>Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most hypocritical of them all?

So many times, I feel it’s me.

I’ve talked about this before… wanting to be better, wanting more. I swear, it feels like I am just spinning my wheels, especially when it comes to my faith.

I think that a lot of it comes from not participating in church as much these days. And a lot of it comes with struggling with the last corporate fast my church just finished. I’m not sure if it was me (granted, a large part of it was), or if there were deliberate stumbling blocks out there, which I imagine does happen during a time of corporate prayer and fasting. I’m just saying that I’ve never struggled to find the time to pray, nor with the temptation of things I chose to cut out of my life during that period, as much as I did with this.

During this time, I came across an old blog post mentioned on a friend’s old blog. She has a new one now. But the post I’m talking about is entitled, Detoxing from Church and I would encourage you to read it (and please read the entire thing). I’ve read it. More than once. And it really has me thinking.

Since about July of last year through now, we haven’t attended church regularly. Back then, late summer 2007, it was because I had relocated to Cincinnati to wait for Abbie’s birth and stay in the hospital. When we came home in September, she had an NG tube and there was no way I was taking her out in public. You know, where germs are. Then, we got word that her tongue surgery would be in January 2008, so that meant that she could not get sick in the four weeks prior to that. And that meant that we didn’t go out, either. I literally ordered my groceries online, as I’ve mentioned before. When she came home following that surgery, we remained shut-ins for about another 2 months because of a “super bug” going around.

I nearly lost my mind during that time. I mean, just from the stress and the sheer hermitness of it. But by the grace of God, I would have. But that’s another post for another time.

The seclusion from the church community has taken a toll on my Christianity. I wouldn’t say that it has taken or killed my faith… I don’t not believe in God any more or anything like that. But I will say that during this time, I have found how dependent I became on the church for my spiritual feeding. I learned that I really leaned on those services and that fellowship when I should be feeding myself by reading my Bible every day and by spending time in purposeful, intentional prayer, rather than quick shout-outs when I think of it. I’ve also learned that I really need to take more intiative in reaching out to get to know the people in not only my congregation but also my community.

While I was in Cincinnati, I did that. I did feed myself. I had to. Still, I felt so hungry.

My illustration for where we have been and what we have gone through is really, the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She was so determined and so desperate that she fought the crowd to just touch the bottom of Jesus’ clothes. In my mind’s eye, I can she her crawling on her hands and knees, being stepped on and shoved to the ground, never giving up until she had touched the hem of His garmet.

Really, I felt that way during our time between the prenatal testing until Abbie came home from tongue surgery in January. I was so determined and so desperate for my child, my baby and I was going to fight tooth and nail to make sure she had what she needed. I was going to beg people to pray for her, if I had to. I would’ve done anything. I still fiercely believe that God will completely restore and heal her body, but again, that is another post for another time.

Since January, I felt that for the first time in nearly a year, I could breathe. I admit, I got lazy. But I think I got lax because I was just so tired. Spiritually, mentally and physically, I was exhausted. Many times throughout the last year, my heart wanted an Aaron and a Joshua to come up and stand with me, holding my hands high in prayer, as they did for Moses when he became too physically tired to hold himself up in prayer. But because I had leaned on the church rather than build those personal relationships, there was no Aaron and there was no Joshua.

Could I have asked some of my friends for that? I think I could have. But I didn’t, partly because I felt bad about asking for more, especially for myself. Give all your prayers up for my baby, not for me. In the process, though, I have come to realize that a Mommy needs to be healthy–physically, mentally and spiritually–to be the best Mommy, to be a role model, and I am failing at that.

My prayer and my hope is to turn things around, and quickly. This spiritual drought is wearing me out.