Post originally published by Jennifer X on Born Jennius, 22 August 2016.
Jennius here. The following are a few things I was going through and wrote out back in early June, having to do with still being de-churched and the DCC (Dictator Conflict Chronicles). They continue to be on my mind, and so I thought it’s time I post this. Thank you for reading.
I saw a friend today. We got to catch up and talk a little. It was… it tends to be… bittersweet for me.
He asked me if I’ve been going to church, anywhere. I said no. This whole time (the last 3 or so years)? Yes.
He asked me why. Is it faith? Is it… people? He knows some about the difficulties I had with the DCC. He knows it was hard for me. I felt the tears trying to gather for an escape but I held them back. No, it’s not faith.
We talked a little about going to church, following God, being where we’re supposed to be (which only one of us has been and is doing).
The bittersweet-ness is knowing that he really cares about me, seeing him be obedient and growing, and yet I’m… where I am. I’m happy for him – sad for me.
It’s always refreshing to talk with him. I never feel like an outsider with him because he’s welcoming to everyone. I’m glad that he’s still there. In some way, I need him to be there.
Earlier this year, my classmate messaged me, my first official crush way back when. He’s back at church and wanted to know if I was still going. Even in text, he still sounds like how I remember him – thoughtful, kind, and a whole lot of other goodness.
I’m glad he’s back and I hope he’s still going or has found a church community to join.
It gave me a jab though. It’s nothing to do with him; it’s me. The thing is that I wanted to remain with the church for people like him, to be there for those who visit or return and be a familiar and (hopefully) friendly face. I wanted to be there for those whom are coming in from “the cold” or “the outside,” because I’ve been there. I’ve been there too many times.
But I wasn’t there when my friend returned. I’m not there. I left my post.
I think I explained the thing about David’s piece of King Saul’s robe wrong, or not well. My piece of robe would’ve been things like how I led the Women’s Small Group at that time, how much time and effort I put in to putting together the ministry things, how I had meetings with people, how I made my contact info available, how I sought out people, how I invited people to be a part of it all, how even before then I was asking questions about what certain people wanted/ needed/ were looking for (I asked about their care), how I spent time trying to get to know them, how I supported them in their endeavors, how I tried to keep them together when they were missing a few.
I didn’t do all that so I could rule someday. I didn’t know there would be something to pour into – as a leader. I didn’t seek out being a leader. Yes, I made mistakes, but making decisions, or doing things my way – not theirs – was not one of them.
What did I do to deserve such disrespect from them? What “consequences” did I put forth or uphold? What did I do that necessitated making it harder for anything ministry to happen? What did I do to deserve the rumors? Most of the rumors were not true at all, like how I would just show up and expect a ride home – completely untrue, never happened, I’d rather take the bus home. When did I have the “power” (influence)? It was the group vs. me. Even those “in the middle” were ultimately for the group.
(Except for A, T, and G; I hold them entirely innocent).
If I had been trying to lead them towards heresy, about leading them astray and away from God, that would be one thing. If I truly was all about me ruling, in it just for myself, that would be one thing. If I was in it to ruin them as a group or as individuals, that would be one thing. I’d like to see someone try to build a case for any of those possible accusations.
Such divisions within the church grieves God. It has come to grieve me also. It shouldn’t be an “us vs. them” situation. Disagree, sure. Division, no. Discussion, debates even, yes. Disrespect, no.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Granted, we’re not dealing with just each other in the physical realm. I do believe in spiritual forces acting in the spiritual realm.
To be clear, I’m not laying all the blame of the lack of Love during the DCC on the others. We failed that commandment together I think. It grieves me to say that I was a part of that failure in any way. It was certainly not the way I had hoped things to go.
Why am I still de-churched?
No good reason. I mean, when all is said and done, there is no good reason that I am not being obedient to God’s call for me to be with that particular church (probably not in a leadership role though, or I’m just… nevermind). My friend is an encouragement in this – it’s why he’s still there, because God’s called him to be there.
I mean, I’m not even where I’m not supposed to be, in terms of any church community at all. Most people at least do that much.
Granting that I have no good reason, what are the wrong reasons?
Ugh. I’m not ready to write that/ those post(s).
“The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness can never extinguish it.”
Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)