January 04, 2007

I couldn't sit still because...

the room was so full of ghosts from the past. So much that I was almost in tears because of all the memories.

That's how I felt when I went home for Christmas and went to my old church that I practically grew up in. My parents still go there. I spent so much of my growing up there. Childhood, middle school and the horrible high school years. I got saved in a little room in the basement during Sunday School in 4's and 5's class. I rolled down "the hill" in my Sunday dress. I ran around the circle painted on the parking lot. I played hide and seek with all the lights out. I had lock-in's and Bible studies and lead praise and worship. I taught Awana's, played with kids, made life long friends, found mentors, just basically learned who I was and who God within the walls of that community. It's as much of my growing up and a part of who I am as my family.

I was sitting in the pew singing a hymn on Christmas Eve. My brother was standing right next to me. We were sitting on the same pews that we had sat on for years and years. And as I sat there, I suddenly was overwhelmed with the 1,000's of memories that I have from that place. SO MUCH has changed. When I go back now, many of the familiar faces are gone and have moved on. But in that moment, in that breath, it all came alive again. Everything melted away and I was seeing things like they were then. My youth group friends were all around me. We were laughing and talking about school and friends and life. My youth pastor (who was an amazing influence in my life) was looking at us laughing and cracking jokes. A million tiny, memories that I've forgotten were suddenly so tangible that I could reach out and feel them all over again. I had to choke back the tears.

At the end of the service that night, I was standing talking to a group of my old youth group friends. We were standing, much like we used to, in a circle discussing life and work and everything else that came up. I looked over and the new kids (the current youth group kids) were doing the same thing in their own circle. I laughed and said to my little group, "look at that! It's just like us 10 years ago." It's kinda comforting to know that the tradition lives on.

Dear goodness, I miss those days.

1 comment:

Katie's Story said...

Way to bring a pregnant woman to tears!! I know exactly what you're talking about and feel the same way every time I go back there. It strange and comforting at the same time, huh? Things have changed so much and then not at all. I miss those days of rolling down the hill and making up stories about the graveyard. It's nice to remember those things once in a while!