My relationship with God has suffered during the last two years. My family moved, leaving behind a church we loved. We lost thirteen years of friendships, shared experiences, and our sense of belonging. Finding a church was a top priority, and we visited a new church every week in search of one that might feel welcoming to our family.
We searched for a church that reminded us of our old one and chose one whose demographics mirrored our family’s. We took steps to get connected, attending the newcomer class and joining a small group. And then everything shut down.
Church moved to online videos. Our game-playing small group was no more. Our opportunities to make connections vanished. My connections became my spouse, who went in to his office to focus, and my two kids, who spent some time on school work in the living room and more on being annoyed by each other. My quiet house, where I could focus on writing and other tasks, became nonexistent. The introvert in me struggled.
I found some solace and quiet in a meditation app, which was often interrupted by a child in search of me. The virtual Sunday mornings didn’t quite feel right. I missed singing along with others in the same room. I longed to smile at other in-person faces.
I led a virtual small group, hoping it would foster connection, but the medium was lacking. Eventually, church started meeting in person again, but I didn’t feel comfortable trusting my health and safety to a bunch of relative strangers. Our family continued attending online church for a while longer.
After getting vaccinated, we tried again, but there just wasn’t a connection. For all the rhetoric about the church being like home, we didn’t feel seen or wanted. Ultimately, we looked for another church.
Read the rest over at The Glorious Table.