On Sunday I went to church by myself. Usually I take the kids with me, but the kids had gotten up at four in the morning and by the time we needed to leave, both children had reached peak tantrum status. Squeaker needed sleep and so did Big Guy. I wanted to bring at least one with me, but neither wanted to go and I couldn’t push it, honestly. I had gotten less than four hours of sleep myself and just wanted to survive the day.
The service at church that day was beautiful. I never had the privilege of going to church during Christmas season before–at least not to my recollection–and the beauty of it all just struck me. When it came time for the children to go up for their part of service, I had tears in my eyes because my children were missing it. We’re struggling right now with Squeaker’s sleep schedule and we had an off day on this day of all days. People asked about him. I just said, “rough morning” and left it at that. My emotions felt raw with the messages and the beautiful songs and I felt lost when I didn’t take my children to Sunday School and went off to my Sunday School by myself.
At the end of our adult Sunday School, the leader always asks about prayers, and I never speak up. I never do. Everyone else’s needs feel much weightier than mine and so I keep mine in my own mind and think them privately. This time, though, I spoke up and asked for prayers for my son as we try to figure things out for him. When we finished praying, I turned away from the group to pack up my things so that I could wipe my tears. I had lots of tough decisions to make in the next couple weeks–the next couple months, even. Some of decisions I can’t even post online yet because this blog has gotten out to so many people and I haven’t yet told the people I need to tell about what I’m considering, but I know my family needs me and I need to do something. I think change is inevitable in our lives. I’m just looking for guidance on how our lives need to change at this point.
As I went to leave on Sunday, feeling as if no one really noticed that I left upset, one member and then another and another took me aside and talked to me. They wanted to know what they could do to help. I’ve had nothing but kindness extended to me since I joined the church and people embracing my children for who they are, no matter what kind of day they’re having. Members of the church just randomly come up to me and tell me how nice it is to see us at church. They ask about the children when they don’t see them. They talk to Squeaker and praise him just as they do my other son. It doesn’t matter that sometimes when we go up for Children’s Service, he goes up on all fours. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. You see, he participates in the service. He always raises his hand to speak. And when they have little things to give them as part of the service, he shows more excitement than any other child. He has even learned to keep his head bowed down in prayer to entire time (he’s really impressed with himself for managing this one, so it always earns him a high five).
So, by the time I got through talking to the people in my Sunday School group, they had offered to take the kids whenever my husband and I needed some time. This one guy is a former marine and he and his wife have no children, just dogs and a bunch of military vehicles he’s collected with machine rifles attached and everything. I cannot imagine Squeaker wanting to pass up seeing those. This guy is like a big kid himself and his wife is as sweet as anyone I know. He told me that they don’t have lives, so not to be afraid to call. I haven’t called yet, but I’ve got that support in my pocket and I have another member’s number in case we need a babysitter. I guess that’s why I feel blessed to have a church family that I can call on for support. I may never call any of them. Honestly, just knowing that I have a group of people praying for my family makes me feel better. Knowing they want to do more to help just lets me know they care, and that warms my heart.
While we wait for God’s answer to become apparent, at least we’re blessed enough to have support.