Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How long does it take?

Everyone says it usually takes a year before you feel settled in and a "part" of a new church. Up until a couple of years ago, I pretty much agreed with that. In fact, there were times it took much longer, or never really happened. But 2 1 /2 years ago (almost to the day!), God (in the guise of the Air Force) saw fit to plop us down in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska. It took us less than a month of Sundays to find the place he wanted us and in less than 6 months, felt almost as if we'd always been there. I suppose a lot of it was that there were so many ways for us to be used. We were almost immediately drawn in to the LTC ministry, and my husband taught 5th grade Bible classes. We became good friends with the new preacher and his wife. I was drawn in to a small group of women that first summer, studying The Purpose-Driven Life. That group continued for the rest of my time there, studying other topics and meeting together weekly for encouragement and prayer. I gained a best friend through that group who saw me through some deep heartaches and shared some great moments. I've posted before how hard it was to leave our church family in Omaha behind.

Fast forward to California. We've been here a little over 2 months. The church climate here in our neck of the woods... well... is lacking a little. We're driving 35-40 minutes on Sundays and an hour or more on Wednesday nights (and paying a $3 toll to come home) in order to be with a group of people who don't limit worship to "5 acts" done in a rigidly prescribed manner. My husband and I grew up in that climate and don't ever wanna go back, nor do we want our kids to have to be subjected to it. So we are glad God led us to make that drive to Eastside. We almost discounted it because of the drive. And as far as we know, no one else drives from our neck of the woods. So therein lies our challenge: how do we build community when we don't live in the community?? (Jarrod's little talk about community during communion on Sunday had me in tears...) Emily seems to be finding her fit within the youth group. I seem to have found one niche within the praise team (Rick, I've been listening to the CDs tonight). I do worry about how I will form friendships with other women since they all live 40-50 minutes away, but I guess I am going to have to trust God on that one. Same goes for my husband.

So how long will it take? As long as it is supposed to, I guess.

5 comments:

DJG said...

You have described the reason I don't drive 1 hour every Sunday to worship the way I want to and in an enviroment that I always feel love and support in....

what about the rest of the week?! I hope with your whole family in tow you make it work out. I know you will.

Cattiva said...

It is so hard to find a new home church, but so worth it when you finally do. Good luck!

Destiny Anne said...

I felt like a member of my church a month into it but that might be do to the fact that a lot of people from my old church were at my new church.

Terri said...

Hello, Michele sent me!

I've never been a church goer, but I had a similar situation with school in Hawaii when my dad was transferred to Pearl Harbor. The school was only 5 mi away, but I was still very isolated from that community, both geographically and culturally.

Ginger said...

Karen,
The bottom line is that you are trusting God and all things work for good when you do that, right?
Ginger in MS

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