Nearly two years ago, give or take a month or two, I was baptized at the age of 28, alongside my 5-month-old daughter. It was a special day for me for many reasons. One, I was standing before our church alongside Nathan, and proclaiming that our daughter would be raised in a Christian home, honoring our Christian faith and proclaiming our love for Jesus among our Church family, and two, I declared publicly my love for Christ and made an outward statement that I believed in the power of God and that I accepted God into my heart and life. I was spiritually connected to God and my Church, more strongly than I had ever been in my life. I enjoyed Sunday mornings, I sought worship, learned from the sermon and walked away from service feeling revived and energetic.
Sunday mornings no longer look like this.
Now with a two-and-a-half-year-old, Sunday mornings are hectic and exhausting. Trying to get up, eat, pack our bags, and look somewhat presentable, not to mention head into “quiet zone,” leaves me feeling depleted long before I even begin.
I will admit, I no longer can tell you the last sermon I heard, truly listened to and walked away feeling inspired by, and that is because I no longer can quietly listen. I can no longer sit in the church, deeply breath and connect with God through the words of our Pastor. I sadly no longer leave feeling a sense of revival and energy but instead feel frustrated and eager to get home.
That is because Sunday mornings are different for our household. Logan is an active child with an imagination and a need to play and communicate. Sitting in a pew until the Children’s Sermon and dismissal to Sunday School and the nursery is a full-on tense situation. I am constantly watching her instead of turning my attention and heart towards God and his word. For months, I bounced my then baby, then toddler in my arms in the halls of our church, walking towards the open doorway to hear part of the sermon in between cries. Now if I make it into the sanctuary for 5-10 minutes, before we gravitate to the nursery that Lo won’t yet allow me to leave her, I consider that a decent “Church” day.
Sundays leave me feeling disrupted. Now Nathan no longer asks, “Are we going to church?” But, “Are you going to church?” Because so often he knows I am tired of the fight and interruption. And, that is exactly what it feels like right now. That I am constantly reaching out to God but constantly being interrupted in my tries.
But, God and I? What about Him? What does our relationship look like these days?
I have prayed. Maybe much shorter and again, more interrupted prayers than before, but I still find myself praying even if they are one to two-minute spurts throughout the day that tends to lean towards, “Lord, be with me and lead me through.”
Then it hit me. Not in an instant. Not with a single prayer. More like a nice long stretch of time trying and reaching and looking for Him. This is my season with God.
Instead of feeling so discouraged because being a mom is taking me away from the sidelines that are our Church pews, I am the player thrown straight into the game when it comes to Sundays and church. That may be bouncing the hallway or walking the corridors. That may include sitting in the nursery with Lo. Just as God calls upon us to serve Him, our Church and each other, I am being called to serve my child.
My season with God is about sacrificing and surrendering and more importantly nurturing. It is about putting someone else before myself. It is about being a parent. But, God is here.
We refer to God as the Father but it wasn’t until this new season that I realized that God is identified as a parent. We are his children. Suddenly, these feelings I feel right now must be how God feels all the time with us. The constant go and the non-stop chaos that we feel as parents, surely, God feels looking upon this mighty disruptive world. That feeling of “herding cattle” as I often hear parents of multiple children refer to when describing getting their family out the door for Sunday school, must be how God feels loving and nurturing all of us, his children.
God is not only found in quiet and peace. I had to wrap my brain around that one to get to where I am today. Church time to me ultimately symbolizes a time for quiet and peaceful reflection. Almost like a calm, meditation, where we can turn our hearts and minds to the Lord. When one cannot find the solitude that does not mean God is not ever present. It took that for me to suddenly not feel discouraged about my time spent on a Sunday in Church.
No, God is there when the sirens are blazing, smoke billows and metal is tangled. God is there when the power of Mother Nature creates tremendous storms that send winds through a town like a freight train. God is there in the operating room when in a second the beeping sound of a heart monitor begins. God can thrive through the chaos and we his children surrender to him and allow him to take over the boat and sail the stormy seas.
“God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” 1 John 3:20.
Being a Child of God is not defined by quiet and peace but through the faith of life’s chaos. Being a Child of God is not defined by sitting quietly in a church pew and partaking in the morning service. Sometimes being a Chid of God is surrendering to His need and plan for you and for me as a parent, that is through the form of surrender and nurture.
This is my new season with God. And, while my spiritual connectedness may not exist in the confines of a pew and my quiet Sundays of solitude may not show their face for quite some time, I know as I walk the halls chasing a toddler or sit in a nursery full of children, or allow Nathan to walk out the door and there I sit in our home with Lo, He is there.