Yes. You read the title right. Church. Skipper. Someone who continually skips out on church. I was raised in the church, my dad was even a pastor when I was younger. I was the social butterfly who cried when I was sick on Sunday–not because I felt bad, but because I was so sad that I wasn’t able to go to church. I loved hearing the preaching, being encouraged and trying to encourage others. Then came motherhood. Between really sick pregnancies, two babies close in age who continually pass sickness back and forth and complications in my current pregnancy I have missed more church recently than I ever have before in my life. I have battled with feelings of condemnation and also feelings of isolation. It’s a struggle, but it’s only a SEASON. This is a time when I am called to build up my home and my children, and currently that means trying to get this baby, this precious little soul God has entrusted to us, to stay inside to full term and avoid sicknesses that would prevent that from happening. Simple goal but one I have to guard.
I am a firm believer in the assembling of the brethren and being the church. One thing that stands out after months of consistently watching church online rather than going, is that the church is a body of believers, not a building. My personal relationship with the Lord has grown not because I go to church but because I am in the Word of God and the Lord speaks. There are times of rest God ordains and gives us. I am not to wish away a season but to walk through it with a teachable heart asking for the Lord to grow and sanctify me through it, and I am thankful that He is faithful to do so.
During this season I have also seen the importance of godly friendships. Making an intentional decision to call a friend and encourage one another in the Lord. You can still be part of the church without walking into the building. Christ calls us to “encourage one another while it is still called today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). That means that even during seasons where you feel like you are barely surviving you still need to make sure you are reaching out to friends who can encourage you and who you can encourage to seek the Lord more and challenge each other to not grow weary or hard-hearted during weary seasons. Also, I have made a point to listen to sermons and podcasts throughout the week along with reading books that are challenging me to pursue the Lord more, because I NEED those reminders throughout the week.
I don’t know if you are in a season of skipping church as well 🙂 , but I wanted to offer some encouragement that you are not alone, no matter how isolated you feel. This is a season and we must make sure we are being intentional to pursue the Lord and godly friendships in the midst of it. What are some things you do during hard seasons to make sure you are having accountability and fellowship?