Thursday, June 1

It's Not a Void

Exit to discovery
This is part three of my story, so if you need to catch up, see The Beginning of Letting Go and Be Alarmed.

I was tired when I left you, and I was alarmed. It's scary to stand at the door, even when the alarms are sounding. What if it's like those science fiction movies when the person walks through the door and there's nothing there? What if there is nothing there? What if it's dark and scary? What if I find myself stuck in the middle of actual nowhere and all I hear are angry voices telling me what a fool I am?

I have to insert a disclaimer here: I am not advocating for all people to leave their churches. 

This is my story, and I did not find a void, or a scary place, or even angry voices. I have not found my way to another church, and I am not sure that I will. There were some things that didn't sink in until it was a done deal, however.

People will want to know why you left, and think that one thing happened that caused you to leave. Not many people will ask you. Of those who do, some will listen only until they hear the part of your story that supports their own point of view. Most people will only guess at that mythical one thing and gossip. None of that will actually affect your life.

Some people will be sad that you are not around anymore. This did not click with me right away. I kept telling people that "we left our church, not our friends," but when friendships are maintained through church activities, those friendships will suffer. Some people miss me and I miss some people. Some people make it a point to maintain a friendship with me and I make it a point to maintain a friendship with them. Most of the people you miss, you'll mostly just miss. You might see them at the gym or the grocery store and say, "How are you?" and give them a hug. Probably that was as close as you were at church, too. I have to say that I miss that feeling of walking into church and seeing so many people that I know and love. I doubt that I'll ever have that same feeling again. I will continue to miss that feeling.

relaxed Sundays |
Most Sundays, I don't attend worship. I sometimes tell myself, because as a former Catholic I have some guilt about this, that I have so seldom missed worship in all these years, that if I never go to worship again for the rest of my life, I'll still probably come out even with most people. I have enjoyed the worship services that I have attended and am satisfied with that. To be honest, I like my relaxed Sundays.

I have a lot more free time during the week than I used to, and I like that. I like having the time to spend with my friends and children and grandchildren and spending more time with my husband. I like not being busy, but having plenty to do.

new discovery |
I walked through the door and found not a void, but a path. I didn't walk out of one room and into another, but walked out of the building and began a new part of my journey. Really, could I have faith in God and not believe that you are always able to continue your journey and have company and guidance on the way? Didn't Jesus show us that? Every time we make a real change, we take an exit and begin a new discovery. I hope to share my new discoveries in future posts!

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