How do you know God is about to shake things up in your comfortable life or plans? For me, I get a restless feeling – incredibly restless. I had my college plans all set; I was accepted and classes planned. I got that feeling. I tried telling Him no no no no no no no! I do not want to change my plans, but I lost all interest in the school. I was still planning on going there until I figured out where God wanted me, but I knew it was not there. Then someone mentioned my current college. I looked online and knew immediately: this is where I need to go. I did not even visit before applying and being accepted. The first time I went was to schedule classes and meet with my program director. I actually felt the restlessness settle into comfort.
The senior pastor of my church died several years ago. Some of us noticed that our beloved youth pastor seemed restless. Others did not know what that meant, but my family and I just waited to hear he was leaving us and prayed it was not out of state. The deacon committee to find a new pastor to present to us the congregation found one in which they were completely confident. A lot of us younger members – teenagers but out of high school – requested multiple candidates to compare as we prayed. We were basically brushed aside. Now most of us are looking elsewhere for a church home. We truly hate to do so, but all of us have that restless feeling or feeling of being lost in our own home church where most of have attended for over 20 years. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching, at least for me.
I have been using my nightshift job and school as a reason to avoid attending. This morning, I tried to drive the hour to my old youth pastor’s new church (yes, he was called in-state) but was unable to actually attend due to a miscalculation of time. I thought his new church would be the answer to my restlessness, but I don’t know if a 3 hour round-trip every Sunday is the right choice. The restless feeling is still present, so I’ll keep looking.
I did not realize how much regular church attendance meant to me until I got this restless feeling and no longer attend on a regular basis. Basically, I am realizing how blessed I have been to not get this feeling until now. I have never understood how people can change churches so many times, but now I know: they’re trying to get that comfort back. That feeling that says, “welcome home.”