I once heard a mom of six children say that no matter how much she didn’t want to get out of bed and get her children ready in the morning, she never regretted going to church that day. No matter her crazy morning, bathing, feeding, wrangling, packing, strapping them in, it was always worth it.
I wish I could say that.
For so many of us, it isn’t the process of getting to church that stops us from making it there; it’s the actual Church. We struggle with hurt and hypocrisy, lies and labels, injustice and exclusion and the list goes on and on.
As a teenager, I was told I was doomed to hell and a life of misery for my sins. It was over for me.
As a soon-to-be wife, my ‘job description’ was handed down to me. Be quiet, cook and clean well and have lots of babies. BUT never choose taking care of your babies over meeting the needs of your husband. (My social services background balked at this. Women, if your children are in danger, ALWAYS choose your babies over your husband!)
As a young mother I sat alone in a pew opening crying as fifty plus people walked by me and not a single one acknowledged my presence.
When I think about trying to find a church home, again, these instances and a hundred others pop into my head. So I did what countless other disillusioned millennial are doing, I stopped trying.
Until recently, that is.
Disclosure: In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of Searching for Sunday. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I came across the sign-up a mere ten minutes before the deadline. And while I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what the book was about, I adored A Year of Biblical Womanhood, so I applied. And that spur of the moment decision set my own searching for Sunday heart on a different path, a path of healing.
Through the telling of her own Church struggles, Rachel guides us on a journey through the seven sacraments.
“The church tells us we are beloved (baptism).
The church tells us we are broken (confession).
The church tells us we are commissioned (holy orders).
The church feeds us (communion).
The church welcomes us (confirmation).
The church anoints us (anointing of the sick).
The church unites us (marriage).”
And it is through her experience with each of these that she unfolds the real heart of the Church. Jesus’s Church, the one who
let’s invites broken, sinning people in.
The one that does crazy radical things like mimic death and resurrection through baptism, and believes that the body was broken for us, the blood shed for us, and that we can lay hands on sick people to heal in Jesus Christ, and that marriage gives us a tiny glimpse of Heaven.
And for me my biggest take-away was this: There is a whole group of people, who are as over the fog machines and rock bands. There is body of believers that are begging for authenticity and for each other to stop judging and hating and to start loving like Jesus loved.
You are not alone in your frustrations with the Church.
I also realized many of my issues with the Church was how I was viewing it.
“The truth is, we think church is for people living in the “after” picture. We think church is for taking spiritual Instagrams and putting on our best performances. We think church is for the healthy, even though Jesus told us time and again he came to minister to the sick. We think church is for good people, not resurrected people.”
Friends, if you are church-hurt or angry or worse, apathetic, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Searching for Sunday is not church bashing but church loving. It’s not about giving yourself excuses or wallowing in your pain, but a challenge to see it all differently.
I’m beginning to believe that there will be a time, when no matter the cost, I will be able to say that finding a church home was worth every ounce of it. I’m praying the same for you!
If you are interested in Searching for Sunday, make sure you check out the special launch promotion that ends April 18th!
Meet the Author: Rachel Held Evans
“Rachel Held Evans is an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in local and national publications. She lives in Dayton, Tennessee, with her husband, Dan. Follow her on her blog at rachelheldevans.com, or Twitter at @RachelHeldEvans, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/RachelHeldEvans.page.”
Go Love Well.
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