nine and a half years

Posted: October 25th, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments »

It’s been nine and a half years of healing. I don’t feel like garbage anymore.

It’s funny how feeling like garbage can give you more of a purpose than feeling invisible, or worse… ordinary.

I’m afraid of becoming cynical. I’m afraid I’ve become cynical.

I’m rainbows and butterflies. How could I become cynical?

Insight into the Mysteries has made me more disapproving than approving. Disapproving of Christians because I expect them to be just like The Others. Disapproving because I notice how irresponsible some can be with their bodies, their positions, and their beliefs. They clog themselves with sugared cheese, exploit the outcasts they’re supposed to be helping, and refuse to use their own brains and think for themselves. They destroy the earth with consumerism. They close off their social groups and become the equivalent of high school cliques. They jump on every feed trend, feast on fear, and cower when they should speak up. When I do find Christians who are well thought and have a voice loud enough to hear, I see them pelted with blasphemy from those who call themselves Christians.’

Yeah, I’ve become negative and cynical. I might also be a hypocrite.

I sugar my Velveeta when I feel like it, figuratively speaking. I turn smug around the less learned. I see negativity. I sing harmony with grace while refusing it to those who don’t know what it is. But seriously, Christians, how can you not know what grace is?

I’m real, though.

I don’t know if the Body is sick or I’m the sick one. It’s probably both.

I have a hard time thinking that I can be satisfied with the blase´. I think going to church is boring. It would be different, maybe, if I wasn’t an introvert with a wildly active brain. But, I am and church feels like psychological coddling instead of spiritual awakening.

The more I know, the more I know I don’t know. The reciprocal relationship where the mass of knowledge reveals the mass of unmet knowledge is a blissful trap of learning. A black hole of dark matter that infuriates and excites the researcher who can discern what he can’t see and know of the existence of what cannot be fully known.

I don’t know if I want to reenter the machine just in case I’m missing something, or if I should let my free spirit ride free. Untethered is my home.  I miss the idea of joining with “like-minded” individuals, but I don’t think I’ve ever had that. I daydream about starting a bible study just so we can talk about the mysteries of sovereignty and grace, but I don’t even know where to start or who would come.

I like that I’ve let the audience dwindle. I can speak as loud as I want, ….want…..want.

I don’t know if I’ll go back to church. I don’t know. It almost feels like going backward.

I need some source of conversation, though…. though…. though.



19 Comments on “nine and a half years”

  1. 1 Jason W. said at 10:22 pm on October 25th, 2014:

    I just gave up on going to church too. The American Christian Church in general has turned into country clubs where image is everything and Jesus is just someone trotted out when they need some good PR. The reality of Jesus isn't welcome. The poor's not welcome. Special needs kids? Get them out of sight. If you are broken, don't say anything about it because we have more important things to do. Either a church is too focused on condemnation and gossip or they're ignoring the Bible to be "socially relevant." No one wants to have the whole of Jesus (such as making sure the poor is fed while telling someone who's an alcoholic that binge drinking's a sin) but they want whatever makes them 'feel good" inside.

  2. 2 serenawoods said at 7:50 am on October 26th, 2014:

    I know you've tried for years to find a spot. You would think, with so many choices, that one would exist. But, I know what you're up against. 🙂 What are you doing now? Do you have "likeminded" friends to have conversations with?

  3. 3 JeannieD said at 2:57 pm on October 27th, 2014:

    Me too, Jason. Me too. I utterly and completely have given up on "church" and am doing my best to seek truth in Jesus through other means. IE on-line places like this. One or two friends also keep me, mmmm, how shall I say, 'in touch' with my faith. I do NOT want to throw the baby out with the bathwater as I see many have done. My faith is NOT the church. But it sure is tough to go it alone. I am a work in progress. The church does not appreciate the 'realness' of that. At all.

  4. 4 lesli said at 10:31 pm on October 25th, 2014:

    you know i have found the toughest aspect of grace is humbling myself enough to receive it… it is petrifying to let my walls down, especially after a not so happy past with the church. people will mess up, they will hurt you again, but isn't that what real grace is all about… the ugly stuff? take a leap, risk the pain, you have so much to offer!

  5. 5 serenawoods said at 8:00 am on October 26th, 2014:

    Lesli, I think I still struggle with contempt that so few people understand what Jesus did that there are more Christians shutting people out than showing them the way in. I also have a hard time finding people who consider the sovereignty of God and teach the subsequent implications from that perspective. I want to have my mind blown because it's an adrenaline rush. You know?

  6. 6 kate pleli said at 3:38 am on October 26th, 2014:

    It is so dangerous to isolate ones self from the body of believers. I am in total agreement on every aspect of what you wrote. I will pray you find some small bible thumping, Jesus praising church where you can sit and feel peace.

  7. 7 serenawoods said at 8:01 am on October 26th, 2014:

    Kate -> 🙂

  8. 8 Kaira said at 7:24 am on October 26th, 2014:

    I'm glad you don't feel like garbage anymore. I don't so much either, but then when I got on the other side of that I found it hard to find my place in again. I don't know why, maybe I'm not trying to prove anything anymore, or earn anything? I don't know, but things are different know and I get the cynicism.

    The people who want to be real are out there, but connecting with them takes time. And several attempts, in my experience. It's worth the wait for that kind of community.

    We haven't been to church in a while. We try every now and again, but I want more, a deeper connection, or something. I don't find it so we don't stay, and I feel like I expect a bunch of people to be more than is fair. I feel like I should be getting my family to church because that's what christians do, but I don't. Sigh.

    Start your bible study, or a book study, or whatever. Switch it up as needed – it's rarely just right the 1st time. Maybe you don't need it, but maybe someone else does?

  9. 9 serenawoods said at 8:03 am on October 26th, 2014:

    I think you nailed it, Kaira. …hard to find my place again… not trying to prove anything anymore…" I'll keep you posted. I'm headed to church this morning. 😉

  10. 10 Kaira said at 6:43 am on October 28th, 2014:

    How did it go? Almost every week I say I will go too. Maybe we should try again on Sunday. Maybe I need to cut a bunch of people (who probably aren't all that different from me) a little more slack. 😉

  11. 11 Wendy said at 8:10 am on October 26th, 2014:

    I'm SO unbelievably thankful the Lord led me to my bible study group. It's at a church on Sunday nights, but not 52 weeks a year. Right now were doing an 11 week Beth Moore study. It will end 11/23 and we won't meet again until the end of January. I like having breaks. Half the women in there don't even go to the church that's hosting it. I believe that's add a certain level of realness for all of us.

    I'm very impressed with this church. I've spoke with the leaders at length. My 12yo is involved in the youth group, and really likes it. She's ready to start going on Sunday mornings (the only time they have service for adults, such again, I like). I love the idea of not being put in a positron of falling into the Sunday night / Wednesday night / every time the doors are open trap. A youth lesser told me last weekend my daughter had a long talk with her and outright told her she wanted to trust her, but she had trouble blindly trusting Christians, period. She was answered weigh "I understand that, and I want to earn your trust but I want you to test everything I ever say to you". I was impressed.

    I just dont know if I'm ready to go back to church on Sundays. I'm having such peace and growth just doing my bible studies and living it out that tree idea of a 52 week a year schedule makes me shudder. So when the Lord strikes my husband, at least I have peace if we go back to church, it'll be this one. I wouldn't trade my bible study group for nothing though. Everyone is so real, I just love it. You should just move here and go to my bible study 😉

  12. 12 serenawoods said at 8:17 am on October 26th, 2014:

    Wendy, seriously, I would totally go. 🙂 I love that your daughter said that to the youth leader. My 11-year-old wants to start going to the youth group, too. Today will be her first day. I'll be sitting in church this morning trying to keep an open heart. 🙂

  13. 13 Trisha said at 12:19 pm on October 26th, 2014:

    I have struggled with the church after coming from a legalistic background. I walked into my church I go to now and immediately felt a difference. They really , truly take you for who you are purple hair, tattoo's, and bad attitude- That's okay. It was and still is a breath of fresh air. It starts with our pastors welcoming policy. Once our church gets too big they start another one, so that there is always room for one more.

  14. 14 Debbie said at 1:21 pm on October 26th, 2014:

    I'm in Christian ministry overseas, was raped, and got mad at God that I'd been a virgin for 50+ years (and He hadn't found me a husband and now He allowed this to happen when I'd made abundantly clear to my married friend that this was to be a platonic friendship). So then I had an affair with this friend. My warped reasoning was that I didn't want rape to be my only, ever experience of sex. Anyway, I got back on the right track with the Lord and experienced the full measure of His grace. What saddens me is that I can't share the excitement and relief of this grace that I experienced with the churches that I'm involved with because I don't think they'd see the positive side of what I've been through, only the negative. The Lord has brought so much good out of both the rape and my sin- a ministry to others who have suffered rape, rape prevention in schools, encouraging ladies and teens to reach out non-judgementally to sinners, a new softness and humility in me…

  15. 15 Jenny G said at 3:08 am on October 27th, 2014:

    After 3 years of no church at all and my failures ever before me, I finally found it. A church family not even 3 miles from my home. I lost nearly every friend I had ever had on account of my wrong doing, but I feel abundantly blessed to have found this church, who is so real and more alive that any where I had ever been, even before my failures. They know me. And I feel their love. And I feel their love for others regardless of their circumstances.
    But all of my life until this point has been searching and feeling lost in the methodical practices of "having church".
    The church I grew up in had a "let's do this thing" atmosphere, as if the moment I arrivived the countdown began so I could leave.
    I too became cynical.
    I am just now beginning to grow out of my cynicism and connect with believers who have "life" that seems to pour out of them.
    I wish that for every one. Those people are out there, but hard to find. They often times seem to be the ones to have come through the fire and have survived. Those people love because they have felt Christ's love when they were unlovely. They can love the "sinner" because they've been one.

  16. 16 Jen said at 4:34 pm on October 27th, 2014:

    Oh Serena, how I wish we were neighbors or lived closer. I would do a Bible study with you any day! I'm not a writer, but if I could express myself through writing it would be EXACTLY what you wrote. I'm reading a book right now called TrueFaced. Highly, highly recommend especially after our stories which are very similar. I hate judgement, but find I judge those who judge. Ugh! It's a hard one for me. I get irritated at Christians who think they have all the answers. His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts. My favorite verse ever! Thank you for sharing your journal entry. From a Ragamuffin. Jen

  17. 17 Kelly said at 8:05 am on October 29th, 2014:

    I still feel like garbage. It's only been 5 years for me. I don't have close Christian friends anymore. My old friends that were family to me at one time are gone and I am very very bruised and reluctant to make new ones. I struggle with being cynical and non trusting towards Christians and I am very uncomfortable in church. That all being said, my heart longs for what I used to have before I "knew better". I miss the feeling of safety and security (even if it was false), that I had in the confines of my church "family". I want it back but I just cannot seem to let go of the wariness to trust. It's hard for me to separate closeness with God from being a part of a church body so I feel a distance there too. I hate it. I wonder often if I will ever have that closeness again.

    The crazy thing is, I do believe that there are so many of us, bruised and battered by life and feeling rejected but longing for fellowship of "real" Christians. I wish we could just find each other and start our own Bible Study or something!!

  18. 18 @SantaDearest said at 2:28 pm on November 12th, 2014:

    I'd show up. I know you'll have cookies and milk for me.

    We'd share lovely words of encouragement and I'd dwell on one or two of your profound thoughts.

    I could make a nice hot-dish if anyone else is going to show. Probably something with Spam because I know we all want more mystery.

  19. 19 karen said at 4:26 pm on December 7th, 2014:

    I am feeling all of these things too. Church used to be my favorite place…I felt part of something bigger than myself & I was there every time I could be. after my sin, everything changed. I still go to church but the shame hangs over me & I feel as if I will suffocate. How can I love God with such passion, yet feel so disconnected in his body, the Church? I miss my old feelings for my church, yet I love my deeper relationship with God. Everyone tells me to just go to church, go to church, yet I am so much more at peace & in love with our God when I am away from church. I think I must be going crazy…I watch people sing & lift their hands to God….that used to be me! Now I watch wonder how they & I ended up so far apart, both living under the same God…I am lonely for community yet don't want to risk it.

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