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

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.

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.

Do You Know What Breve is?

Sometimes I really wish I had made different decisions in my life.  I wish I had gone to a different school and made different career choices.  I wish I had been more rebellious, instead of stuck in a Christian bubble that made me think God was telling me to be a youth pastor, thus altering the whole course of my life.  Because I could have been anything.  I could have gone to school to get a real career.  I was smart enough.  I was almost a 4.0 student in high school and college.  But instead I went to Bible college.  And my degree is almost worthless, as far as living my dreams or having a fulfilling career go.  I realized real quick that I’m not meant to be in ministry, and that I would actually be miserable there.  I had heard wrong.  I wish I had gone somewhere to get my degree in English or creative writing or something, so I could have maybe been a teacher, so maybe I would have an impact on someone else’s life.  Or maybe that I would have gone immediately to school to study counseling or psychology, because those have also always been interesting to me.

And I know that if I had made different choices in my life, not only my life would have been affected.  I never would have met Michelle, and she never would have moved to Mammoth.  I never would have moved to Alabama and met the best boyfriend ever.  My friend Sarah probably would have never met her boyfriend.  There’s a lot of things.  So maybe I’m selfish, wishing things were different.

Today, a woman told me that I didn’t know what breve was (half and half).  She explained to me that it wasn’t milk, it was cream (even though it’s half whole milk, and half heavy cream, so technically it’s both).  She told me she wanted more breve in her drink, that was made out of breve.  You can’t add extra water to a full glass of water.  You can’t fill a cup above capacity.  I can’t add more humanity to my humanity.  It does not make more, it just fills up.  So she tried to imply that I was stupid.

I am an intelligent human.  I might be more intelligent than most of the people that I’m surrounded by.  But I didn’t do anything with that intelligence.  Instead, I work at Starbucks, with a wasted college degree, somewhere much too far from home.

I could have been anything.  Instead, every stranger automatically assumes I’m beneath them.

I miss home.  I miss my people, my church, my community, my family.  I wish things had been different.

Unwelcome

Have you ever entered a room and felt completely unwelcome there?  Like you didn’t belong at all?  Because I have a thousand times.  I feel that way at parties.  But I feel that way the most in the company of Christians.  I hadn’t felt that way in a long time, and I had almost forgotten the feeling, so I guess it was time to remind myself.  Why do I even try, sometimes?

It makes me feel like I’m not good enough.  Because I’m not part of the elite.  I have differing opinions.  And it makes me want to run away completely.

After my mom died, I stopped getting invited to things.  It felt like no one wanted me around.  I never knew if my original group of friends was doing anything.  But if I invite some of them to do anything, the ones who weren’t invited get upset.  And the odds of anyone showing up are slim, at best.  They ask me to have more great ideas, but only so they can take them as their own.  But I’m not playing the blame game here.
Because, if I get invited, there’s a 75% chance I won’t go.  Partly because I might be working.  Or maybe I’ll already have plans.  Or maybe I’m just not interested.  But whenever I am interested, I feel like I don’t belong anyway.  It just makes it all very draining.

I used to do a lot.  I used to plan things and attend things and have a lot of fun.  But then I moved the south.  And I’ve started making my life smaller and smaller, till almost no one fits in it anymore.  So maybe it’s my fault that I’m not good enough.

My 90s party was better anyway.

All the Little Things that Break My Heart

A thing that I’ve been really bothered by lately is how cruel people can be to one another.  And I’m not even thinking on a large scale.  I’m thinking, small scale, people you work with, people you’re related to, people you serve or buy coffee from.

It’s like, we all try to see what we can get away with.  We tease, until our teasing turns to cruelty.  We go too far, and refuse to say we’re sorry.  We refuse to admit when we’re wrong.  And the cycle keeps spinning.

And I’m probably guilty of this.  I’ll do my best to accept some of the blame.  But really, what’s the point in making someone’s day miserable?  What’s the point in calling someone dumb, or making them feel dumb, or spreading their little mishaps around?  What’s the point in making someone feel useless?  We are all useful.  Everyone has a purpose, so why do we like to try to take that purpose away?

I’m really bummed out that so many people have excuses for their actions.  They say we’re too sensitive.  Or they ask us to have an open mind, without first having one themselves.  They’ll say it’s their religious duty.  They’ll say their protecting our country.

But this country does not define me.  This religion does not define me.  We were all made with much larger definitions, much larger purposes, much more reason to exist than just… existence.

It sounds too simple to just beg everyone to get along.  But all of this getting under each other’s skin has really gotten under my skin.  Get out of my skin.  You’re breaking my heart.

Choices?

We’re always making choices
Every moment is a choice
We choose to stay
We choose to leave
We choose to get angry
And we choose to let things go

So you can choose now to let this go
Even if you don’t know what it is
Slamming doors, passive aggression
Waking your perceived enemies from slumber
Trying to win a battle that no one else is fighting

You can choose to get out
Or act as if you’re being thrown out
As if you’re not wanted here
Although the only thing that isn’t wanted is your anger

Feeling lost in this
Your life’s a wreck because your heart is
Or maybe vice versa

Your choices are yours alone
The time is coming
Which will you choose?