Sunday Mornings

Sunday Mornings

It’s another Sunday and it still  feels weird.  My church family decided to change our weekly meeting time to Wednesday nights.  Sunday mornings are now free.

At first I welcomed the rest.  The truth is, I had become “church exhausted” from so many emotional losses experienced this past year but I realized there is now a new empty spot in those once padded pews of my heart.

Literally all my life I’ve been in church on Sunday morning.  When I was little, we went as a family and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t optional unless you were really sick — and I mean really sick!  I married a pastor and we eventually started a church together and later led in other churches.  Sunday morning routine almost always involved worship together as a family.  I loved church.  Still do.

I know church is church no matter what day you meet but I find myself grieving the loss of Sunday morning as I’ve always known it.  There are hundreds of good churches in our area and the invitations to visit other churches has come many times but it’s not the same as going to church with your own church family.  I miss that.  I miss my family on Sunday morning.

Instead of wallowing in the grief, I jumped in the van  to remedy that and headed to church today only to find when I arrived that the later service had been eliminated since they built a larger auditorium.  Sadness…

Traditions often give stability through the changes of life.   Traditions can also become more important than the truth they originally represented until the tradition feels just as sacred.  It’s all in what you really worship.

I’ve lost many things I held dear in the last few years.  These things didn’t all necessarily die but they’ve been pried from tightly gripped fists.  We’ve moved far from our kids and grands and friends we love so dearly.  We’ve left houses and beautiful landscapes.  Our church family here has experienced more losses than any church I’ve ever been a part of.   Family fractured.  Dreams fading.  Change.

This new loss caught me off guard.  I even begin to feel anger rising up that yet another “thing” had been taken away from me…another tradition I loved and held so dearly.  This spot that had been held all my life and reserved for worshiping with my church family seemed stripped away.

But with these things I held so dearly being stripped away, there has to be a solid rock or all of life would crumble.  There has to be something or someone to hold onto.  I can’t hold on to the traditions alone or how I thought life would be.

And all I can think of are the words from this song by Graham Kendrick

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres and wants to own
All I once thought gain, I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love You, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know You more
To be found in You and known as Yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh to know the power of Your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like You in Your death, my Lord
So with You to live and never die

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love You, Lord

Knowing You Jesus (All I Once Held Dear) by Graham Kendrick

{{Click HERE to listen}}

Do you find yourself in a similar spot?  Have you lost something dear to you or even worse, someone dear?  Are you learning to navigate through these uncharted waters?  Have certain family or church traditions changed over time leaving a tender, longing spot in your heart? Did some things in life not turn out exactly how you had hoped they would?    Feel free to share your thoughts.

I know God will direct our paths and we’ll figure out this new season but until then…we’ll hold onto each other as we keep holding on to Jesus. 


Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Joy3

    I can relate in so many ways my friend! Love that song!!! Love you!

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Definitely an uncharted journey for you Joy3. Praying for you as you navigate through these new waters. Love you.

  2. beckyjuettmiller

    Come visit Highlands 8,945, 1130 or 4 at Columbia High School especially 11 Nov when at the movies series begins.

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Thanks Becky. You have been so sweet to reach out and offer help along the way. Love you.

  3. travelwithwendy

    Love you sweet Joy, yes… I find myself embracing yet another change I knew was coming and have anxiety, anticipation, joy, fear and all of the emotions that go with another move. It’s months away and yet I find myself thinking about “moving/changing” daily. Thank you for sharing this wonderful message…I’m with you girl ~ the one constant is Jesus!

  4. Joy Waters Martin

    Wendy, keep me posted on your “moving/changing” stories 😉 . Can’t wait to see you when you’ve on this side of the pond. I miss you my friend! Love you.

  5. smithjungle

    Stripping is exactly the word that we have been thinking about. We are also experiencing a stripping process that will hopefully reveal our true selves ( Thomas Merton), broken open for greater capacity for love and compassion.
    I was also thinking that you might now have opportunity to enjoy Anglican liturgical worship on Sunday mornings. 😄

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Sounds like a plan Debby😙. Definitely opening up the broken spaces and praying for love and compassion to fill them. Thanks for understanding the raw moments.

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