I’m trying to find a Christian faith community where I can worship, serve, and grow in my faith. I have always loved being a part of the church. I’ve never had trouble finding one where I felt I belonged.
For the first time in my life, I am experiencing the anxiety and dread of visiting churches. My heart beats rapidly and my stomach is in knots every single time I walk into a church.
It’s difficult this time because I cannot just think of myself when searching for a church. Soon, I will be married and starting a family. Will we be accepted? Will our future children be told that their parents are abominations? Will the church we attend allow us to join? To serve? Will they gladly take our tithes and offerings but only allow us to be spectators in the pews? Will we be able to teach Sunday School? Will we be merely tolerated?
I want a place where my spouse and I will be encouraged and guided in our marriage. I want a place where my children will learn about and experience the love of the Triune God and seek to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want accountability in how I treat my partner and raise my children.
There is a church that we have been attending for a few months. We both like it and believe in its mission. Every morning, I write down ’email pastor to set up a meeting’ on my to-do list. So far, it has not been crossed off my list at the end of the day. I constantly think about competing this task. My heart starts to race. My stomach twists in knots.
I decide not to do it.
I am too afraid of the possibility of rejection.