I'm about to drop an Honest Bomb on you all, today.
#HonestBomb: I have been in a fellowship desert for awhile now.
For the past several Sundays I have whined about how difficult it has been for me to get to church now that I have four babies. Perhaps you can relate. I continue to struggle to figure out the logistics of making it out of my house with four babies, four car seats, four potential meltdowns, four bodies to clothe decently, four heads of hair to brush and do...the list goes on.
It seems like no matter how much I try to prepare, something always thwarts my plans. One or two babies are viral (as in sick....not Instagram or Youtube viral ya'll), the baby is cluster feeding, somebody has a complete and utter meltdown that requires actual reprogramming, or Mommy just got the baby to sleep at 6:30AM and isnt moving. Or mommy is feeling plain ol' insecure that day....a hot mess.
This morning was more of the same. I had the outfits ready to go. I hadn't slept, but was already up so just started to prepare myself in between the baby feeding. However, due to a number of occurrences that happened throughout the morning, I got seriously behind schedule. Before I knew it, it was already 10:34AM and not a body was clothed or head of hair done. On top of all of that I had some work duties to attend to as well.
Le *sigh*.....I tried.
Perhaps you're in a similar season. Maybe you're taking care of a sick loved one and cant make it out. Maybe you just moved and haven't found a church yet, or maybe you're like me and have a ton of little ones. Anything can rock your precariously perched world, and something always comes up. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're seriously lacking in the fellowship department.
1. Try not to feel guilty. God understands when we cant make it to church. He knows what seasons of life we're in. Just last week, my Aunt Anita told me that "God sees our hearts". He knows where we truly want to be and He patiently waits for us to get there. He knows our circumstances better than anyone, and He would never want you to feel overwhelmed in pursuit of Him.
2. No Pressure. Please dont pressure or push yourself into a tizzy trying to make it to church. Maybe it truly just isnt your Sunday, or season for regular attendance. I often feel pressured by other people to make it out to church (or just plain out of my house). Folks maybe want to see the kids more, or they make a big deal about us actually making it out when we do which kind of makes me feel bad for not making it out more. Sometimes I see other mothers who go to church like the first Sunday after they have a baby. While I give these women SuperMom credit for being able to do this, I've just never been able to do that. I seriously need an adjustment or recovery period after giving birth. Like I said before, God understands these things. Your Christian walk is a personal and intimate journey between you and God, and He knows what you're going through.
2. You are the church. Church isnt just on Sundays. I remember when I had my second baby girl, and I lamented to my mother in law then about having a hard time making it to church. Going from one to two was MAJOR! I'll never forget what she told me. She said that "church is wherever I am". No matter where I am, I can praise the Lord and fellowship with him. I can give him the glory wiping stuffy noses or soothing a colicky baby.
3. Stay in the Word. Make sure to read your Bible throughout the week. Dont go a day without reading the Word of God. Set your eyes on inspirational things, or listen to songs that bring you to a state of worship. Carry Jesus in your heart all throughout the week.
4. Make an Honest Effort. So you can't make it to church on Sunday. Try to find ways to be involved with your church during other days of the week that work for you. Try to go to Bible Study or your connect group. Attend your church's Sunday livestream. Log in to an online bible study or connect group. Reach out to your pastor and let him know where you're at in life. He may come out to your house and fellowship with you at your home (that's what Pastors do you know).
5.Dont be Discouraged. Its so easy to fall into despair when you aren't in your regular routine of attending church. Its easy to get discouraged. The lies of the Enemy look for opportunities like these to get into your head. Don't believe him! Stand strong in your faith, and know that this too shall pass. God doesn't just dwell in His House. He dwells in the heart of every person who calls Him Lord, and believes that He died for our sins.
Remember these scriptures:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
One can do this ANYWHERE! ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
"So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Isn't that so nice to know that you are one with Christ, and that you carry Him with you everywhere you go.
I'm still working on all of the above myself, but I pray that you are encouraged by my thoughts and know that you will make it to church once again in due time.
Blessings to You All.