I walked out of my husband’s office last night, sort of wanting to avoid any and all human contact. As my Mom has been in and out of the hospital for weeks now, I don’t really think I can muster up the energy to smile and make small talk.
The church Administrator, Sharon, is sitting behind her desk having a conversation with one of the other ladies in our church.
“Hey,” she says to me, smiling. I smile back at her in a cheesy manner, hoping to mask my emotions.
“How are you doing?” she asks. She knows about my Mom’s health, and I just sort of make a face that says I’ve definitely had better days.
After almost an hour of speaking and sharing my heart with these women, Sharon gets up from her desk and hugs me, and she tells me, “You’re not alone in this. You’ve got a new family here to help you through this.”
I had always grown up hearing about the “Church Family” as being just another name for the congregation. Sure, I had actual family that attended the same church I did, and there were certainly people I was more familiar with than others. But to be able to consider them an extension of my family? I guess I had never needed other family.
But being in a new place where the only person that is in my family is my husband, life can seem scary. No longer do I have Mom and Dad to sit beside me in church, or my sister to scratch notes to during the sermons, or my cousin to sit beside me in Sunday School. It’s just us, with all of these people that we haven’t known that long.
It is totally normal for humans to have to develop trust over time. I mean, it is hard to really trust someone without knowing them. You have to develop relationships. You have to learn to open yourself up. You have to realize that no matter where you go, people are people. There will be times when you love to be around them, others when you want to be as far from them as possible.
Wow, they really are like family!
But what struck me the most was the fact that family means something different. It means love, and care, and closeness. Have you ever had a friend that you would consider more like your sister? That you are just so close that just saying you are best friends doesn’t seem to be a close enough term to use for your relationship?
“You have a new family here to help you through it.”
That is what a church family should be. They should be the people that you can come to with your problems, the people who should be the most caring, the most compassionate, and the most loving people in our lives.
Join us on May 27th as Kate looks at what to do when you’re not close to anyone in your church family.