Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grateful for Small Mercies

I don't really talk a lot about church or God or my faith on this blog. Well, I don't talk about them directly, but they are there, part of the fiber of me. Mostly I don't talk about those things because I don't want to be preachy or whiny or bore you with my personal crisis' as related to the subject.

But any of you who know me well, or who have read this blog since the beginning, or have read my sweet man's blog post about it, know that about 2 years ago Nathan and I made the hard decision to leave a church that we were very involved in, that we loved completely and that was led by a family member. The decision - even though it was the right one - was not easy, and the journey since has not been easy either. Actually it has been heart breaking at times, and we are always surprised when some remnant of the hurt rises back up and smacks us in the face, even 2 years later. We found our current church almost immediately after leaving our old one, but it has not been a seamless, easy transition. There have been plenty of bumps along the way... Lot's of feeling out of place, frustrated, confused and alone...

I know that some of our issues are because we are so darn opinionated. And I blame that on the fact that Nathan and I are both preachers kids, and because I have been on staff at a church before, and he has been on worship teams and because frankly, I am just wired to see things a little differently than most church goers... I care, really strongly (sometimes too strongly I am sure) about things related to how church gets done. I have seen both the good and the bad and the really ugly when it comes to church, and I know how it can destroy people's faith and hope and unleash oceans of cynicism in their hearts. I know it has at times in mine...

They say that when you move to a new place it takes 2 years to feel at home. I think that applies to moving churches as well. Luckily in the last 9 months or so the tide has begun to turn for us. We have slowly began to find our footing, our voice, our crowd, and our friends at our new church... Nathan has begun to play with the worship team more and more, Wylie has made great friends and now runs around the building like he owns it (which is always a sign that a kid is comfortable at church, and is great to me.) And we are beginning to feel less alone, less confused, a little more at home.

There are still moments, services, statements and conversations that leave me pulling my hair out. Times when I wonder why we have landed there, and what the purpose is... But I now have a place to go with those thoughts, and people who care, like I do and as much as I do, about these sorts of things.

Today something that will seem small happened that really isn't that small to me. I stayed late talking to people after church... I stayed so late, that Nathan was able to load all his gear in the car and wait, hands on hips in the parking lot. Oh, that did my little heart so much good. At our old church that was what a typical Sunday was like, me having to make the rounds, chatting it up with everyone, him anxious to go get lunch, hands on hips, waiting on me...

So I am grateful for the little bit of "normal" that we felt at church this morning- Nathan playing with the band, Wylie running around with his buddies, feeling at home, me talking too long with friends....

Today I am grateful that I can see that maybe it is all going to be OK after all and I won't die of a broken heart.... Just maybe.

(these pics are from our Missouri trip in September...)


  1. Blessings Jerusalem, that was so beautifully written. Take Care - Rachael - xo

  2. It's so comforting to know that there are people out there that are going through the same thing you are. I'm not as far as you, and seeking my faith with my family at home and partially at a new church, I know excactly how you feel. The light of the tunnel is getting closer. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I think that is great. It must have felt so good.

  4. I know a little of what you mean.I left my family church last year because of things that were happening there I couldn't change.I never found anywhere else to go that felt right and no am able to go back.I thought it would be like going home but in fact it's hard work settling back in.
    Thanks for stopping by it made me smile.I agree about bloglines though I am as guilty as anybody.

  5. I can really relate to this. Matt and I have had a very hard time for the past three years, bouncing from church to church. We've finally settled on one, which we ove, but it's still hard to 'get in the loop.'

  6. I'm sure everything will be OK.
    You are a wonderful person.
    Loved your post.

  7. Yeah, the last three weeks I have had to be up at the church for both services (we only moved to two services a few months ago), and I have actually found myself enjoying being there for that long and interacting with everyone in between. It is a good feeling to be able to get past the particulars once in awhile and just enjoy being in the relationships.

  8. I'm glad to hear that it takes awhile to feel at home. We found a church that we really like but as much as I like it, we don't know anyone there or feel a part of the family. We are new to the regular church going experience and honestly Sweet Hubby races out of the door as soon as the service is over so it may never change. But you've given me hope. Thanks for that.

  9. Sweet daughter, what a beautiful essay. You (and all these friends) are experiencing in life what you have known in your head (because your daddy preached about it more than once), a truth that our souls (intellect, emotion, and will) often resist, but our hearts (spirit) must come to accept, and, maybe, even eventually embrace -- there is NO subsitute for TIME.

    When you were four, you wanted to be a teenager. Took time. When you were a teenager, you wanted to be a woman. Took time. When God created a life in you, many days you wanted that baby to be born NOW ... but it took time. There is NO substitute for TIME.

    And so it is with the walk of faith ... with church life ... with the Christian life ... and everything worthwhile. Those beautiful things you create ... those wonderful meals or songs Nathan produces ... those precious boys you are raising.

    God sometimes acts suddenly ... but never hastily. He has decreed: there is NO substitute for TIME.

    Proud of you,

  10. There may be hope yet...


ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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