Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Re-churching


For the past two and a half years, I had de-churched.

I tried writing many things about it, but I found it difficult to explain myself. It is still difficult to explain myself.

Or maybe I just wanted to avoid it all, which is a sign of distress. I’m generally not an avoidance-tactics kind of person.

One doesn’t often hear a de-churched speak … while still loving God and the church, or while someone is in the struggle. We might hear of stories after years and years of healing.

It was not my faith in God that was ailing. It was my heart for people that was aching.

I lost a lot the last few years. I gave up more in the last couple of years.

I thought I would hold off on writing; perhaps time does heal all wounds. I thought maybe I wouldn’t feel like I had to write, that something could happen and I’d be okay. I’d be healed and just move on.

Everyone else moved on the second after it all happened. Why don’t I just…?
____________________________

I thought I had finally gotten to the point when I would be able to re-church and control the crying (in public). I wasn’t crying over the ordeal every night anymore (by myself). I wasn’t crying every week anymore. I thought that I was becoming me again.

This month, July, I have taken up courage and started the re-churching process.

It has not been easy for me, mostly because of emotional … things. I don’t know what to do with emotions, especially my own. Being outwardly emotional, from me, is an anomaly. So far, I’ve teared up once in public but I was able to wipe them away; I’ll write more about that another time (probably). The crying by myself at home has returned though.
____________________________

How does one “re-church?” What might it be like? Why did I de-church in the first place?

I think I shall be sharing more about all of that here. I think it might be helpful for others hurt by their church, their fellow Christians, or by what they’ve done themselves.

Yes, during times of struggle, we can and ought to take our cares to Jesus, for he is able to bear it all. At the same time, I believe that God created family and community for us to speak to one another and help raise each other up in such times.

Taking my pains to Jesus has done wonderful things for me; it is the reason that I am able to reach this point of re-churching. My “community” … has done little about it; it has mainly been moments here and there of people reaching out to me, those people whom did not know anything about why I left. This general silence from my “community” has saddened and hurt me more, adding to the pain.

This will be another segment in the journey in life. I don’t know what it will be like. I don’t know where I will end up. I don’t know who will still be with me.

As to posts in which I refer to the past, it probably won’t be chronological as they had happened, though I will try to keep things plain enough to follow even if you weren’t there or didn’t know what I was thinking/ going through at the time.


Thank you for keeping with me, through the good, bad, and embarrassing! There’s surely more to come.






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This Is the Story of My Cold Heart

Every so often I mention the fact that I have had friends call me “coldhearted.” I thought I would tell the story that gets me that reaction the most, because there are several stories.
____________________________

When I was working in a small women’s clothing store in the mall, a girl and a guy came in together. She looked through the clothes and they were talking. I didn’t know if she bought anything; they were mostly not in my section. I caught him looking at me, but so what? I might’ve smiled and greeted them, as I was directed to do for customers in my section, but I don’t remember. They left the store.

Later on, the girl came back in to tell me that her guy friend (we’ll call him B) was interested in me and would like my number. This tactic doesn’t work well with me, having someone else ask me instead of himself, but I have my nice moments. I was probably thinking something on the lines of, “he looks harmless enough, but if I’m wrong, I could probably take him. He’s only 6’4” and I’m only 5’*cough cough* but what of it.”

I complied (I gave her my number for B).

I don’t recall talking on the phone with B, but then again, I am generally not a phone person. If you’re a guy and I stay on the phone with you for more than 5 minutes, I am most likely interested in you, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Otherwise, we are already dating. He came by the store. Frequently.

I sat in the mall corridor on my break one time. B brought his guy friend with him to meet me. Apparently, his guy friend was there to interview me, to test me out. Because even though B didn’t look like a smart guy, his gpa was 3.9 in high school; B told me this himself. He worked hard for it, got tutored and everything. I believe he was older than me, which meant that we had both been out of high school for at least 3 years at this time. He also told me how he had attended the nearby high school and that he’s lived and worked in that area his whole life. Swell.

My birthday was coming up so I invited B to the dinner. It was a moment of niceness, not of any sort of interest in him on my part.

B continued to come by the store to see me. I asked him not to come by on Fridays and Saturdays, because they were very hectic days at the store and so I wouldn’t be able to give him my attention. I always worked those days, and my boss would have continued scheduling me for Sundays as well if I hadn’t said anything. I needed to use my breaks to breathe and recharge. B said okay.

The next Friday, I take my 15-minute break in the back break room. I remember sitting on the floor, tired, and trying to relax. My co-worker Donovan came in, saying that B was outside and told Donovan to pass me a note. *Insert frustrated face here* I took a deep breath, reminded myself not to shoot the messenger, and opened the note.

I do not remember it exactly. I believe it was written in a rambling mushy way about how wonderful he thought I was and how he knows I want to take things slow so he does too, etc.

B was still in the store but I don’t recall if I went to talk to him or anything. I needed my break if I was going to get through the rest of my shift without getting fired. I didn’t want to get fired, so I continued on with my break as much as I could.

He called me later on when I got home. I asked him if he remembered me asking him not to come by the store. He did, but he had to see me and give me the note. I don’t remember the entire conversation, but I remember calmly saying that I did not think this was going to work out. More talk. I asked him not to come by the store anymore. More talk. I told him that this was not going to work out. Please do not come to my dinner. Please do not come by the store. Please do not call me again. He asked if we could still be friends. I answered, “No, we cannot be friends.” We hung up.

Half an hour later, he called again.

“Are you sure we can’t just be friends?”

“I am sure. Please stop calling.” We hung up.
____________________________

And this is where I get the “you’re so coldhearted!” assessments.

I’m pretty sure he never came to the store again, at least while I was working. A 6’4” guy is tough to hide among clothing racks.

I did see him twice after this. Once on a day off, I was at the same mall with a friend, but a different store. We were browsing the shelves when I looked over and saw B. He ducked behind other shelves. I told my friend. She saw him peek out. We carried on with our day.

The next time, I was at another store in my town. I glanced down an aisle and saw B, stacking shelves, wearing an employee’s outfit. He saw me. I believe I saw something similar to the deer-caught-in-headlights reaction. I walked on and carried on with my mission. My only thought was to wonder what he was doing so far from his home.

That was the last I have known of him.
____________________________

So there it is. In English. In pixels. On the internet.

  • What is your opinion on the matter- was I coldhearted in this case?
  • Do you have a similar story? 


Feel free to share your honest opinion, because my friends sure did and I still don’t understand it.


In the end, I hope B has found the person for whom he was looking. This was just from my point of view and keep in mind that B is not around to give his side of the story.



Friday, July 5, 2013

Unsung.



He had been my greatest unsung hero.

It’s possible that he could have been more to me,
Had he wanted to be so and
Had I been able to shake this sense that
I am a burden to those who might
Love me.

I was better when he was near
And I thought I held his attention.
I would see his face and hear his voice and
Be at peace.
He would laugh at me and I would think that
I had done some good.
He had a way of getting me to talk, even
Of things I didn’t want to talk about, and
I felt safe.

He has left me now and
I’m not sure
He’ll ever come back again.
I miss my great friend
So much.

If I could, I would tell him so many things,
Anything he’d like to know.
If I could, I would make sure that he knew
My wild instability was not to do with him,
Nor does my seeming health now have to do with
His absence.

The rest of what I would say…
Is for him
Should he ever return.

What a predicament I am in.
When once I thought my voice so poor
As to embarrass him,
I would now sing his praises
When I have no audience.

I hope he is well.
I hope he finds his joy.


I hope.