Sweet Potatoes and Searching for Community

Sweet Potatoes and Finding Community @joyinthesemoments.com

I walked into my bedroom the other day and noticed a sweet potato.

Seriously, folks, there was a random sweet potato in my room.

More precisely, there was a sweet potato…in my bed.

Not the most common item to find in your bed, to be sure; but in my house, these  random items are becoming more and more common thanks to my forever exploring 19-month old.  Pretty sure she’s confiscated a couple tubes of toothpaste as well. No idea where they are or when I will find them, either.

I love finding these random items that are so severely misplaced and probably a little bit homesick. They are glimpse into her little life and what is making her tick at that exact moment.
I have no idea why things show up where they do and I probably never will know why. But, I’m ok with that. Every girl needs her secrets, right?

Anyway, this rogue sweet potato found it’s way into my bed this past Sunday. A Sunday that found my husband and I visiting a new church. We have been visiting churches for the past 2 months, but nothing has just FIT. We are still looking for that place that is home, where we know without a doubt that “this is the place for us.”

Sadly, this week’s church was a visit fail.

I knew as soon as we pulled into the parking lot that the number of Cadillacs did not bode well for a young church family. I mentioned as much to John, but he gently chastised me for making rash judgments. So, I continued to follow him into the sanctuary.

how do you say “I told you so” without saying “I told you so”?
Any suggestions? haha

It was all I could do to not bust out laughing.
The look on John’s face is the one he gets when he knows I’m right. (I’ve only seen it a few times, but I LOVE when it shows up!)
I totally called it in the parking lot. Seated in our church of choice were no more than twenty Senior citizens. That’s it. And, pretty sure we were the youngest in that room by twenty years – and that’s saying something since my husband is 10 years older than me!

To top it off, they had an accordion being played during worship. Not saying accordions are bad, but really? Who does that anymore??

I had settled in for the duration when Evie started fussing and a fussy toddler in a congregation with those demographics is not easily ignored. I quickly, and gratefully, took the opportunity to escape into the nursery. I was in there for maybe 15 minutes when I received this text from my husband –

We sneaked out – as best as you can sneak out of a sparsely populated sanctuary – and chuckled about our failed church-hopping (and there was a lot to find comical from those 30 minutes we were at the church). You’ve got to find humor in your blunders and missteps, right?

That brings us back to the sweet potato in the bed. The poor little tuber that was so far from where it belonged.

In this search for a church home, a community, a group of people that welcomes us and embraces us completely, I’ve started to feel like that sweet potato. It’s been a (mostly) comical journey of church missteps. But, I’m becoming weary of not belonging. I’m weary of being out of place. I’m weary of feeling like I’m just showing up in random locations and with the question “Why am I here?” I’m ready to have sisters in Christ that I can call on when I need to talk. I’m ready for a couple that my husband and I can have dinner dates with. I’m ready for a church that I can worship freely at, to pour myself into. We used to have that when we lived in Arkansas. But, try as we may, we haven’t had it since we moved.

Like the sweet potato at my house, I know we have a place and a purpose. This journey is just taking a lot longer than we anticipated. And, it’s lonely. A lot of coming and going, a lot of  first hellos and final goodbyes, a lot of wondering and not knowing for sure.

But, one day, just like all those random trinkets and food items will make their way back to the kitchen, bathroom, or wherever else they belong, I know that soon we will find our spot in a church community. We will find where we belong.

And, it will be HOME.


3 thoughts on “Sweet Potatoes and Searching for Community

  1. I came across your blog quite by accident – the butter ranch chicken recipe led me here – so I decided to hit the archive & start reading from the beginning. I can’t put my finger on it, but I was truly inspired by your first post. Perhaps it’s the tone of your writing; your warm words radiate the genuine kindness & sincerity of your nature. I am not one to regularly speak out or post to blogs (in truth, this is my first time), but something drives me to tell you how your blog post has affected me. I can relate to that lone sweet potato, I too feel a bit lost, & am now inspired to return to the church where I once felt so at home & graciously accepted.
    Thank you & bless you & your family.

    • Oh, thank you so much for your sweet comment – and especially for stepping out of your comfort zone to talk to me. I love it!
      We have certainly had our share of funny stories and misses at the churches we’ve tried.
      We just tried a church on Sunday and oh what a relief it was to finally be able to hear a sermon and worship! So refreshing. 🙂 We are going to attend next Sunday, as well as attend a community group tonight. We are praying that this is our home.

      I know the search for “home” is not easy, but when you reach the end, it is so worth it!
      Come back and visit. Let me know how it goes.
      Prayers for you in your journey.

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