Up until last year I never understood my mom and grandma’s obsession with the store TJ Maxx. Weekly, they would visit the store, and always find a treasure. They would often bring me home some extraordinary thing they purchased, and it was always great. The funny part was every time they would invite me to go, I’d be willing to go along thinking I would find the same awesome buys they did, yet I would never find anything.
When I think of their frequency of TJ Maxx, it often makes me think of how I used to feel about going to church. I would see my high school boyfriend (now husband) attend church with his family and have a relationship with a God I hardly knew. I had a make believe idea in my head of what church and church people were like, and had a closed heart. At one point I think I even resented this part of his life I didn’t understand.
Like TJ Maxx, I would attend services, feeling like I was surrounded by people getting everything about God, and me not finding or understanding anything.
Sometimes life is unfair. And sometimes in those unfair moments when we are feeling our lowest our hearts can open the widest… if we are willing. It wasn’t until I saw how important a faith in God was when it seemed like everything in the world had crashed that I realized I needed Him. Seeing others lose people so close to them, and losing the best man I’ve known, my grandpa began to wake me up to what this whole church thing was about. I realized that church isn’t about tradition and following every liturgical rule… its about a real relationship with a God who loves us even when we are at our most distant.
The funny thing about all of this is that I now like my grandma and mom shop at TJ Maxx every week. I see all the treasures they saw before that I was blind to. Back then it wasn’t the right time for me to understand what was before me, and like all things in life it’s all about timing.I also finding myself in the midst of building my relationship with Jesus Christ which is something I will work on everyday for the rest of my life. I see the treasure in worshiping Him at church and talking about a faith that I was also blind to before. Heck, I even married a youth pastor and am a teacher in a Christian school.. something back then would have been a future I never saw coming… yet feel so blessed that it’s the way life has worked out.
If you feel like you don’t understand the treasure of church or a relationship with Christ.. its OK. Someday I pray that whatever is closing your heart opens so widely and that you come to know that there is a God that loves you more than a love we can ever understand. A God who sent his only son on this Good Friday to die on a cross for us.
I leave you wondering what is/was your TJ Maxx story? It’s funny how life works out, isn’t it?