Monday, February 3, 2014

Re-churching… Or… Not?


Well. My last Re-churching post [click here] was several months ago on my desire to be obedient to the will of God...

...and then I haven’t been back to church after that post.

I’m still struggling to work things out, for myself, with the Spirit. It’s that I know what to do, but I don’t want to do it… or I can’t see…. I hope that I am past bitterness; I still have to remind myself that I’d given things to Jesus for keeping, that I have forgiven and to continue forgiving.

I am still angry and sad though. I guess one of the things I’m working out is if anger belongs in the church, does it have any place at all or am I just wanting my way, just wanting to be recognized for my own sake. I have hope that God can change things around, and then I look around and wonder… what if we don’t let Him?

Things seem to have changed, but how much? Have we changed just enough to anesthetize ourselves to change that makes a difference? Pat ourselves on the back and carry on down the road, limping when we could have full use of walking.

I don’t know.
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Re-churching or not at the moment, I must carry forward with building up my own disciplines, and it has not been for naught.

It is February, and I have not missed a day this year of reading the Jesus Calling devotional and reading the Bible daily.

The devotional has been… okay so far. I think the one thing I look for is to be convicted, to have something that grips me and then pushes me into action. I see lovely elder (and some younger, actually) Christian ladies and they are so sweet and gentle, and to be honest, I have a difficult time seeing myself as such. They’re like a fine-grain sandpaper, gently rubbing off the hard edges; I feel more like the hammer and chisel - take off chunks and start shaping the image already. I can be stubborn - I know this.

Jesus Calling is more towards the fine-grain sandpaper. I don’t know yet, but maybe that’s just what I need right now. Something to feed my soul, calm the atmosphere, chase away the demons that stir up the noise, so that I come out refocused on the major things of faith. I don’t know yet.

I try to read that in the morning, after morning prayers. Start the day out with the right focus, on Jesus. Refreshing reminder of His promises for me. Then at night, reread it and write in a journal.

The Bible reading plan I am using through YouVersion is the Daystar Television 6-month Reading Plan, in the New Living Translation. It has been going well. I think it’s a good pace for me. With about 6 or 7 chapters a day, the pace doesn’t have a drag so I keep going.
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Is God good? Yes, He is.

I recently attended a first birthday party for my friends’ third child. It felt good to go and not worry much about whether or not I could make it through it, to just breathe and let God. I knew beforehand that there would be at least a few people with whom I am uncomfortable, and still I went. I felt a little more like my old “good” self.

They were there. I was uncomfortable.

Yet I was also uncomfortable because of others, reconnecting with others whom I know to be Godly men and women. I saw a couple of past mentors, and then to talk with them, and get that currently dreaded question of where am I now, church-wise, not having an answer for it. It was good reconnecting. I just…. I don’t like talking about… difficult church experiences; I can’t be flippant about that stuff. I don’t want to be frivolous about faith.

But I’m angry and sad. Still.

Anyways, the reconnecting was good. One past mentor and I are definitely trying to coordinate a counsel session soon, like later this week soon. During the “where are you now” conversation, I just mentioned quietly that I could use some counsel and right away she said, “Definitely come on over.” That was a relief. I mean, her welcoming spirit wasn’t surprising; I’ve just been…. Anyways.

I quietly cried as I drove home. God is good. All the time.

A lot of thanks. A lot of praying and asking. He lifted me back to my feet the next day.
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So. I do wrestle with my disobedience in not being back at church. I am not meaning to be a hypocrite or to take any of this lightly. Obedience is a crucial part of walking in faith. There is a time to mature and maturing is rarely easy.

Yet I have to believe that it will be worth this struggle, that Jesus can and has redeemed this tough time for me.



*** Got news that my friends welcomed their firstborn today! Congratulations to Zac and Rachel! SO EXCITED! ***