I cry in church. A lot.
I know, I know. Since I cry in [fill in the blank] a lot, this comes as no surprise. What came as a surprise last Sunday was what triggered the Church Cry this time.
Earlier this year Mark and I made the difficult, been-coming-for-a-long-time decision to leave our church and look for a new one. The reasons are many, but none of them include an ugly dispute or falling out. We loved our church home of eight years, and I will be forever thankful for all the things we learned, the ways we grew and the ways we served, and – most importantly – the people we met and loved there.
However, our church home was no longer the right place for us. And so we had to leave.
We actually realized this more than a year ago. It’s been really hard to actually leave!
After a summer of trying various churches in our area, we finally found one that we feel is a good match. We’re not completely sure it’s our new home, but we’re going to stay for a while and find out.
Last Sunday we slid into a middle row, glad for the darkened auditorium and loud music. Both hid the fact that our whole family had been snapping at each other all morning. As often happens, though, the praise music and prayer did their trick and before long I was feeling a sense of worship and peace.
The message was great. Not perfect, but great – and about something important to me right now. And, if I’m honest, something I hadn’t heard preached before.
So, there I was, feeling pretty good in our [tentative] new church home. And that’s when it happened.
The worship band fired up Mighty to Save. And I bawled.
What on earth???
Here’s the thing. In 2009, I sang with the church choir for five or thirty (it was a LOT) services. At each one, we sang the longest version of Mighty to Save known to man or choir director. Everyone loves that song. It’s a church favorite. Maybe it’s YOUR favorite. I don’t know. But it is NOT my favorite.
From then on I wanted to gnash my teeth and tear my choir robe every time we led worship for that song – including another Easter. (I’m kidding. We didn’t wear choir robes.) It became a joke with a couple of my choir friends, and I even admitted to our choir director that I didn’t exactly love that song.
So when I heard the electric guitar start those familiar (dreaded – no, not dreaded! Bad Mary!) notes, I started feeling a little shaky. And by the time we reached the chorus, it was full-out Ugly Cry.
Once again, I was grateful for the dark auditorium and loud music. Except, you know, that particular music. Blast that song!
I got it together by the end of the song (Have I mentioned this song is crazy long?), and we left to pick up Annalyn. I was still content with our decision to leave our old church, and I was still happy with the choice we’d made to try this new church. And I was still a little bit sad about the whole thing.
Have you ever found yourself looking for a new church home – or crying in church?