Gah. I’m getting in my head. I’ve just spent the last hour writing this big long thing and I’m thinking too much about who might or might not be reading and how I should present things. I don’t want to be saying something I don’t actually want to make public. Or do I?
Maybe I just need a day or two.
Or maybe I just need to hit publish even with out everything being presented right.
I figured out why I was having a hard time writing Saturday. Cause I wasn’t being honest (Curse this honesty shit. What can of worms have I opened???) My feelings were hurt and I was trying my best to ignore it. That’s my most standard MO. Someone hurts your feelings? Best option is to figure they didn’t mean it and pretend it’s fine. It really will be fine eventually, so just pretend that time is now. It’s easier to avoid the hard conversations. Smooth it all out.
Shit. That’s what I’m doing now. Avoiding the hard conversations. Lame. Now I’ll have to publish it…unfinished and all. Fine.
Recently we started going to church again. We felt like it was important for our middle school daughter to be involved in a youth group since we both had such positive memories of those years. She fought it hard at first, saying she definitely did NOT want to go. The people she’d met in church before were not the ones she wanted to be hanging out with. And she had a point. We’ve met some doozies. Arrogant, clique-y, slightly snobbish. It’s not fun to be forced to get in with people you have every reason to believe will treat you badly.
We took a long break after being heavily involved in all things church for years and years and years. For our lives. It got to a point where it made no sense to me to sit in an uncomfortable chair for two hours to hear someone say things I disagreed with, alongside people I either didn’t know or didn’t agree with, to sing songs with words that I couldn’t sing along too, all the while fighting my kids to either keep quiet or go join the kids groups. Why are we doing this again? This is our choice? What if we don’t?
Actually we started quitting (‘cause it was a loooong process) by deciding it was time to look for a church closer to us. The one we had been going to was nice. Far away & ginormous, but nice. For the most part, we agreed with what was coming from the pulpit. There was one sermon I remember that I could totally see how they arrived at the stance they took, but I disagreed with. And it mattered.
It’s really hard for me to be a part of something that I disagree with. You may have noticed.
So we started to feel like this place has been good to us. We’ve done a lot of healing here. Its time to go back out into the world of churches, and find something little and intimate we can be a part of.So we dated a lot of churches. A lot. It wasn’t fun. Find one that looked promising, visit, be friendly & realize there is just no way we can be a part of this place. Or realize well…huh. Non magic for me there. Nothing exactly wrong with it, but eh. Not feeling it. I can imagine if anyone of the six of you that read this blog are avid church goers, you’ll feel you know what our problem was. We were looking for what we could get from the church instead of what we could give. “Wrong attitude, Budd’s” you’ll think. You don’t date a church. You commit & serve and learn to love it.
(I’m just going to leave that there. A conversation for another day)
So we decided we really wanted our girlie to have that youth group experience. So we went back to that huge place, where we at least knew we agreed with most of what they said, and told her she was going. Time to quit trying to get out of it.
She fought it the entire ride there, which – you remember – is rather long. The place is kind of far away.
And then she absolutely loved it. Like loved it, loved it. A lot. That was a few months ago and she’s still loving it. Like can’t stop talking about it loving it.
And now we find ourselves knee deep, back in church stuff, and I’ve got conflicting things going on.
We were, and are, walking through a time of upheaval. Where what once worked, no longer worked. Where things get uncomfortable and unclear.
Personally I’m happy to be here in this weird place. I think it’s a good journey to be on. And I think being actually being on the journey is the point. I’m good with it. But it’s also a little scary.
In all my years growing up in the church, which I *LOVED* with an you-can-give-me-another-gold-star- cause-I-memorized-another-Bible-verse kind of love, there was an underlying current of fear. Don’t do this or that or this other thing, ‘cause that awfulness will happen. It’s more horrible than you can imagine. Don’t do that because it will cause a badness you won’t ever be able to undo. Stay far away from that because it will be bad, bad, bad. You can’t even understand how bad.
To be honest, I didn’t really notice it until I stopped going to church. I didn’t notice it until I had some time out (literally), and realized those fears are not universal. And some of those things you’re worried about – they’re not real.
So I decided I was done with letting those fears influence me. It felt like the fear was a control tactic. A way to keep those in charge, in charge.
And now, going back into the sermons and back to the friends with the life approach that they love but feels fearful to me, I’m a little scared it’ll get me again. I’m scared the fear will become a part of my mindset again. It’ll creep in uninvited and I’ll have to start all over.
I’m out of time to finish these thoughts and figure myself out, but I’ll tell you my current solution is to run from it. Hide from the fear. In the nursery. I figure I’d be safe from the fear in the nursery. Good plan right?