The title of this post has been dancing around in my head for about a year or more. Crazy, huh?
I honestly do think the church may have broken me.
But that might not be such a bad thing.
It’s not easy when your season at a place or in a position has ended. It’s not comfortable. It’s awkward and unfamiliar. And that’s where I’ve been this past year.
Sometimes God has to move us, and He will use whatever means necessary. Sometimes we have to wander around in the desert for a while. Sometimes we have to trudge through valleys that feel so deep, it seems that we’ll never get out. But a good shepherd moves his flock sometimes to make sure that they are adequately fed and watered. And we know that the Good Shepherd will take care of us, even when we don’t understand what is going on.
I wish I could say that this hasn’t been hard. I wish I could tell you that I haven’t been hurt, because I have. I wish I could say I’ve been gracious about it all, but I’m sure I haven’t been. It’s been painful. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Unfamiliar.
I haven’t decided what to share. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I certainly don’t want to call out a church on my blog. I’m still sorting through things, and I’ve found that writing helps me process. Not everyone is a fan of that, but I feel like these things have been running over and over on a treadmill in my mind so that I have to get them out.
When your home church stops feeling like home, well, it sucks.
I wish there was a nicer way to say it. There probably is. But if anything else, through this season, I guess you could say that I’m starting to embrace my imperfection. Maybe you could even say that I’m getting really well acquainted with it. Do I enjoy it? No, not really. But accepting and embracing my imperfection makes it a bit easier for a great big God to do what He wants because I’m not fighting to be perfect. Maybe I’m more malleable. I have no idea. But for the first time in my life, I can say, “You know, I’m not perfect” and it not kill something inside me.
Oh sure, I still wish I was as Christian as a lot of people I know. I still wish I was naturally insanely organized like several people I know. I wish I was the perfect wife and mother. I wish I had my act together, because it surely feels like to everyone else, I look like a hot mess who has never had it together.
And if I am? So what.
All I know is, I have been SO hungry for SO long. And if people want to criticize me for not doing it right (whatever it may be), or if they even call me a hypocrite, there’s nothing I can say or do. As one song says, they would be right if they called me a hypocrite. But oddly, this is ok with me because I know the only way I can be anything like Christ is by God through His Son, Jesus.
But after the past year, I now see how people outside the church see the church. I see more clearly where people are coming from, and why so many people don’t want to go to church.
It’s been such a season of quietness and dryness. I can’t even fully explain it. I have longed for a heavy, lingering presence of God. I had begun to think that I peaked in my spiritual walk when I was a teen. Putting it out there makes me feel a bit stupid, but it’s hard when you think your best days are behind you, you know?
So here I am, at 1:42 am, waiting for the laundry to be dry already. I’ve been playing Israel Houghton’s “Moving Forward” over and over on YouTube. For the first time in a long time, I feel sweet Abba’s presence.
And I’m thankful.