I took this photo Sunday morning at church before Mass started. I laid the bible on my lap, and gently placed my rosary beads across the page and took the photo. I then took this photo and texted it to my therapist and said "look where I am".
I showed up to church Sunday for the first time in 6 weeks, and all I can say is "I have missed it". I walked into the sanctuary, sat in my usual seat right up front - same seat, same pew, same place I have been sitting for 2 years.
I have struggled with showing up to church since this hard year began last year. I showed up here and there, but the more and more I got consumed by what was going on, I reverted backwards and isolated from the very place I shouldn't have.
I went back here and there, and then I was gone again for weeks. It's been a hard struggle for me, and I dont know why. I know why, but I dont know why I struggled with the very place that should have been easy for me - where God meets us, where people open their arms to the hardness you are going through - but I isolated from it.
My therapist told me the other day in session that out of all the things I isolated myself from the most in this past year, me isolating from the church was the most painful for him to see, because he knows my faith and the love for my faith.
I dont know if I ever shared this with my blog before, but my therapist actually saw me become Catholic 2 years ago. He came to my Confirmation and sat out there in the crowd and watched me take my oath in faith. He saw the glow, the smile, the love I accepted.
if anyone knows how I feel about my faith it's him, and last week during session we talked about taking one step forward, even If I dont make it all the way to church, maybe go halfway and try again.
Sunday I got up, got dressed, and I went to church and I met God in his arms and the arms of the church.
I stood there and looked around and took in all the feelings that the church makes me feel - love, acceptance, grace, connection, support, and so much more!
When I sat in my seat, people quietly came over to me, sat with me, gave me a hug and said "wow, where have you been?". I was met with hugs and love - not judgment or rejection.
God meets us right where we are and then begins the process of change. That is what His grace does" 1 Corinthians 6:9
I sat and listened to the priest read the word and give his homily as I looked up at the crucifix - his sacrifice for us. How could I ever turn my back to this?
I realized Sunday that this is the place I am most safe! This is where I am met the most, this is where I am loved the most, and most important this is the place where I am met no matter what emotions I feel, whether good, bad, sad, angry, joyful - he accepts all my feelings - he accepts me fully!
A step into grace is just another beautiful step towards healing from this hard hard year! It felt good, it felt right, and it felt healing!
My therapist responded back to my text that morning and said "This is awesome!!! God is smiling and so am I".
I am so glad I showed up and took that step towards grace ... there is no better feeling in the world than being in God's arms.