M was 4 days old when Chad and I took her to church for the first time. Some called us crazy, but we wanted to prioritize gathering with our church family on Sundays from the very beginning. Maddie was healthy and I had a sufficiently traumatizing, but rather easy delivery (only in active labor for 10-ish hours, effective epidural, few complications)… Chad also led me well in this because I honestly didn’t want to see a single soul, hardly knew anyone since we had just moved up to Vancouver 3 weeks prior, and was so sleep deprived I couldn’t tell you my last name; but showing up that first Sunday made the following Sundays easier to get to. (Chad also only had 2 weeks off, so I needed to take advantage of having his help getting to church while I had it.)
In retrospect, I’m so glad we did it and hope we can have a quick turnaround with our future kids. There will always be an excuse (preventing newborn illness, sleep deprivation, nap schedules, inconvenience) if we don’t prioritize church gatherings, or whatever it may be that is important but easy to skip.* Anyhow, God was gracious and helped us start a good rhythm for our new family of 3. M didn’t get sick or catch some incurable disease. I couldn’t walk, but I showed up and participated as much as I could–which, for me, was hanging out in the nursing moms’ room the entire service and then leaving during the last song before everyone got out. Lol. And if I were to do it over again, the only thing I would have tried to do was stay through the entire worship service.
I knew having a kid would change everything, and that centering my life around my child would be tempting–but it is far more tempting than I imagined. It is so easy when the world says, “It’s OK for you to center your life around ____ if you’re ____” when God says, “It’s actually always about Me. Worship Me alone.” I’m not gonna lie, some Sundays I give in to M’s nap schedule and show up late, or leave early because I just don’t feel like talking to another person; however, I am forever grateful for that first Sunday. It was a “win” for us to be there, and I hope we have many more of those moments to look back on as a family.
*There are times when skipping church is needed (illness, vacation, special events), but it should be the exception, not the rule!