A lot of people will be horrified by the thought that, even as a Christian, Sunday is my least favourite day of the week.
Many people reading this post will probably take pity on me. My mother in particular will probably feel quite sad. (Mumma – maybe stop reading now!)
The reason for this seemingly bold statement is simply this – Sunday is a day for family, and my family all live MILES away from me.
Growing up, Sunday was always a family day. We’d have a roast dinner all sat around the table, and more often than not, we’d have my grandparents over as well. It was a nice, relaxed day, that everybody enjoyed, there was no pressure and it was a happy day.
Even after my grandad died and my grandma moved away, it was still a family tradition – Sunday roast. Even when my sister moved away to uni, me, my mum and my dad would have a Sunday roast. It’s tradition!
And that, my friends, is why I miss it so much now.
Sunday is a day when you chill out, relax with family, no pressure to entertain, and just have fun with people you love.
That’s not so much what Sunday looks like for me any more. I am usually serving at church in the morning (for the record, I wouldn’t change this part – I love it). I then more often than not get in the service a little late so sit somewhere near the front on my own. Then I chat to a few people before going off to help out with something else that needs doing. After that, I make my way home.
So typically, by 2pm on Sunday I’ve spoken to maybe three people on a level deeper than “sign up for that here”. Again – I don’t begrudge serving at church, I genuinely believe that is my purpose on a Sunday morning – to enable people who don’t go to church or don’t know Jesus to have the best experience of church that is possible. However, I can’t help but think it would be nice to sit next to someone – be it a friend or a relative – during the service, who you can then talk to about the message afterwards.
That’s just not an experience that I have yet had. I’ve never really had that “sit down after church and unpack it” time with anyone.
Most of the poeple at my church live within half an hour of family – so after church, they go and spend time with them. It’s maybe the one day a week that they get the chance to do this. Once more – I’m not begrudguing anyone for this, in all honesty, I’m jealous.
Basically, that is what this blog boil down to. I am jealous of all the people who didn’t move away from their families. I am envious of the people who can pop over to their parents’ house for a brew. I miss my family, and it becomes very evident when I am sat alone at home on a Sunday afternoon, reminiscing about how wonderful my childhood Sundays were.
I would love to “do church” with family. I would love to “do life” with my family not too far away. But I chose to move to Preston. I chose to live here. I chose to stay here. I continue to choose to be here. But it’s not as easy as it sometimes looks or comes across. Always in the back of my mind and in my heart are my family. I miss them. When I have a crappy day, I often come home to an empty house. I have to cook a meal for one. Do my laundry and my chores. The simplest task becomes increasingly more difficult because I have to face it entirely on my own.
One thing I have gained from living in Preston is independence. I was terrible before I left home. I wouldn’t leave my mum’s side in a shop, let alone entertain the thought of ever living by myself. So I’ll say it agian – I don’t begrudge the choices I have made. It’s just hard sometimes – and I don’t think people realise it.
I live with an awesome friend now – but the fact is, we are two very independent (and busy) people. We have totally sepearate lives, and haven’t seen much of eachother since we moved into the house in July. That’s how life is when you are in your 20s and have a life!
There wasn’t really a purpose to this blog. I certainly don’t want sympathy or any pity invitations – that will NOT help in any way. I guess I just want people to open up their eyes a little bit more and look beyond the outer shell that people put on display.
There is always more to everyone’s story. There is always something behind every person’s smile – the reason for their happiness, the not-so-happy truth they are masking, or maybe an attempt to reach out to someone else.
If you care, ask the question. Delve a little deper. Ask someone to take some time out and go for a brew, just so that you can learn a little more about them. No strings attached – just because you care.
I guess in conclusion, what I am saying is that Sunday is the one day of the week that I can’t ignore the fact that I live 180 miles away from my parents, and I miss them, and I find that hard. I’m sure other people in similar situations do too.
It’s hard when it seems like you have a choice between church and family. I’m really looking forward to the day that I don’t have to make that choice. I don’t know what that will look like – at all. But I am looking forward to it.