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Confession Time

May 25th, 2015 | Posted by jamie in Thoughts

I have a confession.

I have not been to church in a year.

I’m not proud of that. It wasn’t intentional. I stepped away for a bit to rest my mind. I got so weary of overthinking things. I needed a break.

And, as usually happens, habit sunk in. I relished an extra day of sleeping in and savoring coffee. The solitude and quiet was heavenly. Weeks turned into months, and before I even realized it, a year. My short break became the norm.

I wish I could say I want to go back. But honestly, I haven’t missed it. It’s easier to ignore the issue than face it. It’s a large part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much. I began to feel that I had run out of things to say. I felt like a hypocrite, complaining about all that’s wrong with the church while I sit at home on my butt. I was ashamed to admit that I had essentially given up.

Church used to be the place where I felt most whole. Now I can’t walk through the doors without feeling like I’m breaking in two.

My introverted soul is exhausted. I have grown weary of dealing with people on a daily basis. I’m tired of sarcasm, passive aggressiveness, and rudeness. I crash into my couch at the end of the day and want nothing to do with anyone. And while I know that within the church there are precious people who carry none of the above characteristics, I no longer have the energy to seek them out.

The tragic irony is that I miss community. I desperately long for it. The thought of being amidst a sea of people, making small talk chases me away. I want to get back to that place where I feel comfortable sharing more than the weather. It’s so worth it when you’re there but such a struggle to get there.

Easter this year was much like the rest of my year. No church. A quiet morning with my coffee. One thing was different though; I felt discouraged and sad that the day didn’t feel special. So I blogged about it. I didn’t think much about it, since I hadn’t blogged in months. I just wrote and put it out there. I didn’t think I would get much reaction.

The next day, I had a sweet email from a former worship leader who had stumbled upon my blog. She made a desperate google search to find someone who might relate to where she was. She too was feeling empty on the most glorious day of the year. She found encouragement in my words and thanked me for sharing them. I in turn found encouragement in her words.

I have thought and prayed about this blog often in the past year. I began to think the blog had run it’s course and that it was time to close this chapter in my life. I thought I was out of words.

Turns out I’m not.

I can’t guarantee how often I will blog, as life is still very full, but I will blog again. There is still gunk to be worked through and grace that I need to learn to give and accept.

And as much as I don’t want to, I will be returning to church. Drew and I will be searching for a new church home, and we plan to visit some different services. I look forward to sharing my experiences here.

Thank you for your continued grace with me as I have processed and pouted through this awkward journey.

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  • Mark Allman

    Jamie,
    I wish you well on your search. I know God wants us to come together as His people in some manner so it must be good for us. I do know being an introvert does not lend to making it something that you always want to seek out.
    I’ll be here when you blog and look forward to what you have to say.

    • I appreciate your presence here more than I can say.

  • Becky Villareal

    Dear Jamie,
    I was raised in the church we never missed a service NEVER! What happens is that the people in the church as not as perfect as we expect them to be. Even the pastor’s feet are made of clay. I should know I’m a PK/MK (preacher’s kid/missionary’s kid). Take this time for yourself to rest and rejuvenate and restore your walk with the Lord. He’s still there and loves you no matter where you spend Easter morning. It took me a long time to relinquish the guilt trip I gave myself. But when I found out how rich a relationship I could still have with the Lord no matter whether I went to church or not it’s been a wonderful journey. May the Lord bless you and keep you in the center of His hands.

    Becky

    • Becky, I just saw your comments. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. And thank you for your encouraging words! May God bless you as well.