Thursday, May 1, 2008

Being new

I hate being new to a church. Usually, it is a result from having to wash your hands of a situation that wrecks both heart and soul. Being new to me means having to show up naked (in a bad way)and wounded from hurt and irresolution. It means giving up on a very pesonal investment.

God led us here. There is no doubt. He made the transition easy when we finally listened. This is the first time in years that I feel my family is in it's spiritual home. I've felt joy in the last couple of months that I haven't felt in so long. The tears I shed when I sing to the Lord now are because I'm connecting with Him again! The tears before were because I felt lost and empty. Habits, although not always healthy, are still habits and there is comfort in that. That's why women stay in abusive marriages. It's why people cling to jobs in which they have no passion. I was brought up to worship, serve and, at times, depend on the relationships knitted together at the place where we declare ourselves members. Being a member means I've committed to being part of a family. A family that not only supports me, but lets me be an example of the child of God that I so want to be. I support them, as well. I want to support and encourage, laugh, cry, study, debate and serve. In our last church we just had to try too hard. There were so many things to overlook and excuse. I guess it just comes to a point when you have to move on and start to heal. To plant new roots.


Roots anchor.

Roots absorb.

Ultimately, roots sustain life. I guess that's why this journey has been so painful. This is why, at times, I felt spiritually dead. Not being able to serve where God has taught me to serve was stifling. "The Lord is my strength and my song!" Exodus 15:2. God digs singing. Especially when it's lifted up to Him in praise. I feel closest to Him when I'm singing in harmony with others that are praising Him with me. I bet we'll be doing a lot of it in heaven. That's a post for another time...

But. We found new soil! A large part of my faith is about serving. And a large part of serving is fellowship. We build relationships with people as we serve Jesus Christ and each other together. It's not a competition. It's a relationship.

People ask me often about my kids and socialization because we homeschool. But what about the parents? How much socialization do we really get at this stage in the game? With young kids sucking the life out of us requiring so much of our time, it's difficult to nurture outside friendships. I need to make more time for that. I'm more comfortable building relationships with people that have the same final destination in mind. Who love their husbands and do more than tolerate their children. The odds are better at a place like we've found.

A hard lesson learned this time is that there are no perfect churches. Yes, I knew that before. Churches are filled with man. We're bound to screw it up somewhere. People are flawed. But that's what makes them fun to talk about. Doh! I kid...


Super Churchlady said...

You wrote:
"I feel closest to Him when I'm singing in harmony with others that are praising Him with me."

Katy - Me too!!!! I feel that my worship is the most sincere, the most pure and the most pleasing to God when I'm singing with others ( choir) it sounds to other people might be a different story. ;-)

Popcorn said...

We've been members for 20 years and we've seen some ups and some downs, way downs. But always stayed so in love with the people never once thought about leaving, although lots have left through the years. As I look out over the congregation from the choir loft each Sunday I am flooded with love for the faces I have looked out at all these years. That coupled with the privelege of singing songs of praise with the people I love in the choir makes for quite the pefect worship experience even though I'm not perfect nor is one other soul in the place. So welcome naked one. It won't take long til you feel fully clothed.

As for nuturing outside relationships while your kids are hard! Mr. Popcorn and I used to joke when ours were little that we didn't have time for friends and we laughed about it because it was absolutely true. The time when they are all clamoring around you and totally dependent on you for everything (pre driving years) is so busy.