Friends

Sitting in church this morning was painful. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be there; in fact, I had to be there since I volunteer to run the PowerPoint presentation on the big screens. Well, that is I used to volunteer. A change in career and life status is forcing me to do something else.

I can’t fully articulate the value of a church family like this.

After the second service this morning a friend of mine came up to ask if I was alright. In the spirit of honesty I told him “no” and then began to struggle for the words to explain my story. My story itself isn’t the point. The issue is how someone I know at church came up and asked if I was alright, then looked me in the eyes and listened to my story while I tried to explain through tears what is going on.

Although not related to my emotional struggles this morning, I nevertheless was impacted by the story of a young couple in my church who spoke at the end of both services. They read from a statement about how their marriage nearly ended in divorce a couple years ago, and shared how their desire to make things work, coupled with counseling with the senior pastor, helped them stay together. The point of their statement was to encourage other couples to seek help and to come to a Focus On the Family-sponsored simulcast at our church next week aimed at helping marriages stay together. Their story just opened up the wounds from my own divorce a little more than 2 years ago, and how I hurt today for my young daughter, who will carry the scars of divorce with her forever.

I can’t encourage you enough to be involved in a Christ-centered church where relationships are encouraged and fostered through fellowship. Don’t just go to church and then head for the door the moment the pastor says “amen.” Stick around; get involved; meet people. At the very least you’ll make new friends.

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