Monday, 18 March 2013

Transition

Our church joined in with a multi-church meeting on Sunday morning.  It was good to see so many Christians together, some many different denominations joined by their corporate love for Jesus. But as I've said recently, I'm not coping well with church.

Someone spoke before we took communion, she talked too long for me, I was lost in the multitude of words. One thing caught me though, I couldn't hear anything else.  I just kept repeating it in my mind, like a mantra to stop me falling into a panic again.

"He was broken so we could be made whole".

"Lord I want to be whole".

Afterwards, wanting a bit of space, I decided to go to the loo.  Squidge wanted to come with me. When we came down again though it was chaos.  All the children were going off to different meeting rooms.

"Primary school age?" I was asked.

"Yes".

"Come with me so that Mummy doesn't have to climb those stairs", said one man to Squidge.

This tips me over the edge. *Panic* I don't know this man.

So I smile and ask Squidge if she's OK, but go with her to the children's meeting room. *Relief* I know some of the children there, Squidge will be fine.

Of course, by the time I get back downstairs to the main meeting I want to run away, but I go back in and find Gary again.  The preacher talks for a long time.  Something about holiness, something about church unity, something about something.  I can't hear it though, because I'm too much in my head trying to hold it together until he finishes.

Straight afterwards I want to go.  I've got to get out.

"Lord, I can't do this anymore, I can't do church anymore".

We came home and I went and hid in our bedroom and wept.  Why am I like this?  My old church has damaged me so deeply.  I want to rage at them. I want to tell them the pain they've caused me and so so many others.  I want them to understand that people need Jesus, not rules, not following a leader, Jesus!

I can only cope with Jesus right now. Nothing else.

~I am accepted in the Beloved~

Then I read something at (in)courage that has moved me so much, it was like it was written for me right where I am.  I could hear God's quiet voice through the writing..."I am with you."

~ The Middle: When Pushing Through Brings Joy. by Stephanie Bryant~
"Most of us prefer being shot out of our starting blocks for a new adventure. Or rounding the corner to see the finish line with high fives from close friends. It’s the moment we wait for. At the finish we know that the sweat, the mind games, the times we thought it would never happen were well worth it. We finally hear well done.

The middle is the part most us don’t want to talk about. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard.
The middle is the reason most don’t finish.
But the middle is the secret to the joy that seems to elude us.
This is where love is born. . . right in the middle."

Stephanie Bryant then compares this to transition in labour:
The contractions and first stage of labor can last a few hours to almost a day. Then there is a time of transition to second stage. The transition is where most women want to give up. They say ‘It’s too hard. I don’t want to do this. It hurts too bad.’  Crying, emotional meltdowns and even confusion can occur.
I remember transition in both my labours.  You do feel that panic, that confusion - you want to give up.  But when the baby is born...such inexpressible joy.  Such peace floods your soul when that little one is placed in your arms.

~I'm in transition.~

Leaving that church last year was painful, but I felt anticipation.  Anticipation for the path that the Lord had set before me.  I could see it ahead.  A little like a mother knowing that she is expecting but there is no obvious physical evidence that she is pregnant, but knowing that there is something amazing to look forward to.  I've had my ups and downs throughout, but right now I feel I can't do it anymore.

~I'm in transition.  Joy is within reach.~

My scars run so deep.  So much deeper than I thought they did.  God has taken away so much rubbish.  Shown me the lies I was taught.  Each layer peeled back revealed more nonsense, more bad teaching that needed to be undone.  Until there is almost nothing left, and I am exposed, I feel bereft.  I feel like a institutionalised prisoner who has suddenly been given freedom and he's terrified.  He hated prison, but it was the known and now he's out in a world that is so changed and he feels lost.

~I'm in transition.  Joy is around the corner.  Just start pushing.~

I must press on.  I might suffer through it.  But suffering can be good.  It makes you understand.

~Just keeping on pushing~

I'm in transition.  It's not forever.  I can do it because He is with me.  "...a man of suffering, and familiar with pain".  No one has ever suffered like Him.  Jesus is with me.  Jesus is with you.

~Immanuel~

God with us.

Originally posted 18/3/13 republished here 28/3/14

8 comments:

  1. I'm struggling with the desire to avoid church too - my reasons are not the same but I know the feeling - you have my prayers and hugs

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  2. When we are at our weakest, He is at His strongest.

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  3. And if I'm never weak I'd never reach out for Him...thanks xx

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  4. This was so beautiful and helpful to me, thank you for being so open and sharing.

    Prayers and Hugs my friend...

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  5. And thank you for being such a good friend all these years Michele. Hugs. x

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  6. I don't have the same issues, but can't deal with too many "words" either. Liturgy helps me - the repetition allows me to relax into it, and it minimises the scope for people to push their own opinions and interpretations onto others.

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  7. Bookworm - I like a bit of liturgy once in a while too. :)

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