Sometimes you find God somewhere else.

Sometimes you don’t find God in church.

Sometimes you go to church, and as others around you experience the Almighty, you experience only discomfort.

Or the pain of old wounds.

Or bitterness.

Sometimes you enter that building and something triggers a memory and your heart goes into defense mode and something tells you not to let yourself be vulnerable.

Not this time.

Not right now.

Maybe next time, but right now. Today. You must keep your heart safe.

And you wonder if God is there, but you’re afraid to open up your heart and look, so maybe he’s not there or maybe you’re just missing it, but right now you don’t care.

And that’s okay.

Because sometimes you don’t find God in church.

Sometimes you find God somewhere else.

Sometimes he/she is in that sigh of relief that leaves your lips as you exit the building.

Sometimes he/she is in the furry black cat that curls up by your feet and licks your toes when you get home.

Sometimes you find God in the lock on your bedroom door that filters the rest of the world out.

Sometimes you find God as you curl up for a nap and the bad feelings give way to dreams.

Sometimes you find God in rest and solitude and silence and in a furry black cat.

Sometimes you don’t find God in church.

And that’s okay.


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  • abe

    As one who has often found the comfort of God in alcoholic beverages, at Dave Matthews concerts and in the presence of good friends, I would agree. Makes you wonder what churches are even there for sometimes.

  • God is everywhere present and filling all things. Nor is he lost of misplaced. 😉 I’m not sure I would say the point of our assembly is ever supposed to be to find God. I think it’s supposed to be to worship God.

    “Worship” is a tricksy word and I’m rarely sure exactly how to understand it. But I’m not sure that sitting back and listening to a concert and a lecture really captures it. I don’t have anything against concerts. I’ve enjoyed many over the years. And I can enjoy lectures as well. I tend to still find and listen to a bunch on a wide swath of topics. So I think a concert and a lecture can be a good thing — just not sure exactly what they have to do with “church.”

  • I’ve had to remind myself of that when I feel guilty for not going to church, even though I know that it would make things worse. The most important thing is taking care of yourself. So even though most people probably don’t tell you “Good job not going to church this week!”, that’s basically what I’m going to say 🙂 I think it’s an act of courage to fight for your own heart. I’m proud of you for choosing your healing and recovery! I sometime get up in the middle of a service if something gets too triggering. I’ve learned that what people think is nowhere near as important as protecting myself from further abuse.

  • Laura Z.

    What good healing words. Thank you.

  • thank you.

  • Great post, Sarah! I have begun to change my idea of “Church” to include my experiences of solitude and even those times when I just can’t bring myself to darken the door of a church building. Am I being nonsensical when I wonder if Community and Solitude aren’t mutually exclusive?

    • I don’t think so! especially as an extreme introvert!

  • Oh my gosh, Sarah. I think this is my favorite post I’ve ever read of yours. Yes, God is in church, but He’s also in sooo many other things. Even the seemingly “un-spiritual” things. I’m glad my God is creative enough to show up in the most unusual places. Thanks for this reminder today.