8 people in that church who were college age. Eight people. That was it. Everyone else looked to be between the ages of 30 and 75. Why is that? Why weren’t there more college age students in service this morning? Is it because so many people were hungover? Or do people my age just not seek out their faith at this point in their lives? One can not complain that 11am is too early to be out of bed. One can not complain that there aren’t enough churches in the area to find one that best suits your preferences. I’m just stumped. I know that I do not attend church as regularly as I should or as regularly as I would like, (I have only been 8 times so far this year, so no, I am not trying to put myself on a pedestal above others my age, it just got me thinking). Life gets in the way sometimes. I understand that. But I also know that whenever I do attend, I leave feeling at peace. I feel a little bit more whole again. Things seem to make a little bit more sense in my life, and somehow the sermon always speaks to me on a personal level.
I am so thankful to have my faith and a loving God to lean on when times get tough. “The Holy Spirit is alive and well in everyone around us. Whether we are seeking out the Lord or not, He is present and guiding us.” -Pastor Katherine Nycklemoe (St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Bloomington). Life is tough. Life is confusing. Life is scary. God is loving. God is kind. God is always there. When life makes absolutely no sense I know that I always have my faith to turn to. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans” -Proverbs 16:3.
I am grateful to have found a little home at St. Stephen Lutheran Church. It only took me 2 weeks trying other churches to happen upon this one. It is a safe place. It is a comfort zone. Everyone has been so kind and inviting that I feel so full when I am there. I just hope that anyone else out there who is actively seeking out their faith, like I am, has the opportunities to find somewhere that makes them feel the same way. Life is kicking my butt right now, for reasons that I am unaware of, but I know that the Lord has a plan and if I put my full trust in Him, He will guide me to what is meant to be. I may not understand why I am on this path right now, but sometime later on in life it will all make sense. I will look back on this time and be thankful for the hard times, the good times and everything in between.
Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
Altogether lovely, altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me
— Hillsong “Here I Am To Worship” —