It took me a few weeks to bring myself to the point of being able to even get myself to church, walk up the stairs and choose a seat. The first week home the thought of being in the middle of so many people who love me and want to enter in about sent me into a panic attack. Clue: not ready yet.
The second week I made some motions toward getting myself ready to go. I started the process too late and everything took a ridiculously long time so I didn’t make it. I was fine with that. Decision made.
Week three came and I found myself desiring to be present in church. “I’m ready”, I thought to myself. “I’ve got this. It might be hard, but that’s okay.” I thought being with so many people would be hard, answering questions, having people wondering how I was.
Turns out that wasn’t what was hard at all.
What was hard was finding a spot by myself. A wave of aloneness swept over me. Having Josh and Sam gone or sitting elsewhere in the room didn’t phase me; that was often the case. But Scott, Kaitlyn, Zach and I were side by side nearly every week. Together. I could hear them singing. I watched them take notes or struggle to stay awake. We did it together.
Suddenly, I was alone in a crowd. I was sitting with friends, surrounded by people who care deeply for me, but I felt alone.
I miss taking care of the little ones in the nursery with Zach. He loved the time together and with the busy small people. I miss seeing Kaitlyn with her Bible open, taking notes. I miss holding hands with Scott whenever we prayed or having his arm around my waist as we sang.
But I made it. One more first.