Faith Journal

The Place That Restores My Weary Soul

The Place That Restores My Weary Soul
Written by Annie Henriksen

We all have those special places, where we walk into that space and we feel at home. No matter how long we have been away, no matter how much time as past we feel at home. Our blood pressure lowers, our shoulder relax, we feel at peace.

We all have that place in our hearts. To some it’s our grandmother’s kitchen. Steamy windows overlooking the winter wonderland outside. The smell of spices and sugar dance across the room. The oven door opens and fills the room with savory aromas.

Some people walk through their parents’ front door with a bag of laundry (or later, a diaper bag) in tow and exhale at the pure peace of the space. The comfort of the familiar surroundings. The sweet coziness of home. Your soul feels at peace and you immediately relax.

We all have those places that are our security blanket, our comfort.

I feel that way with this building, with this church, with this place of wordship.

After a trying month of special events, sick kids, travel, the husband working countless hours, grief, illness of family members, and just the daily grind of life, I needed some chicken soup for my soul. I needed to feel peace. I needed to feel that comforting hug of my spiritual soul. I needed to feel at home.

We packed up the kids and traveled the hour out of our way to my home, my place of comfort.

This building may seem cold to many people. Its stone exterior, this drafty churchy vaulted ceiling, its dirty old red carpet, and blue vintage hanging lamps make the space feel unsettling to most. However, the moment I walk through those tall wooden doors with heavy iron handles, and breathe in that musty church smell, tears fill my eyes. I was home.

This church is more than a place of wordship—it’s part of who I am. It’s a growth chart of my life.

My great grandmother was married there. Along with my grandmother, my parents, and most of my family. It’s the place I welcomed God into my heart through holy baptism. I looked on as all of my siblings did the same. It’s the place I attended Sunday school. I attended countless funeral lunches on the apron strings of my grandmother in the church kitchen. It’s also the place I prayed to God that I could get into my bridesmaid dress at my aunt’s wedding without passing out, as the stomach flu rocked the whole bridal party.

Those old wooden pews is where I sat with my family every Sunday, no matter the chaos the four kids were causing. My parents sat there teaching us the importance of church. Giving us the best gift they could ever give us, a relationship with God.

It’s amazing how walking into a place you have not been in years can offer you so much comfort.

We all have those places in our life, where we walk through the doors and the outside world melts away, and memories flood our hearts. Where we are no longer adults, with big world problems, but floating clouds of peace.

As I sat there with my own little family, breathing in God’s love, I thought how thankful I was for this simple stone building with large wooden doors. A place most people drive by every day, without a thought . . . not knowing it was a place my soul calls home.

About the author

Annie Henriksen

Annie Henriksen lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She married her college sweetheart in an outdoor ceremony in thirty degree weather, just to keep things interesting. After a career in non-profit she was promoted to Stay-At-Home of her three year old daughter and one year old baby boy. She has a fresh perspective on parenting as a first time mom of an active toddler and one year old! She understands that every day as a parents will not be easy, but it’s about the laughter that fills the home that makes it worth it.

She believes family comes first on all fronts, and every day has its own challenges but you have to take them on one at a time.