Almost three years ago, I stepped foot into my church for the first time. I was terrified. Walking in there by myself seemed like the most daunting task. I don't know what was scarier - the thought that someone would talk to me or no one would talk to me. Someone did talk to me, someone who is my friend now. And after some initial jitters about the order of service and how to hand in the attendance form, I knew that I had found a church home.
That scary move was one of the best decisions of my life. I love my fellow members. I wrote about my church in a Five Minute Friday on worship. It is my refuge, it is my hope. I don't know where I would be right now if I didn't have my church. My scary move has even brought others to worship. After running into a friend and telling her I had joined my congregation, she started attending regularly and eventually joined too. Another friend saw on Facebook that I had joined the church that she grew up in and she started visiting during a challenge point in her life.
Having friends at church doesn't completely take away the fear. I still get nervous going to potlucks and other events. But once I step into the room, I spot a friend and I'm not alone for long. Even today, I had second thoughts about attending our Blessing of the Animals service. My beloved dog, Molly, died five years ago but I wanted to see what the service was like. It seemed a little silly but I grabbed a framed photo of her and took it with me to the service. Once there, I jokingly asked the pastor if he would posthumously bless my dog and he was so open to the idea. He said a prayer for her and said exactly what I was feeling about how she had touched my life. It was such a beautiful moment - one that I would have missed if I hadn't screwed up my courage and taken the risk.
Do What Scares You. You never know what reward will be awaiting your bravery.