FOMO. I thought it was just a silly acronym. Until I realized how severely I suffer from it. I really don't ever want to miss out on something. Whether it be people hanging out without me, a great deal, or an experience I may not get to have again. I want to be there.
However, never have I realized how much I want to be a part of things as I did this Christmas. You see, this year we are spending our holiday in Florida. We have done so before, and thus I didn't think much of it. So what was different this year? Our church.
My husband and I were apart of a church plant three and a half years ago. We were apart of the initial fifteen people. The church has now grown to over one hundred regular attenders and have been spending the last year refurbishing an old building in the heart of our town. Our team fought tooth and nail to meet inspection, and they did it! Two days beforehand, we were given temporary occupancy so we could host Christmas Eve service at the building! The very first service within those walls.
Here is where my FOMO kicks in. We missed it.
So here I am, overlooking a beach in Florida. My heart is torn. I'm so dearly proud of my church. I'm so happy for this special and magical night they are experiencing. The building is not finished. Sinks need to be installed. Walls need to be painted. Lights need to be hung. However, none of that matters. Our church is gathered together in our future home. A building that reminds us of the restoration we find in Christ. People came together, from all over the county to help us get in by tonight. And we did it! Yet, I can not help but be saddened that I am not there with them. The warm glow of the Christmas lights twinkling across A-frame ladders. The Christmas carols led by the band. The hot chocolate and marshmallows served in the entry. The many faces of those that spent hours hanging drywall, now sitting in borrowed chairs, enjoying the fruits of their labor. The story of Jesus' arrival. I'm missing out on all of it.
But then I find myself pausing to wonder why I have this heavy sadness to be missing out on this specific situation. It's because I love my church family so much!
I love seeing how much we have grown in the past three and half years.
I love when new people that have had a poor church experience decide to give us a chance.
I love when they come back a second time. and a third. and a fourth.
I love the talents we have represented. Music. Heart. Communication. Organizing. Hospitality.
I love the little people wondering in and out of adults' legs, in search for their friends.
I love that we are dedicated to our community.
I love that our messages are able to speak to people wherever they are at.
I love that we aren't perfect, but we love Jesus; because in the end, that is all that matters.
I love my church family.
So yes, I suffer from FOMO. Tonight especially my heart hurts. But it's a good ache; sadness I feel because I love something so much. God has allowed us to be a part of something truly special. A church that loves Him and strives to share that with its community. I may have missed this special milestone, but there will be more to come. God is using our church. He has big things in store, and I'm so privileged to be along for the ride.