Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm Sorry to My Church.

My Dear Church,

I'm so sorry for acting up like a turd.

Let's stop right there. I am now sorry for saying turd. Do y'all employ that word in your vernacular?
 You see, some people recognize that as a quasi-curse word. I used to be one of you people and have gradually come over to the dark side and it's fabulous because you now have another word to use that is just so eloquent in describing turdish things.

But I've been kind of a jerk and I'm not so self-focused (Well, I sure pray not. Maybe on Thursdays I am. Yes, definitely Thursdays. Bush beating at its finest here.)- self focused that I think the church has noticed or that anyone will read this. But God will and He is the one prompting me to write this as I have felt a gentle push to write this for that past month(s).

We gained a family member in Heaven this past spring. My husband's grandmother, Phyllis, who am I kidding- my beloved grandmother too- graduated. And I have missed her and will miss soaking her up at all of the family gatherings so much. Her witness will never leave me.
She was fun, tough, the sincerest listener, a champion for people, and loved others and the Lord very well. She once broke BOTH her arms- yes, simultaneously- and NEVER complained that I heard and just asked if we could be so kind to help her cut her pills in half. That was all really she needed. Dang.

And her funeral service in Huntsville, TX taught me a huge lesson that I had been real stanky about as of late: to LOVE YOUR CHURCH.

There were several who spoke- one being her church's pastor- about how she always rallied for the pastor and the church. She served many ministries with excellence. She never spoke ill of anything regarding her church- sort of like Paul says to do in Ephesians 4:29:
 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
 Well crud. I felt a very calm, loving nudge to my heart as I listened through tears at her precious example of Kingdom Womanry. Oh dear. I do not do this. Lord, please help me do this.

For several months, there has been construction tape in the recesses of my soul-mind. God has been doing some rebuilding after I learned of this huge sin in my life that all started because of my silly but powerful pride of, "What I want... What I would do..."

I know when the disparagement started. I "served" in a big ministry at our church-- a big outreach event to our students. I went with the wrong focus in mind possibly and maybe made it all about what "should be done." I came home put out with a surly attitude about how I'd do things better. I was wrong truly. It's kind of like when you have fur babies and you judge people with non-fur-babies saying all this and that, but really you don't know (and rightly so sometimes) a hill of beans about how to help those babies?

This event was several years ago I'm sad to say. I started to get all sweet and sour chicken on a place of believers that I had loved. And it showed.

Where before I had my boundaries built up- or was building appropriate ones through going to counseling (Hey, don't knock it if you ain't tried it!)- I began to listen to others' grievances. It was like my yuckiness garnered and sought out others' disgruntlement to hang out with and commiserate. That is straight up not okay like the mitosis of diseased cells. While I did bring up my beefs to leaders within the church- my feelings on the issue and some points I believe were valid- I also brought it up to others who would listen. I should not have done that as it may have soiled their minds on the place we are all supposed to worship and love in.

I'm sorry. Instead of solely complaining and being quietly irate- I should have prayed and given it all to God and stuck in there-- maybe God was trying to show me something that He needed me to help with or understand better?

My hurt heart did not go to Jesus with this. Pride? I guess? I went out and not up.

And then I started to carry all the weights of others on my back and sink.

The people that I listened to about their issues with the church were beloved to me! They had hearts for Jesus for sure. They were in the Word. But you know what? That should have been between them and God. I should have politely turned the conversation to something else and or never started the conversation in the first place.

Instead, I picked up their playdoh crumbles with my huge playdoh grief ball mound and absorbed them. The enemy (Satan) loved this by the way I'm sure of it because it further distanced me from my church family.

I subtly protested by not signing up for things that I previously enjoyed. When I did sign up for things I felt obligated to, I didn't serve with an unexpectant heart, but with a huge hand open waiting for what I thought would happen. Uh oh and yuck. And of course, I grabbed up any drama that ensued instead of taking that to God and correctly thinking -- that is THEIR issue, their stuff. NOT mine.-- I microscopically picked it apart and whatever aided in furthering my heart hurt I tacked on my message board of: "See, it's like I've been saying!"

Every church has their own stuff because we, "all stumble in many ways." James 3:2

Grandmother's witness continued to shine light on how my problems (and all the others' problems I collected) were deterring my direct family from serving and growing. AWFUL.

The worst- my complaining to my husband.

Why is that your spouse is the one who it's okay to gossip to or just unload your turdness on? Granted, venting is needed and necessary after a particularly long day of dis-triumph, say in the parenting dept.

But he goes to the church too. And the Lord is not telling him to leave-- so I should definitely not be misleading him. This is the key here. God has set up a system- a gender equality system- but also a leadership that helps lay out God's Will. I was not honoring that with my words and thoughts and I feel terrible about that.

I'm sorry Johnicles. Thank you for staying strong on the course like the straight arrow you are.

I know that a lot of this was brought on by my actual physical sickness (I've had 10 eye surgeries and that's just the eyes!), being tired, and more recently, my post-adoptive depression (maybe someday I will post about this!). But ownership had to happen on my end- all with God's grace. 

So I was my own dislocated lens in the "body of Christ." I, the one with googly, dislocated lenses in earthly life, was acting like the dislocated lenses in the Spiritual life. (See 1 Corinthians 12)

How foolish! How selfish. And what a strategy of Satan to de-unify the church. Well it worked and I am sorry. But now thanks to our Grandmother's service I know what I have to do.

I signed up as fast as I could to help in some way with VBS- BOOM!

I'm letting go of that entangling discontent. God is leading me to seek out church staff and pray for them and thank them and like our dear Phyllis- champion them! I can't imagine what they go through in serving God's mission and purposes.

It might be quiet, but I'm trying really hard to not speak ill will turd stuff to John when there is a lull in conversation. 

I'm prayerfully letting go of other non-Kingdom commitments so I can be ready to serve if God asks. And He has forgiven me and is renewing my mind to get back on His track. Isn't it so gracious and humbling that He wants to still use me- the messed up googly eyed girl- in His business?

All because of the beautiful testimony of a Pastor regarding one of his churchgoers that was supportive and thus like Jesus- I have a newfound hope and joy that is returning to my heart! I don't look for yuck. I see the glory!

I'm so thankful to my church home and family for the past 10 years. They love our family as is, just like Jesus does, as good as humans can!

Is your church committed to studying and teaching the Word (Not adding to it)- the Bible, to declaring Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven, His resurrection and His power over death and Satan? Are they are actively pursuing the Great Commission? Then this is it! Thank God for them and Lord, help us all to be undiseased parts of the body for Your Glory!

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