Sunday, September 7, 2008
One of the most memorable nightmares Nolan ever had... was about Sunday school. He woke up screaming early one Saturday morning demanding to know which day it was. He was only 3 years old. I tried to tell him it was Saturday but he was not phased by that. After much reassurance from us he said "Its not Sunday?" We said "no." He said "oh good. I had the worst dream ever, I dreamed it was Sunday and you made me go back to Sunday School... I'm not ever going back ever again..." So began our attempt to introduce the boys to going to our church back in 2003. (okay... stay with me... apparently this is going to take awhile.)
One of the things I longed for when we moved back to Minnesota was resuming the attendance of church. We tried several churchs in Twin Falls and could not find one that felt right to us. Since a large part of the population was Mormon, we didn't have a lot to choose from either and becoming LDS was just NOT an option for us. We were content to visit Moorhead and attend the only church we had ever known.
When we moved back to Minnesota we were thrilled to send Nolan to Sunday School in a church that felt like home. But everything was not how it had once been when Rick and I had attended. Nolan was the only 3 year old in a handful of school age children. The number of young families had declined while we were gone. And so Nolan ended up clinging in fear to Rick the entire hour of school. And if you know Nolan at all you know Nolan has a very LONG memory... no amount of punishment, grounding, bribery or rewards were going to convince him... and those are all the wrong reasons to get him to go anyway. I finally began taking Colton to church with Grandpa once in awhile and other than a handful of times a year we were sorely lacking in attendance.
And then the unexpected happened. Its funny how life has a way of giving us what we need if we are just open to the opportunity. Nolan got asked to play roller-blade hockey this summer... and it was in the parking lot of the recently built Good Sheperd Church. As luck would have it one day Nolan fell and needed to have his knee cleaned up (I know... who would think a bloody knee was lucky?) As we hurried into the church looking for the restroom, we were both stopped short. The sunlight was streaming in through the wall of stained glass windows in the sanctuary... and it was breathtaking. The beauty of it was not lost on Nolan as he grabbed my hand and led me in through the doors and directly over to the pews. "Mommy, this is beautiful... its like a rainbow!" We sat several minutes quietly soaking it in. All thoughts of his bloody knee were gone. "Mom, this isn't like the other church." And the tiniest of seeds had been planted.
Just last week the postcard came. Today is rally Sunday and good Shepard church was inviting all of its neighbors. It still took some convincing, but as we were walking through the door Colton spotted him. Jaxson, Nolan's best friend from class last year. It turns out they were new to the church as well and sat in the pew behind us. We all had an enjoyable time. The hotdog picnic at the end of the service helped too. And the fact that one of the pastor's is a cobber and came over especially to greet us was a bonus. And the gym, the foosball tables and the guitar hero in the youth lounge? More seeds sown. I'm hopeful today. The nightmare from long ago may only be a distant memory for us all.
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