I wake up half-dreading going to church, because I know I'm just going to miss Joel. Usually that missing-Joel-feeling turns into crying. I've always been a church-crier. Yes, I'm the one week after week with the tissues out. The songs always get to me, the prayers get to me, watching the other families sit together gets to me. And don't even get me started on baptisms. I cry like a baby.
So, I know come 7 am on Sunday morning that I'm going to be a mess in just a few hours. Yesterday, our Pastor took a few minutes to remind us of all the people in our congregation that are really struggling. Every time he mentioned someone who had just lost a parent or whose cancer is getting worse, I felt like I was getting a punch in the gut. There are so many people, good people, hurting. These people are really struggling. But week after week, we all come together - the strong with the week, and we worship. I cried because my heart hurt for them. Yes, this is a tough time for our family with Joel overseas. But we're all relatively healthy and well. I was so encouraged to be surrounded by a loving Church family - some are struggling, some are not. But we all worship the same God and I know we're all praying for each other during the week.
Yes, Sunday's are hard - not just for me. But I never leave wishing I didn't go to church that morning. I always leave reminded of how great our God is, how much He has done for us and how loving His people are. Next Sunday will be hard, I'm sure. I can guarantee that I'll be asking my mom if she has any tissues in her purse. But I can't wait to be with my church family again.
"I was glad when the Lord said to me 'Let us go to the house of the Lord!'" - Psalm 122:1