I finally worked up the courage to walk into Pastor Jackie’s church today. I was very anxious the whole drive there and didn’t really know if I’d actually be able to make myself walk in but when I got there, I just told myself to act like I’d done it a hundred times even if I didn’t feel brave on the inside. I’m glad I went and I stayed for the whole service. I’d deliberately sat in the back thinking I could make a quick get away if I needed to but an elderly lady sat in the narrow spot next to me forcing me to scoot over and hemming (hymning?) me in.
It was different from my very conservative former church but I liked it. Very casual and friendly. Pastor Jackie was fluttering around before the service talking to everyone and she greeted me by name. The people sitting in front of me were telling another couple how much they liked Pastor Jackie and how different she was and that the church wasn’t “stiff” anymore. They had time during the service to “pass the peace” and I was uncomfortable with that being shy and not knowing anyone but several people spoke to me and everyone seemed nice.
Truthfully, I was choked up most of the time and couldn’t bring myself to sing at all. I kept thinking that the last time I was at a church service it was with Pastor Jackass and that the last time I saw Pastor Jackie she was helping me to put my son in the ground.
The sermon was all about “tender places” and how a relationship of trust had to come prior and about church being a tender place. Sweet Pastor Jackie became quite passionate while preaching and raised her southern accented voice.
I’m still not sure what I believe really and talking to God is very difficult. Life does not feel like a tender place because I don’t really trust God right now. I’m ashamed to admit that but it is true. I once considered myself a person of great faith. That person seems very far away now.