Small Steps

I took my first steps back to ‘normality’ today, and went to my first church service since the end of November.

It felt very strange.

It has been the longest I have not been in a church in the last 8 years or so, and as this was my first Advent and Christmas as a priest, it has felt very strange being absent for so long. I have been praying and reading Scripture at home, and my lovely friend G brought home communion to me on Christmas Eve, but not sharing worship and fellowship for so long felt very odd.

But the strangeness wasn’t down to me being absent from church, but that it was the first time other than at the hospital that I’ve seen people other than my family face to face. It was also the first time in over 6 weeks that I went anywhere or did anything on my own. Up until this weekend I have needed someone with me while I shower because my legs don’t behave properly yet, and there has been at least one other person in the house with me at all times since I came home from hospital. So going to church, on my own, with non-family folk today was a pretty big deal.

But do you know what? It was OK. Honestly, it was…OK.

I was a bit apprehensive driving, but it was fine.

I was a bit apprehensive crossing the main road outside church, but that too was fine.

I was a bit anxious opening the church door – me who is a minister! – but that too was…fine.

I’m underselling it a bit there, because it was more than fine. I had a lovely welcome from the people already there, and nobody made a big thing about me or my surgery or anything. I was glad of that, and their gentle reception was like a balm to my soul.

I’d chosen not to wear clerical dress today because I wanted to be there as a congregation member rather than an on-duty minister, and because I didn’t feel ready to signal to the world that I was back at ‘work’ just yet. After joining them at St Mary’s this morning I do feel that I’ve taken another step – albeit small – towards my new ‘normal’, and I feel less apprehensive about the next.

Stepping Out

Small steps matter, and even the most difficult of journeys can be taken by simply putting one foot in front of the other. They can be painful, but ultimately, they are so worth the effort.

What small steps are you contemplating at the minute? Who is there by your side cheering you on as you take those initial steps towards your goals? However you step out, I pray you feel the presence of Jesus guiding and strengthen you.


Pam x

9 thoughts on “Small Steps

  1. Small steps: seeing a solicitor next week to do what we need to do before putting Mum’s house up for sale.
    Also finding a minister (our local church is currently without one) before interring her ashes in the family grave in Boarshaw.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Pam, that’s very kind of you. Our funeral arranger is looking for a date for us but we are looking for a Friday due to family commitments. I will come back to you when one is pencilled in and see if you are free then 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Andy – yes, that’s good for me.
    Can you send me an email to pam at northmanccofe dot org please? It might be easier if we talk on the phone too, but for security, let’s take the conversation off the Mushy Cloud x

    Liked by 1 person

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