๐™พ๐š—๐šŽ ๐™ณ๐šŠ๐šข ๐šŠ๐š ๐šŠ ๐šƒ๐š’๐š–๐šŽ~๐Ÿ’–

On January 1st, we did not start 2023 in a church service.โ›ช๏ธ

I hope that doesnโ€™t make us inferior Christians in the eyes of some (although Iโ€™m sure it will).

Quite frankly~we spent today still

recovering from Christmas, as well as resting from the 16+ hour drive we took over the last few days to take my mom back home to Arkansas.๐Ÿ’•

The kids had a blast just playing together and chilling out with each other and not rushing off to another place today.

So I hope that doesnโ€™t make us any less holy in the eyes of some. The โ€œjust take them to churchโ€ posts donโ€™t make sense to me in this phase of my life right now either. It might seem necessary to some to take the kids in their pajamas, fussy and bored, just to โ€˜get them there,โ€ but it just doesnโ€™t ring true for me because you donโ€™t have to โ€˜get them to any placeโ€™ to be in the presence of God. The presence of God is wherever they are.โ™ฅ๏ธ

If that particular thought ran through your mind~that someone may not be on equal holy ground as you because they werenโ€™t in attendance today~

Be careful. Be careful that youโ€™re not treading the slippery grounds of legalism, thinking youโ€™re somehow better than the crowd who stayed home today, because thatโ€™s not the case friend.๐Ÿฅบ

I do think itโ€™s a great thing for the families who spent their morning in church with their church family today.โค๏ธ

But I also think itโ€™s equally as great for those families who chose to stay home today and rest with their families.

Jesus was just as near to both.โค๏ธGodโ€™s presence was in both locations, equally.

I used to be in the crowd who couldnโ€™t fathom the thought of someone actually not wanting to attend a church service on any given holiday.

Praise be to God that he opened my eyes and healed my judgmental heart.๐Ÿ–ค

And itโ€™s not even that I didnโ€™t ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต to go necessarily, itโ€™s that I couldnโ€™t.

The posts leading up to Christmas about โ€œIf your church isnโ€™t having a service on Christmas, find a new church!!โ€ Did you see any of those?

Exhausting. Pure mentally ๐ž๐ฑ๐ก๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ .

We didnโ€™t attend church on Christmas Day either. But we did attend a Christmas Eve service the day before, because we wanted to. The church weโ€™ve been attending didnโ€™t have services on Christmas Day anyway, and I hope they didnโ€™t feel one ounce of condemnation from anyone because of it.

Again, if you have a church family that you love and feel at home with then it makes total sense for you to worship with them on Christmas and New Yearโ€™s Day.๐ŸŒŸ

But if you donโ€™t have a church family, or if you donโ€™t want to go to a random church just to say you went to church…or maybe you just donโ€™t feel at home at your current church, then it makes total sense for you to stay home if thatโ€™s where youโ€™re more comfortable. Jesus will meet you there. Of course heโ€™ll meet you there.โ™ฅ๏ธ

Or perhaps youโ€™re like me, and youโ€™re realizing more and more that therapy might be in your future because your โ€˜family of familiesโ€™ (church family) kicked ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง family out of the church you belonged to, and erased all evidence of your existence, (to cover up their actions) lied to people who asked what happened, mislead scores of people, and rubbed your name in the dirt because they didnโ€™t want anyone knowing the actual truth. And on top of that one of your best friends at said church lied to all of your mutual friends because she didnโ€™t want them to know the truth either. So she defamed your name instead. It still makes me nauseous.

One foot inside one of my shoes would help anyone understand that church attendance actually produces triggers for some, and ignites PTSD. Yes. ๐—ฃ๐—ง๐—ฆ๐——. Caused by some in your church family. Crazy, but unfortunately oh so true. Going to church can actually harm mental health, for some.

Maybe now it makes sense why itโ€™s better for some ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ to attend church services on special days.

In fact, Iโ€™ve been trying harder lately, but the last time I went to church, as soon as a particular song started playing, the tears wouldnโ€™t stop and I spent the rest of the time sitting in my car while my family was inside.

So please. Be careful. Think about how it might affect some before you make condemning posts, reprimanding (discreetly) those who chose not to attend a service on days like today.

Jesus, thank you that youโ€™re near to the broken-hearted. Thank you that you hold each of us where we are, whether we are in a church service on any given day or at home. Thank you that your presence doesnโ€™t โ€˜show upโ€™ anymore at a large gathering than it does in a small one. โ›ช๏ธ ๐Ÿ 

Help us not to look down on anyone from lofty, elevated gazes, when you never did that~not once. Help us to follow the example of the one we claim to love.โ™ฅ๏ธ

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