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I just emotionally puked all over the pastor of the church we’ve been trying. And he handled it really well, all things considered. I had that feeling when I walked into his office, the same feeling that you get when walking into your therapist’s office… “Um, why am I here? Is what I have to say really worth taking up an hour of this nice man’s time?”  But I had already scheduled this little appt, and I was already there, so in I went. I walked him through “The Church 101,” my father issues, Mama’s death, and Project Sunday Morning. His eyes didn’t glaze over once. He likes Dr. Jerry — big brownie points for Mr. Preacher-Man.

So he listened and nodded and asked lots of questions, then sat and pondered for a few moments. Said that exposing myself to a well-balanced, nonjudgmental, “normal” church experience was a great first step, and he appreciated me making myself vulnerable by coming to talk with him. Said that reprogramming myself to see a God of grace rather than a God of vengeance was going to be a long process (yes, this I know), and he asked if it would be ok for him to give me a couple of books and then schedule another meeting in 2-3 weeks. I had a brief vision of what I would do if he pulled out “Get Out of That Pit,” which my Auntie dear gave me for Christmas with the inscription “I saw this book and thought of you.” Thankfully, though, he steered away from Beth Moore…  I walked out with “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” also by Yancey, a 4-book series called “Journeying Through Grief,” and a snot-soaked tissue.

And then the little lady at the front desk made some nice comment about how I should come to their Sunday School class, and they’re starting a new series about authority. My facial expression must have twitched at the “A” word, because she looked at me inquiringly, and then I word-vomited all over her as well, much to her discomfort. Wow, way to make a great first impression there, Not-So-Social Sarah.

So I’m really doing this. I’m going to read the books and take some notes and follow up with Mr. Preacher-Man, and I’m going to go to church this Sunday even though it’s communion and I have an anti-communion policy, and before church, I’m going to Sunday School because the nice little lady invited me, and it’s going to be nice. Nice, nice, nice.

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I’m a reformed church-hater and former pit-dweller.

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