A little over a year ago I wrote about realizing that going to church didn’t validate my christianity. I convinced myself that not attending church wouldn’t have an impact on my salvation or who I was as a Christian. Now I am at a place where I find myself asking – who am I fooling?
don’t get me wrong.
I believe everything I said within that post was true for me at that time BUT since then I have literally stopped going At All. Like I haven’t been in months. It’s not okay. It’s not healthy for me or my family. Now the question I am forced to face is why did I stop…
In the beginning I had my reasons:
- the church is too big
- they don’t care about me
- it doesn’t feel like home
- no one will miss me
- I can teach myself
- I know how to pray
- I’ll find a new church
- It doesn’t take all of that
The list of
reasons excuses I repeat to myself every Sunday could seriously be a post on it’s own. Yet that list has gotten me no where besides at home every week wondering why I feel so empty. All the justifications I keep giving myself have brought me to this post.
I’m at a place in my life where things seem to be going so well. My family is blessed, we have a home, we have our needs met and our wants as well, I am achieving my goals and dreams for this blog, my Kiddies are loved and supported – life is good. So why do I feel so bad? How can I feel alone so often? Why in the midst of the happiest moments do I feel like a piece of me is not there? Like somehow I’m still not where I should be?
The church is my foundation. It always has been. I was raised going 2-3 even 4 times a week. I rebelled and returned. Rebelled and returned. This has been my pattern for as long as I remember. It feels like I am in that rebel phase again yet this time it’s different. This time I’m not running from a mistake or judgement, honestly I’m not even mad about anything. I’m not sure why I haven’t been back or what’s keeping me away. In my heart I still long for HIM. The peace, comfort and joy HE brings but each time I try to make that move to go back I come up short.
I find more of those reasons…
- my head hurts
- I stayed up late last night
- I woke up too late
- we need family time
- I can go next week
Writing this today is a struggle. I sit here telling myself how it isn’t worth writing. None if this is that big a deal. Then I realize that’s what I’ve been saying to myself these past few months. Going wasn’t worth it. Staying home wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t want to face the issues. I kept convincing myself they didn’t lay with me – it was the church, the people, the commute, the sacrifice, life – it was everything BUT Me. Yet now I realize it IS me.
something has happened.
There’s a disconnect where I feel almost scared to open myself to the feelings I know will come with a renewed relationship with God. I was a minister, a preacher, a teacher and a follower. I knew where my destiny was and never thought I would stop. I would pray without ceasing and see the results. Yet now when I go to pray I stop just short of that break through. Just short of the answer. Just short of HIS instructions. As soon as I feel my emotions coming to the surface I back up. But why?
That’s the thing I need to figure out. I know I have been stalling on the plans I know HE has for me. The path he set before me so many years ago. That mission, calling and purpose. I have been scared to be what HE called me to be. Yet now it feels like I can’t run anymore. The longing I have to enter into His presence without restraint is becoming overwhelming. I reminisce on the joy I had, the peace, the knowing that through it all there was HIM. I look back on who I was in HIM and I miss her. I miss that strength, confidence and determination I held that in the face of All Things I would BE what HE called me to be.
how do I get back?
How do I move past my fears of what may be in my future, the sacrifices I may need to make and instead simply be. Be what He has always called me to be. I know where the answers lay. I’ve taught how to get there still it feels foreign. Like a place I knew so long ago but now that I return seems so unfamiliar. The paths unclear and the memories faded. Still I know how to find my way. He has given me the tools, the guides and the support I need. The church. It is there because I need it. No, I may not need to go every single Sunday or 3-4 times a week but I still need it. The church is not the people it is the place where God has set aside a sanctuary for His people. A place to find that peace and the way back that some of us may not be able to get back to on our own.
so now what?
I’m not sure. Another Sunday has passed and I did not make my way through those doors. Yet even now as I write my heart is breaking for His presence. I miss Him and I know He misses me. I need a reunion with the One who has never left me but who I have definitely neglected. I need to get back. It will be a day-to-day, prayer-by-prayer, release-by-release process. I have to study, worship, praise and know that HE can handle all that I’ve been holding on to by myself. I don’t have to be alone. I don’t have to do it all.
So the now what has no real answer besides now begins the work. The best part about making my way back is knowing that HE is already waiting there for me because after all who am I fooling – besides myself?