Keep trying, Momma.
As I sat in church today, smiling that we finally are at a place in our lives where we are in the habit of showing up regularly, 4 kids in tow, minimal screaming and crying in the morning…I quickly thought back to previous years.
I thought back to how many years going to church was something I dreaded. I felt guilty when I missed church, but miserable when I went. Getting multiple young kids ready in the morning seemed to end in yelling and tears many times. I would think to myself, “Is this what I want my kids to feel church is about?” “Is it really worth it when it adds so much stress to my life?”
Oh, and how many years would I go to church with one of my babies, only to have to walk out in the hallway to pace alone, nursing in the nursing room or bathroom, changing diapers, and just counting down the minutes until we could go home. I legit wasn’t hearing anything the pastor was saying. I was too focused on keeping my child pacified and quiet! And don’t get me started on trying to “dress up” with a top sufficient for nursing.
My young, clingy kids never went into the nursery, so as they got past those baby years, it was always a big job to keep them entertained and hush hush during the sermon. I don’t think I heard much of what the pastor said those years either.
Here’s what I want to tell you. Keep trying, Momma. Don’t feel guilty for all those Sundays you miss just because you don’t have the fight in you. Don’t feel guilty for counting down the minutes when you are pacing the hallways alone. God understands. God is in so many more places than just the church. Just the fact that you are trying is enough for Him.
Sometimes we made it once a month, sometimes once every 3 months….but we kept trying when we could.
It’s just like health and fitness. You will fall off track. But you can’t just quit or you will get further and further into that hole of health issues. You have to keep trying again.
Now I finally see it all paying off. With my oldest almost 5 (don’t worry, he many times still needs entertained), it is becoming a family habit. We go almost every Sunday! The kids complain less and less each week as they realize it’s just going to be a normal part of their Sunday. I don’t have to go out in the hallways anymore. I actually get to sing and hear most of the sermon. And I love seeing all 4 of my kids sitting in a pew, coloring on the offering envelopes like I did as a kid, playing with their Power Rangers, laying their heads in my lap. It was worth it to keep trying. But I’ve also learned to let go of the guilt for all those years I barely went.
You aren’t less of a Christian those times you can’t go…God doesn’t love you any less. God will always be waiting and ready for you no matter where you are.
Keep trying, Momma. You’re doing great.