Updated: Feb 5
For years I have been fearful of 1 thing that has always played a big role in my life. Growing up we went to church almost every Sunday. I was raised Catholic. And then 2003 happened.
God became this distant folklore that I no longer believed in or trusted in. My faith was shattered because what God allows someone to be broken the way I was. I never believed that life was fair but I also didn't believe that life could be so cruel.
For the past couple years, I have had this yearning go get back into faith. Honestly, I am still not 100% sure where I sit on the idea of God but I do know that there is something greater than me out there. And whatever that greater power is, I know that it is calling out to me to remind me that it had NEVER left me.
On Sunday March 24, I walked through a new chapter. Even writing this post is bringing up very strong emotions for me and I have yet to truly think about that Sunday. I walked out of my house that morning determined to make it there. There is this amazing church named Venue Church in Airdrie. I have heard many amazing things about them. I see their signs everywhere I drive in Airdrie. I feel as if that alone was a sign that I just needed to get there.
I had read on their website that they have an area for children to attend so that they can learn at their own level. So I packed up Annie and Iliza as Quinton was sick and headed on our way. I honestly had no idea what to expect. The church I went to growing up was very quiet and everyone really stayed to themselves.
At Venue, there was someone out there to greet us as we walked up to the front doors. He was so very friendly and said hello to the girls as well. When we walked in, my breath disappeared for a moment. There were people everywhere. Another woman said hello to us and then another and another. I walked up to the kid's area and filled out the necessary paperwork and off the girls went. While I was filling out paperwork, another 2 women came up to me and introduced themselves and went out of their way to be kind. I'm sure I looked like a woman completely lost and confused but the friendliness made me feel as if I was right where I needed to be.
I didn't socialize. Being there was hard enough that I immediately sat down inside the theater (the service is held at Bert Church Theater in Airdrie) after the girls ran off to their own separate areas. What I saw was a shock to the system. Like no church service I had ever attended before.
There were lights going all around and an area set up on stage for music. While I was sitting there soaking everything in, a man came walking up the steps and stopped and asked how I was doing. He sat down on the stair next to me and introduced himself and we chatted for a couple of minutes before getting up again. Seriously, I think the friendliest people attend Venue Church.
Everyone began to fill in the seats and others started to get up on stage and the music started. It was like being at a concert. The songs they played and sang were beautiful.
During the sermon, that's when the emotions set in. I am super glad that it was dark in there because I began to cry. As I listened to Pastor Corey talk, the tears just kept coming. I couldn't stop. So glad that the girls weren't near me and no one was sitting right beside me. I felt overwhelmed, broken, and all of these other emotions just flooded inside of me bringing up reasons and thoughts of why I shouldn't be there and reasons on why I should be there.
These were powerful moments for me. I knew that I had overcome a part of me that didn't believe I deserved to be a part of a church. Parts of me that believed I would be looked down upon because of my past and my story. It's heartbreaking that I believed for so long that I couldn't fit or belong to a church because of my history. There is still a part of me where fear takes over and I have to drown her voice out with a voice of reason which doesn't always come easy.
I am excited to see where this church will take me in my healing. I am nervous and fearful to see where this church will take me in my healing. This is me, opening myself up to God once again and truly not knowing where I belong with him.
I walked away feeling real. That word is on their water bottle that I was given for attending. I walked away feeling exhausted and unsure of how to feel. For the rest of the day, there was this blanket feeling of gray and cloudiness that surrounded me. It was all the emotions, the feelings that I had been holding in for so long, and the weight of reality that was slowly starting to lift off of me.
God seems to have left awhile back for me and I'm struggling to allow him back in. For now, I will continue to attend. This is the community that my heart and my healing path was leading me towards and I am now working through things buried deep down inside and overcoming my fears. So thank you Venue Church for being the place that I could cry, overcome, breakdown, and rebuild while just being yourselves.