About Church

One thing that I realized last week is that I’ve always gone to church because I’ve always had connection there.

I grew up going to church because my parents took me to church every Sunday.  And I went to youth group because my friends went and I liked it and I felt like I was learning things.  I felt a connection to the living God.

When I was in college I went to church because I had to be serving in church at least two times a month for my degree.  You didn’t have a choice to opt out if you were in Bible college.  But I got to know my pastors.  And I enjoyed being a volunteer, even if it wasn’t the fun jobs that I was doing.  I liked the connection.  I liked the family that I had there.

After college, I moved to Mammoth and I started re-attending the Lighthouse, and I found real family.  But I first knew about the Lighthouse because I would visit with my brother all the time growing up and when I visited during college.  I had friends there.  I felt community there.  And I connected with God there.

I’m just wondering how to get that community and connection back.  I’m wondering where it is here.  When I first moved to Florence I immediately started attending a church, but my only friends in Florence were a part of this church.   After being there for more than a year, I felt less connected than when I first moved.  My newness wore off and it kinda seemed like I wasn’t good enough to be connected.  I wasn’t good enough to be involved.  None of the original connections I had there include me anymore.  Unless they see me in public.  Then they complain that we never hang out, but I can’t remember the last time I actually got an invitation to do anything.
I got a text from the pastor saying he missed hanging out with Bobby and I.  I said he could ask us to hang out any time, but I never got a response.

I feel like church is something that I’ve had forced into my life for so long that I’m not sure what is real and what is fake.  I miss community and I miss connection, but it has to be genuine.  It cannot be forced.  I’ve visited other churches, churches with small groups, but I don’t necessarily agree with their theology.

I’ve felt a little lost lately.  I don’t like feeling lost.  So I might be breaking up with church for a while.  I can pursue my relationship with God and learn what I need, because I’m obviously not going to find what I’m craving.

Sorry I complain so much.  Sorry I’m not elite.

Advertisements

New Year. New Flu.

I’m stealing my boyfriend’s joke.

The year was almost over and I decided to drive to Huntsville to visit a friend who I haven’t seen in forever.  She’s a teacher so I knew she would have the holidays off.  But on the way my clutch disappeared, so I didn’t get to see her.  I also got to put my car in the shop for a week.  And pay $1500 to fix it.

Then I got the flu, because it seems that it is trying to infect everyone in this freaking town.  I don’t think I’ve had the flu since I was 12.

Then Bobby got the flu.

And my hamster died (good riddance).

And I have nothing to write about.

So far this year I’ve just been trying to keep it together.  But that’s what life is, right?  There are twists and turns.  And I know that in a couple years I will look back and be thankful that I am out of this.

But I did sign up to take the MAT and next paycheck I’ll be submitting my grad school application.  So there’s that.

2018

I used to be good at this.  At writing.  At collecting my thoughts and putting them somewhere.  And I feel like I don’t even have thoughts anymore.  I keep trying to be the person I used to be, but maybe it’s time to realize that I’m not.

I never became the person that I thought I would be.  But maybe I like the person that I am even better.  Even though I’m secluded.  Even though I never go to church because I haven’t found one that I belong at.  Even though I sometimes drink too much.  Even though I don’t write enough and I almost never touch my guitar.  I like cuddling my dog.  I like eating dinner with my boyfriend.  I like adventures, and most of my bad decisions aren’t bad at all.

I know that I’m probably always going to wish I had done life differently.  So maybe 2018 is going to be a year of acceptance.  Accepting that I am who I am because of the choices I made.  I am who I am because of who I love and who loves me.  I am who I am because I was created this way.

I’m going to try to take more time for myself this year.  I’m going to try to work on things when they’re still stirring.  I’m going to try going back to school and getting my masters in something that I actually care about, and maybe giving myself a new focus.

I’ll try not to disappear as much or for as long.

But I’m going to stop trying so hard.  I want to be more than content.  I want to be more than happy.

So here’s to 2018 I guess.

I hope my neighbors aren’t as loud this year.

Days Like Today

Sometimes I don’t feel like trying anymore.  I don’t want to get out of bed.  I don’t want to go to work.  I don’t want to have to deal with anyone here.  It’s days like these that I’m so tempted to quit everything, pack up my car, and move back home.  Because I know I’d be welcomed there with open arms.  I know I would be taken care of.  Simple things wouldn’t seem so damn hard.

I’m in a place where I feel that no matter what I do, I’m not good enough, not matter how I go about my tasks.  Nothing ever goes to plan, so what is the point in planning anything anyway?

I’ve known for a long time that depression tends to get worse around the holidays.  And I’m really feeling it.  I just want this month to be over.

I need time to reassess.  I need to move forward, not back.

I know that this won’t last forever.  I know that I’ve felt this before and been free of it.  I can and will be free again.  It just takes time.

Last Time I Checked

Last time I checked, everyone in this country is entitled to their own opinion.  But it seems that if you have too many conservative people on your “friends” list, having an opinion is immediately offensive and should be shot down.  Which is why I don’t often share my opinion anywhere outside of this blog and the people that I talk to face to face.  I’m not great at arguing.  I don’t like to argue.  But I know what I stand for.  I know what I believe in.

I believe in a loving God that cares more about who I am than who we are than who we are attracted to.  He cares more about his pursuit of us and our pursuit of him than our individual “mistakes” or how conservative or liberal we are.  He is a forgiving God.  He is a relentless God.  And he cherishes every moment we spend with him.

I was listening to the BadChristian Podcast, and they were talking about Christians and abortion, now versus the early 70s and before.  Before abortion became a political issue for Christians, it seems like the Church cared a lot more about the individual women.  A single young woman would find herself pregnant with a child she was not ready for (because that’s what I believe abortion comes down to, essentially) and she would see abortion as the only option.  Maybe because her family would disown her.  Maybe because she knew she didn’t have enough money to raise a child.  Or maybe because, even if she adopted the child out, she couldn’t afford to keep working her job while pregnant.  So the Church would help these women.  Maybe help them find families for adoption, or maybe give them sanctuary from a family that will no longer accept them.  Or maybe help them with a job or with money so they can take the needed time off of work.  But then Republicans wanted to find a way to get the Christian vote, so they made abortion a political issue.  And it’s almost as if the women ceased to matter, only the babies that may or may not be killed.  Even though (I haven’t researched this, only got it from the podcast) the abortion rate hasn’t really gone up since Roe vs. Waide, it’s just become safer.
And none of this is to say that I’m pro abortion.  But I am about as pro choice as I am pro life.

So, I live in Alabama, and I decided, for the first time ever, to vote.  I voted for Doug Jones, even though he’s okay with late term abortions.  Because I don’t think that this belief that he holds is going to affect any laws, because he is one man, and this is a democracy, and most other people are going to vote agains late term abortions, if they ever vote on it anyway.  Roy Moore has a lot of allegations against him about sexual harassment, especially against teenagers when he was in his thirties.  I’m not comfortable with him being in our senate, thus, I couldn’t vote for him.  People are getting upset at me because these allegations aren’t 100% proven.  Because a woman’s word obviously isn’t important enough.  These women didn’t know each other.  It’s not like they had some plan to make him look bad so he wouldn’t get elected.  And whether they’re all true or not, the chance that they could be true is enough for me.  I wouldn’t want to work for someone that women had said harassed them.  I wouldn’t want someone like that as my leader.  I know what harassment is like, not to the extent of these women, but still.  We already willingly elected a man like this to be our president.  We already have several in our senate.  I just didn’t want one more.

Women are not meat or property, they are equal.  People with a darker skin tone are not worth less or property, they are equal.  People of a different sexual orientation are not dirty or sick or tainted, they are equal.  It doesn’t make sense to me why anyone would believe any less.  All humans were created equal.  I can’t be convinced to vote for someone who obviously believes otherwise.  And I’m not going to apologize for that.

His Idea

Christ is personal
He’s been here since the beginning
First God
Then Man
Two in one
Making me complete
Picking up my pieces
Putting me together
Crafting my very being
Ever since the beginning

Before time
He made time
Living outside of it
Experiencing all of it
And no matter what
He understands
He creates
He saves
He loves, first

Christ is first
Christ is last
Christ is forever

He thought it all up
Existence was his idea
And what a great idea it was
That we get to live and breathe and learn

So teach me
Show me who I am again
Show me who I can be
Created in this image
Built to last forever
From the beginning
To the end

Being Thankful in These Trying Times

I usually write some post about Thanksgiving and what I’m thankful for, but I’ve had no time or energy to write lately.  This is a season of thankfulness, but I’m not sure that I’ve felt very thankful.  Sometimes I feel so pessimistic that I forget that my life has been far more privileged than that of a lot of people.  I have a family that loves me.  A boyfriend that makes me smile a lot.  A job with benefits and great coworkers.  I have my own place and a really cute dog.  I have a car that I don’t have to make payments on.  And for the most part, I’m healthy, except for the current moment, because Bobby gave me his cold.

And maybe I find these times trying because I don’t have the community or church that I had back home.  And I thought I didn’t have community there, when I did.  Life never really turns out the way you expect it to.  Thus, I complain too much.  I complain, and I don’t make enough effort to make things better, because I’m too tired or too lazy or just too… too much myself.

So I had a meeting with someone from the counseling department to get my masters in counseling at UNA.  And it seems like a real possibility.  So maybe I should be thankful that I moved to a college town, and even though I really want to move out of it sometimes, Florence is not a bad place.

People, be thankful.  You’re not starving.  You’re not a victim of genocide.  You have a roof over your head.  And things can always get better.