Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes

So, Sunday was the first time in more years than I can think that I did not attend service at the church/denomination I am leaving. This was a far more emotionally-laden event than I had expected; I thought and thought about where to go, where to take this first step. I thought so long that I would have been too late for a couple of the options. Finally decided to visit a church in a town some miles away where I know the pastor as a sometime teacher at seminary; I have a huge respect for him.

I was sitting on the couch tight with anxiety, my neck and shoulders like rocks, abdominal cramping, trying to sense--what was I afraid of? The piece of me that says I am a failure, an overly-narrow and hyper-reactive person who is unable to be ordained in my prior denomination because of hard-heartedness, say, or inability to truly follow the way of Christ--that piece of me feels undeserving of sitting in any church and also being found out as the failure I am. The piece of me that is angry at my former denomination is afraid I will be judged for my long association with them, projection of some of my own inner wondering about how I shut down some sensitivities to remain in fellowship. And the piece of me that is just plain sad and lost was there as well.

I cried in the shower, wiped tears from my face while driving, felt tears in parts of the service, and also when I spoke to the pastor afterward. What do you know, he gave me a card and offered to be among those who walk with me through the grief. Imagine that. I do not know if this church or denomination will be an eventual home. I do know that I need places to sit and worship, just sit and worship in community, places where I can bring all the pieces and lay them before God.

So--a big milestone.

2 Comments:

Blogger johnieb said...

I, too, have been crying off and on all day; I am remembering growing up a poor straight white male in the South in the Forties and Fifties. I remember saying the terrible word, and not finding anything at all wrong with it. It makes me cry again.

Some burdens are indeed heavy; I am glad to have found a church where I may share many of my burdens in and with our Lord. I will not leave TEC; I pray it will never leave me.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

I am, as we say in my family, hugging you with my heart and brain. I am so sad for you. I'm so frustrated with my demonination sometimes, I can understand why a person could come to leave theirs.

God embraces you so much more fully than I could.

2:20 PM  

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