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.