I love my church. I love the the way I feel in there. So for a little background in Eliot Baptist Church (affectionately known as EBC) I sit about the 3rd row, far left. I can see the Pastors from that angle and don't see anyone behind me.
Since my husband passed I have lost my self confidence. I don't know how or why, it's just gone. I basically feel unlovable or that I have nothing to say that anyone would want to hear, or perhaps it's just my fear of getting attached and feeling the agony of deep loss since I suffer from separation anxiety and PTSD.
I have become pretty secluded and don't venture out very much, unless with my daughter.
But, when it comes to church, I'm happy to just hide in my seat and be 1 with God.
As soon as service is over however, I tuck my head down and book it out of the door. Why you ask? Well because, someone may try and speak to me and ask me my story...my story that seems to center around 2007. I guess it shouldn't be what defines me, but, it truly tends to.
Today the entire church was awesomely decorated for summer Bible school's Mount Everest theme.
When I entered the church I was greeted by Pastor Stan and his beautiful wife.
I shook hands with the gentle man handing out bulletins (whom I always gravitate to;he has such a kind face and his hand shake feels like a hug)
Entering the sanctuary, Pastor Yves was getting ready to sit but caught my eye and smiled and waved.
My favorite band played today and the music was exceptionally enjoyable.
Pastor Nathan said a sermon that was thought provoking and fun, as always.
When service was over I gathered up my belongings and did the beeline to the exit.
That's when I saw Pastor Joel deep in conversation with someone but he stopped waved with a glowing smile and said"hey Betsy, how you doing, girl?"
Wow, that was sweet! He stopped a conversation to say hi... To ME.
Then I hear "Hey,you! I've been waiting for you..." It was Nathan.
I said hi as he hugged me. ME.
I got outside and into my car and started uncontrollably crying. Down right sobbing.
I texted my friend Lori and told her that I had made it to church this week and that the sermon was wonderful but as I was leaving Nathan hugged me and that I was trying to gain control of myself before driving home.
I can't begin to explain how important that hug was. I have always been a hugger and toucher. I have always been a believer that everyone deserves a hug.
Why is it then that I feel unworthy of such contact?
My husband and I hugged all the time. Tight hugs that let you know you were being hugged.
We held hands and touched whenever we could, getting up to go to the kitchen, a hand sliding across the shoulders, his hand on the back of my neck when we did dishes. Cuddling up in bed and in the summer still making sure our feet touched.
That hug from Nathan today was so much more than just a hug to me. It had power in it. A loving and healing power that not only let me feel loved but also let me feel welcome.
Please, go out today and let someone feel your touch, whether it's a pat on the back, a warm touch on the arm or a loving hug...you never know just how much that contact can mean.
“They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.”
Matthew 14:36 NLT