No I don't mean with my kids. I mean within myself. See, after having Nathan and working it was hard to get to church. I felt really guilty, but when Sunday came along and I didn't have to work I started making up other different excuses. "It's hard getting six kids ready." "We always show up late, so why bother going at all". Until it got to the point where we hadn't gone in almost three years. I felt guilty because as a child my mother always had us in church. Rare was a Sunday that we weren't sitting in a pew. So to me, it just seemed like a habit and one that I broke.
As a teenager, I accepted Christ at a youth retreat. When I got married, Rich was going to be a pastor. Not many people remember that. But somewhere along the lines, I screwed up. I screwed up big time. And because I felt I had turned my back on God, he had turned his back on me. I know that's not how it works, but it's how I felt. Once in awhile I would feel this tugging on my heart and I knew God was there beating on it, trying to get me to listen and I turned a deaf ear. Years went by and we didn't go to church at all.
Rich made alot of friends with his fellow corrections officers. One of which wasn't a believer. But through Rich talking with him and ministering him, he accepted Christ and eventually became a minister. Rich asked him where he was preaching. It was only about 45 minutes from our house, so we decided to try it. I liked it, I think we both felt happy there. But as I've stated at the beginning, life got in the way.
Over the three years we didn't go, we've made alot of mistakes. It has gotten to the point where Anthony doesn't believe in God and I don't think Nicholas or Nathan even realize who God is. And that saddens me and makes me feel guilty. It saddened me to the point where last month, when I had the whole month off, I had wanted to go back to church. But again, I was led astray and didn't go. I made excuse after excuse. Until about three weeks ago, on a whim I decided we were going to church and that was it. We showed up a half hour late, but we went. Alot of people remembered us and they welcomed us back like we never even left. That felt good!
The next couple of weeks we made an effort to be there each Sunday, whether it was in the morning or the evening service, we went. And although I'm sure we surprised our pastor friend, he hugged each one of us and welcomed us back. That felt good! Each week, it seems as though satan is trying is push us away. No matter how early we got up, we were still late for church and on our way, we would feel like we should just turn around an go back home because we didn't want to show up late. But we kept going and made it anyway.
This week our church is having Vacation Bible School in the evening. The kids really wanted to go. So tonight we went to Bible School. I walked the kids inside and the women there just welcomed them right in. I'm not one to leave the kids with strangers, but it just seemed right. So I dropped them off and just hung out by myself.
My point in telling this, is when I was driving back to pick them up, I just felt this overwhelming feeling of peace. It felt good! Really good! It almost made me want to cry. I just can't describe the feeling well enough. I'm sure if there is anyone reading that doesn't believe in God, probably thinks I'm nuts now. But I'm positive if you are reading and you believe in God then you know exactly what I'm talking about. I just feel so peaceful. I'm really glad that on a whim I decided to go. And I feel confident that Anthony will believe again and Nicholas and Nathan will know God.