I remember just a few years ago how things used to be. I would go to church two or three Sundays each month, but that was all. If there was ever a big meeting I would maybe go on Saturday mornings but that was it. I knew deep down I should be there more. I knew deep down that the understanding words of my church family were hiding their dissapointment and desire for me to be there more. I knew that when we stayed out too late at the race track on Saturday night we probably weren't going to make it to church the next day. I knew these things. But I ignored them.
I was raised better than that. I knew I had been, and I knew I wasn't doing right by me or my boys. Just because I had an unbelieving husband didn't mean I should let him dictate the direction our family was headed. But I did. I felt I should be submissive to him.
After the house burned I felt a desire to be in church more. The Lord had spared me and my boys from the fire. I should sing His praises and thank Him for protecting us. I started to feel the conviction to be in church more often. I began by taking the boys to church every Sunday. After a month or so I added in the Saturday night service at my church once a month. The conviction I felt to go to church wasn't something that hit me all of the sudden. It was a slow process. I added on a service here and there gradually.
When my marriage started falling apart I had no where to turn but to the Lord. I knew there was nothing I could do to help the situation, so I took my cares and problems to the Lord and knew that whatever happened would be His will.
The world became cruel. My home became a place of turmoil instead of peace. Church was my safe place. Nothing could hurt me there. That was when the major change occured. Everytime the doors of one of my churches in this area were open I was there with my boys. Everytime I left one service I was thinking about the next time I could go. I would think to myself: "Ok, I just have to make it through three more days and there'll be a service Wednesday night.... I can do this." There was - and is still - no where else I would rather be.
I had people telling me that I was going to burn myself out on church. Hearing that made me chuckle a little. It's just not possible. It's now over a year later, and I still have the same convictions I did then. I can't even count the number of church services I went to last year. What should've been the worst year of my life, kind of turned out to be the best.
And life just keeps on getting better.
After going through my situation I have a lot of people tell me their problems and ask my advice. I'm very humbled by this. I know they see how I've made it through and wonder how I've done it... and how they can do it to. But most of the time when I tell them I made it through with prayer and church it doesn't seem like that's what they want to hear. I'm not sure what they were expecting. I guess they were hoping for some 'magic diet pill' type answer. There is no magic pill for heartache and pain. Just the Lord.