To Attend Church or Not

To Church She Went or Not

She attended church service at the Recovery Center. Her face taunt and her eyes big. Her deep breaths seemingly kept her from disappearing, as she struggled to remain in her chair, and her fidgeting came with a ticktock cadence.

The next week, I didn’t see her. Or the following. Weeks went by, and I admit it, I had nearly forgotten her face, except for her pale color and high cheek bones.

Then one Sunday, she showed up and wiggled like a child ready to run. And I remembered her uneasiness. Even on that morning, she stood for most of the service, close to a wall, weeping at every turn. During worship. And during the teaching.

Back to Church She Came

I learned that she attended the service because another girl in rehab encouraged her to come. And come she did. She came the next week. And the next. And has kept on coming.

Her countenance has changed. Her face is less taunt. Her eyes are sparkling and she smiles now. She’s opened up with me and she’s hearing with new ears and is hungry to learn. She’s trusting God with her life even though her circumstances haven’t changed, and now she’s leaning on the Lord for guidance and strength.

I’ve watched her tics subside. I’ve noticed her engaging with others. I’ve received hugs from her and she’s squeezed me hard, as if she never wanted to let go. And she loves to share verses with me as if they were written just for her.

And then recently, she whispered, “I’ve shared Christ with some of the girls. I did. Can you believe that?”

“I’m so thankful you’re sharing your faith.”

Christ Called to Her Church

She danced in front of me. “I’ve never loved anyone. Never! And now I love everyone. This has to be God.”

With that, she waltzed to her chair, barely able to sit. Her joy could not be contained, and the “glory tears” rolled down her face.

She told me after service. “Ms. Pam, look what this says”, she pointed to a page in her bible. “Did you know this is in here?”

Christ Speaks from His Word

Her finger landed on these words: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

I nodded. “I love those verses.”

She repeated, “Great love. That’s from Him.”

I held her shoulders. “You’re so right. You’re so right.”

For weeks and weeks, I’ve watched the Lord work a miracle in her life. He’s taken her heart of stone and given her abundant life and joy unspeakable—a cadence of hope beyond measure. Something only God can do!!

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