All of these things take place in the context of knowing my husband the way that I do – he is slow to act, given to much research and mulling-over, and also a student of Scripture who just wants to know more.  He would never act in such a way as to violate his conscience, and being raised a Christian with godly parents and influences, I know that his desire for something different concerning our worship assemblies and evangelism practices comes from a place of striving to know God and understand better His expectations of our response to His love.  Now, all of that sounds pretty lofty, as if I am blinded by love for Robin, but if you know Robin, you know that his thirst for knowledge of the Bible and his character drive his actions and words. 

So when he tells me he needs something that he doesn’t find in corporate worship, that after reading and studying and praying, he feels as though there are finer points the church today is missing and wants to seek out a fellowship such as those in the first century church, I know that this man has done his homework and would never uproot his or my life for something fleeting and trivial.  I know he feels this down to his core, that he needs to explore what simple church means, and I support his decision wholeheartedly. 

Now, I also I have to say that I am not there yet.  Oh, how I wish there were more specific instructions on how to come together and worship God!  So much of what we cling to is just tradition.  And I am talking strictly about tradition!  But I was raised in a family that attended the church of Christ and was there every time the doors were open.  So to just NOT GO to church every time there is a scheduled meeting, just seems like I am slacking.  And while there are things that I feel hold us back while we are meeting together, that inhibit us from truly letting go and worshipping, I am not ready to abandon that manifestation of “the meeting of the saints.” 

I can admit,  for a while, I have wondered during worship if “that was all there was”;  feeling like I had dutifully come and sat and not feeling too much or being disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm.  But during these past months, with my vocal problems and surgeries, I have come to see such love and concern poured out that I could not imagine NOT having that church family for support and encouragement.  The people there have reached out to me and our family and so many have gone beyond that superficial acquaintance thing that plagues not just churches of Christ, but probably every large group where people just don’t get into each others’ lives.  But I have had the benefit of knowing that I belong, that someone notices when I am not there, and someone cares what happens to me.  And I want to continue being a part of that and I want to do that for someone else. 

So, I guess Robin and I are in different places now concerning “big” church, and I want my kids that have the best of both – Bible class teachers and youth ministers and other Christian adults who care about what they are teaching and modeling, and parents who talk about God’s word and His action in our lives.  I truly miss just sitting together during the services and classes.  Robin’s absence just means that much less time we spend together. 

But, leading up to this decision, we were talking ALL THE TIME about this that anytime he walked toward me I knew we were going to have a DISCUSSION.  I thought my head was going to fall off.  All heady debate, all the time. 

So I guess we shall see where this path is leading us.  I feel like it will be a challenge, but we are heading toward the same goal – to serve God with our lives and bring Him glory.  So instead of separate paths, it’s more like one path that has a speed bump on one side then a crack on the other.  We are still hand in hand.