Monday, January 12, 2015

The Words

Words are a large part of my life.  In the last three years, the words that I've had a pressing to focus on were Obedience, Peace and Gratitude.  I can look at each of those words and immediately understand that God was/has been trying to education me through the circumstances of 2012-2014.  They are words that are still applicable, but I feel like I've missed their efficacy.

I'd like my word for 2015 to be Rest.  I'd like to rest in all the things I've prayed for and the whirlwind of change these last few years have been.  

In some cases, I've felt like I couldn't talk about these things because 1. some people have it worse or 2. it makes me sound ungrateful (or maybe I am ungrateful...that's open for interpretation), or even worse 3. I sound like a catty bitch.  

Maybe those are accurate descriptors.  I think it's just time I laid down some of the baggage I've been carrying so I can finally let it go.  

Baggage #1
I'm not entirely over our unscheduled exit from our previous church.

It's hard to know people your entire life and then realize that many of them really didn't like you and were not sorry to see you go.  Not long after we left, I pulled up emails from another church member who prayed regularly for me over a period of several years (via email).  I was nostalgic and needed some reminder that I was loved and cared for despite current circumstances.  When I reread those emails, I realized that almost every email for a few years included some sort of criticism from this man's wife.  She commented that she didn't like something I did, or the attitude I had or something I was wearing.  This is the same person who blames me for my family's exit from the congregation.  I thought her feelings toward me were new, but turns out, I had overlooked the fact that she never liked me and was quite vocal about that dislike to her family.  That was a hurtful realization, and it made me realize there were a number of people I've known my whole life who looked at the floor or the ceiling so things wouldn't get uncomfortable.  I'm not over it because I'm still angry with these people.  Thankfully, I've learned that their opinions of me are worth as much as a paperweight in space.  But I'm still angry.

In addition, I miss some of the groups from that church.  I don't want to sing Praise and Worship, but I miss the camaraderie that came out of that group--even though we ended up with an unwelcome fourth member.  I haven't been able to cultivate the same spirit that was in my previous Bible study groups and I miss the wisdom and acceptance that came from those women.  I miss the accountability and I have no idea how to get back to that place or prepare the ground for a new, worthwhile planting.

Baggage #2
I am angry that the pastor of the church we moved to is a liar and a thief.

Favorite and I carefully visited churches to try to figure out where we could grow.  Ultimately, we wanted to be part of a community that wanted to be part of the community in which it resided (not an insular community).  That's what we had where we landed.  We built relationships.  We were involved in multiple service projects.  We felt like a team.

And then we found out it was a lie.  We discovered reality more than a year ago and I'm still angry with him for promising us a place to heal while knowing he had created a fantasy.  None of it was real.

Maybe that should resolve since justice has been done and he's going to prison.  But it doesn't change those who are left in his wake.

Baggage #3
I'm still pretty resentful of the fact that we carefully chose and things were completely upended when this man was arrested.  

We had a small group we loved.  We were learning and growing and healing. The arrest happens, my best friend leaves and then our small group is disbanded because our leaders looked for employment elsewhere.

The open, informal atmosphere changed completely.  If we were choosing today, this likely isn't what we would've chosen.  

Will saying that out loud piss some people off?  I'm sure it will.  I'll be told I can leave or make the best of the circumstances we are in.  And that's fine.  You're welcome to tell me anything you want. 

Fact of the matter is it isn't always easy to just pick up and leave.  Previous circumstances made that abundantly clear.  In turn, we are all limited in many ways when it comes to making the "best" of the current situation.  You may not believe I'm doing much on that front.  I don't really care what you believe because I probably don't trust you and I probably like you less than I trust you. 

Baggage #4
One person who left had every reason to feel abandoned, upended and alone, but I'm bothered that she never seemed to care about the people who also suffered as a result of this man and his alternate reality.

And she need not give me that garbage about standing beside her because I would've supported her to the ends of the earth.  You weren't the only one hurting.  It wasn't all about you.  It still isn't.

I'm laying these things down here so I don't have to pick them up again.  It's time to rest and find something new in the future.  It's time to apply those lessons of obedience, peace and gratitude.  It's time to openly embrace the gifts I've been given along with the emotional ruckus.

Hey, 2015.  It's good to see you.  You've got a lot of healing to do so let's get on with it.


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