Fear of Church

2009 has been a year where my church attendance has been spotty, at best. I think that I have been 3 times since the beginning of June, and that includes Christmas Eve! Prior to that, I “happened” to attend a church on the day after what would have been Christopher’s high school graduation. The small church recognizing their graduates was so very painful that I decided that I wouldn’t take that chance again for a while.

There are other risks in church attendance. Yesterday, was a good example. I am out of town, visiting a friend who works at a church; makes for kind of a “must go” situation. Truthfully, I didn’t have to go, but it would have been awkward to not go. Anyway, all was fine. The sermon title was, “A Buzz in Bethlehem” which seemed benign enough. As it turned out, it was all about being comforted in your situation and examples of refusing to be comforted. Tears just rolled down my face. Fortunately my dear friend knows me well and just left me alone. She said nothing and she didn’t offer comfort and she didn’t hug me!
I was caught off guard by the sermon; I was once again, not in control and I didn’t like it. The pastor’s points were true, based in Scripture (maybe with one exception, but that’s not the point). He was emphasizing that there is comfort in knowing that God has a plan and that we are part of a bigger eternal plan. Knowing this can provide comfort. I agreed wholeheartedly, but he left out one detail, the detail that is my ongoing battle.
I am so thankful that over these past two years, I have never doubted the love of God. I have never doubted that in Christ, I am his beloved child. From the beginning, I have believed that God spared Christopher a difficult life (aren’t all lives difficult) and was good to Christopher in taking him home early. I believe all the big truths. My struggle is that I don’t like how this all played out for me. No matter how this all is supposed to fit into God’s grand plan, I am convinced that there was another way for Him to accomplish his purposes. He didn’t have to take Christopher and leave me here to try to get through another thirty, forty, or God forbid, fifty hears. No matter what “good” comes from this, it is not enough to offset this pain that I have been left with. There is no justice that I will feel is sufficient.
Now, I know it is not really all about me, but, you lose a son, and tell me that it doesn’t feel all about you.