This is a verse that I have never heard before, but one on a topic that I desperately need to be reminded of.
I have a couple of big problems in my life and unfortunately they all come together on this issue. I attend a wonderful church just outside the town I live in, and it really is home for me. We have a relatively new Pastor who is fantastic and really easy to listen to, while not shirking at challenging individuals or the church as a whole. I've gotten so much out of his ministry to us - and I'm just one of the congregation.
Why am I telling you this? Mainly it's so you don't think my next confession is because of my church. It's not.
But those issues I mentioned - oh boy do they beat me up. I have three main problems.
• Post-natal depression - realistically I'm wondering if I can still call it this when my 'baby' is 7, but this has been a real struggle for me. The main problem was the way it manifested itself in my life. I had panic attacks and a fear of having to see and talk to people who I knew would be asking me how I was, or praying for me. In other words I had a fear of everyone in church. Totally illogical since I needed their prayers more than ever, but that was it. So even now I often feel the urge to hide up in my bed with my duvet over my head, and let my husband take the boys to church on his own.
• A horrible attitude of laziness - I am a naturally lazy person unfortunately and Sunday mornings have become a time when I get to laze around the house, watch a little tv and not get dressed until the boys are on their way home. Not an ideal routine for someone who claims to love God, but a spiral I've fallen into. I need to purposefully get out of it and let Sunday mornings regain their proper purpose - as a time to worship my Father in heaven.
• A lack of self-discipline - when you add this to the top two points you can see why attending church regularly is a problem for me. It's not that I don't enjoy it - I'm just stuck in an endless battle, every Sunday morning, where I fight to get out, only to fall and stay home. I know things like being better organised, having all the church clothes ready the day before, and lunch sorted and prepared can all make a big difference, but I also need to work on having the self-discipline to just do it, especially when it's so important.
And I truly do believe it is. We need the fellowship, the meeting together as a family of believers and of course the getting into God's Word together that church provides. It helps us grow, it helps us to remain on fire for God and ultimately helps us to worship and get to know our Father better.
So my excuses for not going? Non-existent. My issues? Pathetic. My attendance at church? Necessary for my spiritual growth and vital to encourage my friends and fellow believers.
So what am I planning to do about it?
I'm delighted to be able to tell you that I'll be out at church on Sunsay - because it's my turn to be on Senior Bible Class!! But I'll take any chance I can get to get me out and worshipping God. So this is my desire - to start this week and work through the whole of October, going to church each Sunday - enjoying it, worshipping God, respecting everything about our great wee church, and moving forward from there. I know it won't be easy because the devil loves to hit you where you're vulnerable, but I'm determined.
I'll let you know how I get on at the end of the month!! How is your church attendance? What problems do you have to overcome and how can we pray for you?
Keep shining xx