Suspecting and knowing are not the same. (from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan)
I lived in my hometown and went to the same church my entire life up until about five weeks ago (if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know this). In that time, I really learned the value of having a church family. And I always suspected that a church family would be even more important for a person who had moved far away from her real family. Now I know how deeply true that is. I didn’t expect to find a church as quickly as I did, and I certainly didn’t expect to feel like a part of the family this fast. I’ve always loved church, always wanted to go, but it’s never meant as much to me as it does now. Especially since I live alone now, I find that the getting-to-know-you small talk is wonderfully meaningful. In my Irish language class, we’ve been learning how to express emotions and ask questions about how someone is feeling and as part of an exercise the other day, one of my classmates asked, “An bhuil uaigneas ort?” which means “Are you lonely?” And when my professor indicated that I should answer, I said, “Níl uaigneas orm,” readily and confidently. I almost laughed as I said it, and that surprised me because I had expected to feel lonely by now. But I’m not lonely because I know I’m not alone. That’s what a church family means. I know that now in a whole new way.