Growing up in North Florida, I will not lie that I was pretty upset when I had to move from my hometown all the way to the Phoenix area due to my husband’s military background. Not knowing a single soul in the area really freaked me out, and due to the fact that I am home alone for long periods of time, it did not take long for the lack of communication to get to me. Seeking out ways for me to meet new friends and build connections, I began to write down a list of various activities that I could possibly engage in, in order to meet new people. While on the phone with my mother one afternoon, she suggested that I attend a church service as I had grown up in a religious background. I hadn’t even thought of that and thought it was a great idea. That very night, I searched for churches in Phoenix close to where I had just moved and noticed that there was one a block away from my home. I could literally walk there!
There were also several other Phoenix churches in the area. I went on the website of the church nearest me and tried to get a feel of how the service would be based upon the videos they had up, pictures, etc. I ended up getting anxiety about the whole experience and started coming up with irrational fears such as being judged and not being accepted because I was new to the area. A few days passed, and it then became the night of the service. I had decided that I was not going to attend, and at the last minute after a phone call with my mother, built up the courage to attend.
When I walked inside, I was pleasantly surprised as I was greeted by what I thought to be a member of the church staff. They asked me if I had attended a service before, and I shyly stated that I had just moved to the area and that this was my first time attending. The individual proceeded to greet me, and have me sit with a church family who could show me around the building before the service and be my go to people for any questions. I immediately felt at home and the family was so nice! In my mind, I had thought that Scottsdale churches would not be welcoming to someone new, being a small community. Boy was I wrong! The family indicated that there were plenty of other spirit filled churches in Phoenix and that overall this area was a very accepting and open community. They also indicated that there are several Christian churches in Phoenix as well as non denominational churches in Phoenix as well.
After being showed around the building, the service began. The pastor was very inviting and spoke with such passion. I felt as though he were speaking directly to me! The choir then sang a few songs and I enjoyed singing along to tunes that I was already familiar with. After the message, I decided to go up and pray with the family and I really felt connected to the church even though it was my first time attending. Afterwards, the pastor himself personally came up to me and welcomed me to the community.
When I got home, I couldn’t wait to tell my husband about my experience. I even got a few telephone numbers of women in the church and was invited to participate in a church gathering occurring next week. I am so glad that I decided to give a church in the Phoenix area a chance. It appears that I will have lots of acquaintances and possible friends to communicate while my husband is away!