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Keep Going to Church

Author // Felicia Caid Smith

Demonstrating faithfulness in the hard times

Keep Going to Church

I picked up the white sheet of copy paper from my six-year-old’s nightstand.  I thought it might have a sketch or a scribble on the opposite side that was refrigerator-worthy, so I casually flipped it over to check.  What I saw stopped me in my tracks.  A week earlier, my son had found an old laptop and had begged me to teach him how to type words and print them out on paper.  I had noticed he was working hard on something, but I had no idea what he had typed and printed until now.  Typed in a single line across the top of the page were the words:  “Mi. Mom. Stir. Goin. To. chrch.”  

I turned to look at my son.  “What is this?” I asked, pointing to the paper.  

“It says, ‘My mom is still going to church,’” he answered, matter-of-factly.  

Tears welled up in my eyes as I read my son’s typed words again.  

My mom is still going to church.

I recently experienced hurt from several members of my church family, and my two sons had a front row seat to the pain and the prayers.  This was not the first time I had experienced church hurt, and it may not be the last time, but it was probably the most important time because this time my children were watching.  

Church hurt happens, and it may have happened to you, so you might be nodding right now, saying, “Yeah, I’ve been there, or “Yeah, I am there.”  When hurt happens related to your church family, it cuts deep.  And in the middle of it all, you might feel like throwing up your hands and saying, “I’m done.”    

My oldest son verbalized what I had already privately considered, “Let’s just stay home and read the Bible on Sundays.”

I almost agreed, but before I responded to him, I paused and reflected on what it would mean.  It would mean quitting church.  We don’t quit church.  I wanted him to know in that moment that church is important and irreplaceable, so I took a deep breath and replied, “No.  We should already be reading the Bible on Sundays and every other day.  Sunday mornings are for church.”

Actions speak louder than words.  In the middle of the hurt, staying home seemed like a possible solution—to avoid church hurt, avoid the church.  Despite the temptation to stay home and give up, my husband and I went back to church on Wednesday and Sunday, and our kids watched.  As my husband and I prayed that God would show us our next steps and help us follow His will,  our kids listened.  And after my husband and I made the decision to visit a new church and committed to go every Sunday, our kids went with us.    

To be honest, during those weeks, I tried to hide my hurt as much as I could and put on a cheerful smile, but my sons still caught me wiping tears.  When I walked into the new church, I tried to hide my discomfort and nervousness, but my hands still shook when I took the program.  I questioned, “What does my family think of me now?”  I assumed they must think I’m a mess.  Weak.

Today I know exactly what my youngest son thinks of me.  He thinks:  My mom is still going to church.  He saw my tears, he saw my temptation to give up, and he saw me go head-to-head with the Enemy of my soul… and most importantly, he saw me keep going to church.  

If you have kids, they are watching you, especially during the hard times.  It may not specifically be church hurt that you face—it might be sickness, financial insecurity, heartbreak, or grief—but they are watching and waiting to see how you respond.

In times of weakness, fear, disappointment, or sadness, when the Enemy tells you to give up, keep going.  

Keep praying.

Keep trusting.  

And demonstrate to your family we don’t quit church and we don't quit God.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
Psalm 30:4

About the Author

Felicia Caid Smith

Felicia Caid Smith

Felicia is married with two little theologians who have a lot of BIG questions. She is a former history teacher, Sunday school teacher, homeschool mom, and women’s ministry leader. She has a Master of Theological Studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a calling to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. When she is not speaking and blogging, she subs at her sons’ Christian school, leads a women’s discipleship group, and sings on the worship team at her church.

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