I have a rather interesting event to tell you about, which I know you will relate to: It's of SUM flavor.
Last weekend my boys flew to England to stay with their grandparents for two weeks, which was a first for them. It was a big deal for them to travel that far by themselves, 24 hours by plane. And, while they've been gone, Bryce and I have been hanging out as a couple together again, no kids. That's been very sweet.
But here's the interesting thing that happened:
Bryce and I went to church together.
Now, I know many of you do have spouses who go to church with you, but for us this has not happened in the ten years that I've been following Jesus, nor has it been a likely scenario. Bryce has actually said to me previously that he really did not want to walk through the doors of a church any time soon. So this 'stepping over the threshold of a church' was a first.
Now, I can't exactly claim that this happened of his own choosing -- It didn't. And, dare I say it, I forced his hand a bit. Is it ok for us to do that? I always try to honor my hubby's free will, but honestly I've been so gentle with him perhaps it's ok to sometimes take matters into hand and dare to be a bit annoying, LOL.
Anyway .. What happened was, Bryce suggested that while the kids were gone we go and stay overnight with an old friend of his in a different city -- A much-loved friend from teenagehood. As it happened, this friend and his wife were Christian, and so church came up in the conversation naturally after we arrived at their house, while we were sitting around eating cake and drinking tea.
Well, at the mention of church, 'bold Ann' came into play. I decisively said: "We'll go to church with you tomorrow."
"You will?" said the friend's wife. "Oh good! We've just started going to a new one and that'll be really nice having you with us."
That night as we were getting into bed Bryce said, "So you lined me up for going to church did you?" And that was that.
Well, the next day off we went: The four of us bundled into one car and drove together to this church, chatting away as we drove. Then, still chatting, out we bundled, walked down the street and lo and behold without overthinking it Bryce and I stepped over the threshold of said church together.
How's this going to be? I thought to myself.
Well, in answer to that, all I can say is it felt 'unremarkable'. Church felt unremarkable, Bryce's reaction was unremarkable, and my experience of church also was unremarkable that day.
The church itself might have been having an 'unremarkable' day, because it was honestly the quickest and simplest service possible. Who knows, perhaps God did that on purpose. Only three songs got sung, a prayer got said, an extremely relatable short sermon got given by an equally relatable young mum in her thirties, who was standing in for the pastor. Then she said 'That's it for today', and off everyone went ... without even singing a final song. We didn't stay and talk, we walked out the door, and off we went for coffee and croissants with our friends.
"Did you cope?" I asked Bryce later. "There wasn't exactly much that was difficult to cope with," he said, and smiled.
Was it an important moment? Only God knows.
During the service I nipped out quickly and noted the huge letters I saw written on the wall in the foyer:
God is good and his love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.
I guess that's all I need to know.
Hope you liked that story. Do you ask your spouse to come to church with you?