About the Author

Erica Owen lives with her husband and their four kids in sunny Orange Park, FL. She’s curating a Museum of Memories, taking what has happened or is happening in her life - the trials, joys, and everything in between – turning it, examining it, and processing it all through the...

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  1. I’ll confess–I was holding my breath through the first part of your story. So often the church drops the ball when someone comes to their ER needing care and comfort. I’m so thankful that you and your mum found the love of Jesus embodied in that fellowship, and your story motivates me to do a better job of scanning the room on a Sunday morning. My own story of landing in awkwardly in a church’s basement Sunday School classroom with no answers to any of the questions and a mortal fear of the swooping church ladies should serve that purpose, but sometimes I forget.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Erica! Such a great reminder we need! It is so easy to get caught up in seeing friends, and feeding our own souls at church, that we can forget to look for the stories of those around us. 🙂

  3. Thank you, Erica. I had a similar experience when a young girl after my parents’ divorce. We moved to a new state to live with our grandparents. They took us to church every Sunday. I drank it up–the Sunday school, the covered dish dinners, the hymn singing. Since those 41 years ago, I’ve gone in and out of churches for different reasons. Looking back, I begin to see that it was because I was allowing others to determine my life–or I was adjusting my life to fit others. After losing my husband and raising my kids I’ve developed the habit of retreating. I want to be there–in the Church but find I lose heart and courage, thinking I’m not good enough or church-like enough. I’m always hesitant and timid about stepping forward, but always yearning and wanting so much to be a part. Yet just lately, I understand that I was wrong to let anything come between me and Christ. And that it is an act of faith to even walk through the church door on Sunday– my awkwardness, fear, and vulnerability could possibly be used to encourage others! And to walk in church while those things beset me is an opportunity to trust God. I’m finding that all this fear and hesitancy is just a smokescreen keeping you from the good, sweet, loving big arms of Christ and his people.

    • “My awkwardness, fear, and vulnerability could possibly be used to encourage others!”
      Stephanie, your words are encouraging ME right now! I relate to you and the fear and hesitation. In my case I’ve discovered I’m often tempted to prove to the church that I am good enough. As if there’s anything I need to prove when Jesus’ blood covers me and makes me righteous!
      My pastor once said something that helps me in the battle against those lies: “Let’s not be ashamed of our clay because he has chosen to place the treasure of the light of his glory in jars of clay to show that the power belongs to him and not to us!” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). I pray to remember this and let awe of God and of what he can do through a jar of clay fuel my heart and life!
      Loved what you said! “I’m finding that all this fear and hesitancy is just a smokescreen keeping you from the good, sweet, loving big arms of Christ and his people.” ❤️ Our communities need our hearts and vulnerability!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story and what a blessing to hear how it all turned out as you took the bold steps to engage again with church and with the Lord! I’d like to believe most churches are welcoming and nurturing to all who come, I know our church is and is one of the reasons we are there. Individually, we also need to be welcoming and nurturing to everyone who crosses our path.

  5. I agree, church should be a healing place not a hurting one, but people are human and make mistakes, God does not, forgiveness goes along way as people do their best to serve the Lord.