It helped that Jeff invited me to go to church with him, way before I was in the mood to have that conversation. He'd been attending for about six months at the time, and as we were exploring spiritual principles together, we were kinda thinking we might end up dating sometime, too, while we were at it. I was supportive of his experimentation, and interested in hearing about what he was getting out of church, but when he asked me if I wanted to check it out, my response was a firm "I'll think about it."
I had no intention of thinking about it. Jeff never asked me again. I was so impressed that he didn't bug me about it, I actually did give it some thought. In fact, as I was working through Steps Two and Three with my sponsor, I found myself thinking about church a lot... tracing the downward spiral of my life all the way back to the moment I turned away from God at the age of 11.
Several months later, after we'd tentatively decided we were dating after all, I found out Jeff had stopped going to church for a few weeks. Life was getting him down, and he was withdrawing, the way we in recovery know all too well. Equal parts concerned and curious, I felt inspired to brighten Jeff's day—by taking him up on that offer to "try church." It worked; he was disproportionately excited to come pick me up on Sunday morning. (Years later, I found out my coming around to the idea of church right then was the answer to Jeff's prayers about whether he should continue a relationship with me or not. It's like God does these things on purpose or something!)
For my part, at this point, I'd done some deep work on the first eight of the Twelve Steps, and I knew if I was going to make an honest start on the rest of them, it was time to go face God in His own house. I'd believed in Jesus when I was a kid; I knew where to find Him. So, despite a laundry list of hurts and hang-ups prejudicing my past experiences with "church people," I took the leap of faith. I was ready to hear, prepared to keep an open mind, and willing to take whatever I could get from a Sunday sermon.