With my head bent low, I clasp my husband’s hand, and walk toward the all familiar building. It is Sunday, and this is where I want to be. Still my heart beats hard in my chest.
I shake hands, and say, “hello,” while walking through the doors.
Cringing as the noise blasts my ears, I hide behind my husband like a small child, as I am overwhelmed by the crowds and the conversations surrounding me. I like these people, and I have known many of them for 15 years. I am happy to see them, but I cannot express that. My senses are overwhelmed.
My husband stops to talk. The air from the fans above beats down on my head. I need to escape.
Letting go and trying not to run, I head for the sanctuary doors. Be polite. Talk to those who speak to you.
I purposefully walk towards my seat, always at the very front. I sit down, and keep my eyes focused forward, as people enter behind me. Listen to the music playing on the speakers. Block out the crowds around you. Try not to show your discomfort, but of course they will see it, how could they not.
Someone comes to talk to me. Asks me how I am. Asks me about work. Polite conversation, and I want them to talk to me, but I feel so awkward, and the words won’t come. Where is my husband? He would know what to say. People like him. I am too closed off, pushing them away, but it is not what I want to do.
The person leaves. I look around. Watching the little children run and play with each other. How do they do that? They seem so comfortable. I never was. Older siblings, barely out of kindergarten, help the younger ones. Get them a drink. Walk them around. Calm them. Talk to them. So much older than me, yet so young. How can that be.
Look at the teenagers and young adults, running towards their friends. Hugs and laughter. So natural. That is not me. I feel out of place. Lost in a world that belongs. Not belonging. Trapped in my head.
I want to be here… I like these people… Remind myself again. I want to be here.
My husband comes in. Sits beside me. I curl myself into his arm, wrap myself in familiarity. What do they see when they look at me? Do they know I like them? Do they know I want to be here?
The band begins to play. I lose myself in worship. Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to be here today.
The pastor speaks, and my heart turns to Him who knows me best, and loves me anyway. So hard to understand. I don’t love me. Most days I hate me. Why would he pick me, when no one else does. I would die for You. I hope. I hope that if it were required of me, I would die for Him. Not courageous. Just thankful.