Self Expression Magazine


By Doulalovelou
Picture The time comes in most relationships when reality sets in and you really begin to wonder if this is truly it, the match for you.
You become easily annoyed & disillusioned. You disagree a lot & the joyous feeling that used to bubble from the surface is nowhere to be found.
This is how I currently feel about my church.
2 years ago I found my home, my refuge, my sanctuary. I fell in love the first time I set foot in that worship center. I was instantly eager to get involved and connect to a new community. And boy did I ever. At this time last year I was involved in a Life Group, leading a recovery group, volunteering at People of the Second Chance, helping out in the office, on the prayer team, and in a Beta-Testing group for the Genesis Process. I was driving the 25 miles to my church almost every day of the week.
Sure I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount I was spending on gas, but I was getting connected, I was serving, I was meeting new people, and I was learning so much. Things were tough at times, but it was a very significant point in my life where I learned a ton about my own personal boundaries (how to implement them as well as reinforce them) & about self-care.
But a point came where I got burnt out and in the Fall & early Winter of last year God took most of it away. Gone was People of the Second Chance, gone was the prayer team, gone was Genesis Process. Then eventually Life Group dwindled and I made the intentional choice to stop leading the recovery group.
Life took a turn and I found myself busier with work with less time for my community & less time to serve. The desire was still there, but I needed my cup to be refilled first before I could give anymore of myself away.
Along the way, several changes happened within my church. One of my favorite teachers moved on to another church, then the other favorite moved to a different campus (I'm still a bit bitter about that one!). Two of my close friends got fired, for reasons that still don't make much sense to me. Leadership roles have been changing, the Care & Recovery ministry has been evolving, but I'm finding that I don't like or agree with the direction it is going. I'm finding myself dreading church out of fear that it'll cause more & more disappointment.
In a way it's my fault. I put my church on a bit of a pedestal. Partly because I had never experienced the feeling of home at a church before and partly because the sense of acceptance and belonging was SO strong. I would be lying if I said I didn't have some pretty specific expectations that I hoped my church would meet over time (including meeting more single men... sue me.) and I'd be lying further if I said that I wasn't slowly falling out love with my church because it hasn't met those expectations.
Disenchanted... that's the best word to describe it. I am disenchanted with my church.
And in that disenchantment I'm struggling with the following: do I lean in and continue to march to my own beat, despite the fact that my views of the church have changed OR do I begin the search (yet again) for a new church home?
I've been here many times before and I'm honestly beginning to wonder what God is up to...
Is it me? Do I become disenchanted easily? Do I expect too much from my church and then get upset or annoyed when the church doesn't meet or exceed my expectations? (In this case, I definitely think that is a contributing factor).
Or is it God? Does He want me to keep moving, to keep exploring? Is He doing something that I'm not yet aware of?
At this point I simply don't know.
I do know that I can be prideful and that when people I love get hurt, I take their side without question. And people I love have been hurt by this church & the people in it, more then once. But it is just a church, run by flawed, broken humans... so can I really base my decision on that? I don't know.
And so the cycle begins again. A never-ending journey of trying to figure out what God is doing and where He's taking me (or not taking me). I'm not giving up yet and I'm working hard to remind myself to look at big picture and to remember that it isn't just about me.
And while I refuse to let these roots that have been growing deeper over the past 2 years to be torn up prematurely because of pride,  I know that if God wills it there is nothing I can do to stop Him.

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