Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finding Home

I sure hope this post doesn't sound irreverent or totally unspiritual......

I went to church today for the first time in quite a few weeks. At first I didn't go because it's pretty hard to sit up straight when you lose a quart of blood, and it has taken me a long time to get up to par physically. I'm not there yet.

We also haven't had a van for over 4 weeks. We have my husband's little 4-door work car, and this morning my husband told me that EVERYONE was going. This met with a mixed response from me, in my heart....

It isn't that I hate my church. But that's a whole nother post. It's just that I wanted to stay home! I wanted to prepare my home for Easter and I just plain wanted to stay home like I had been doing and loving it, and I haven't even felt guilty about that either! I'm not big on being in church every time the doors open to show my super-spiritual holiness.

Nevertheless, I went to church this morning......

The real secret here is that I hate to have to pretend. You've all done it before. You know the scene: you're somewhere where you know the people, but you just get so tired of being fake, because in reality, you don't really know them, and they don't really know you.

We've been away from these particular people for almost 4 years and just came back last year to be the worship team. In that 4 years of away time, I've grown and changed and had a catharsis......and it's like so hard because I no longer have anything in common with these people! I come and smile and nod and just don't feel the freedom to be me. I guess I've grown out of them, you know what I mean?? I feel that they know the old me, and so they are having a hard time coming to grips with the new-and-VASTLY-improved they hold me to past standards that are no longer valid in my heart or life.....

And that's the reason why I don't like going to church. It's so hard to be cardboard when all you want to do is sob on someone who loves you's shoulder! You know? And it's so hard to nod and smile when you have not the faintest thing in common with these old friends anymore. It's so wearing for me to try to find something to talk about, when our lifestyles are so divergent and so glaringly different!

I find refreshment in my home. Well, my thought or question is, shouldn't I be finding refreshment in my church? Shouldn't I be excited to go to church? Shouldn't I? I find so much peace with just me and my husband and my kids, eating meals together, watching an Andy Griffith episode, listening with rapt attention while Daddy reads aloud, snacking on strawberries and whipped cream.....THIS is where my serenity comes from, and it goes out the window as soon as I step into my church. It's so sad.....but so true!

I just want a place where I can be real. I want a place where my family and our philosophies are the norm, not the exception. I want a place where we have something in common. I want a place where I can feel peaceful.....

I guess I want a place that feels like home.


Marsha said...

Well, Leanne, I'm glad you went anyway!

I'm sorry it wasn't easy for you, but it is a step in the right direction. How many other people there are feeling the same way you do?

Maybe you can be a friend to someone... invite them over for coffee or a chat. The first visit is always a bit awkward and nervous, but it does get easier. Just think how nice the second visit will be!

You do this enough and you WILL have friends at church that KNOW you and LOVE you and CARE for you. But it really is a two-way street, my dear friend. Be a friend to make a friend... you never know how positive an impact you might have on someone. I guarantee that you are NOT the only one feeling this way!

When you are showing kindness and love to your sisters-in-Christ, you don't need to worry about what others think about you... past or present. Just trust that God's GRACE is enough to cover our flaws, imperfections, and any foot-in-mouth incidents (which is VERY common for me!).

Love you!

EEEEMommy said...

You'd be amazed what would happen if you didn't pretend. Vulnerability and honesty in church is a powerful thing. The key is to be vulnerable and honest whether the people there have "earned" it or not. I've been where you are and the best thing I ever did was be real. Yes, it can be shocking to some when I answer, "grumpy," instead of "fine" to their question of "how are you," but it can also give them the freedom to answer me honestly as well. I've seen God move in amazing ways because I wore my heart on my sleeve. Yes, it has gotten crushed as well, but the good that has occurred was worth the pain!

Anonymous said...

I am sure it is so hard to be in that situation. Can you look for a new one with your husband? I don't really know the circumstances?? just wondering. In any case. I would be asking God for His perspective in the situation. Where does He want you? Maybe He wants you there and wants to do a work in you He couldn't do anywhere else?? I am just throwing out ideas. It is hard to explain this in writing-sorry. A good friend/accountability partner is always challenging me to ask God to show me why I am reacting this way or that?? And a good thing is you have us bloggy friends you can always be real with. I will be quiet and pray.
Lord, You know this situation and you know just what is best for Leanne's family. We thank you for all that you are doing to make them more like You. We thank you for the way you love and care for them. I pray that you would bring resolve to this situation and speak clearly to them on what you want for them. You are her shield and help in times of trouble and so we are asking for You to work in this area fro you glory and honor. Thank you Lord for all that you do and for Leanne's desire to know you more.
@hsb SeekingJesusnTeachingKids

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Even without being there or knowing anyone, I think you DO have things in common with the people there. I'm guessing they are people who:

*love the Lord
*are growing in Christ
*love their spouses
*love their children
*fear they may lose someone they love
*feel insecure
*have grown and changed over the past four year
*worship God
*want to be accepted and loved and not written off

Truly, having the same foundation- love for the Lord- is a precious thing to have in common, and really makes so many other things not matter at all. You'll never find a church home with people all just like you. And would you REALLY want that? Pull out your positive outlook, try to see them as Jesus does, and ENJOY the place God has given you.

I struggle with wanting to be in my own church b/c of some heartaches and hurts. So I'm growing in this area myself!