this morning i attended church for the first time in 6 months…didn’t even realize that fact until this morning. i found myself feeling guilty, sad, a little ticked that i was feeling guilty and sad, happy to be back, peaceful and completely emotional about the whole thing. i was so happy to see my friends (who incidentally welcomed me back with open arms regardless of the time i had missed). what’s the problem you ask? the problem is that i worry that i over analyze at times and that being there after being someone very much involved and missing so much time made me feel like a hypocrite (i painted for the kids, was part of the welcome team and played in the band). why did i feel like a hypocrite? because i got burned out on church with everything i was doing (i’m a big girl and could’ve said no anytime) and i was holding a grudge against my church. isn’t that like holding a grudge against God? actually, writing it now makes me laugh at myself. i felt pretty good in general about going again and will be back next sunday i’m sure. what’s bothering me about this is that i ask myself if i’m looking for religion to “fix” something and put my faith in Him and i’m not sure i completely surrender to that…am i full of bulls%#$? or did i lose you at 6 months? i know there are lots of you out there that are more knowledgeable and comfortable with religion ( i still consider myself a religion newbie) and would be curious to hear what you think or tell me to stop whining and don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

7 thoughts on “church

  1. Hi,
    Your post caught my eye when I was doin a little tag surfing!
    For the record, i don;t think that you are a hypocrite and I don’t think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Also sounds to me that the very last thing you need is to be told to ‘stop whining’ !!!
    I can identify very strongly with some parts of this and find church incredibly difficult mysef.. Partly cos I have jus become quite cynical over the past few years.
    It’s great that you went back there but burnout is one of the main reasons that ppl stop going to church. It can have a pretty lasting effect and can leave a sort of residual tiredness. It sounds as though you needed a break and that you are now more ready to return!

    “i was holding a grudge against my church. isn’t that like holding a grudge against God?”
    No not at all! The church is very differnet to God most of the time. If you stop going to church you don’t necessarily stop going to God… I’m sure that half of my response is coming from my own issues with church – but the other half of it is fueled by a genuine feeling that too often we muddle church up with God when they are (more often that not) not even close to being the same thing.

    In terms of looking to fix something… Well… that’s fine. very few people go to church already whole.. In fact, I think that may be a lifetime process. God is supposed to be a healing God after all so I say bring it on… If you got stuff that needs fixing, where better to go? But remember, you are going to God, not to ‘church’.

    Do you have to completely surrender? Jesus reckoned you only needed faith as small as a mustard seed. That’s neaerly not there at all!

    I am probably the biggest hypocrite for writing this stuff to you when I feel so bad about church myself but hey.. it is what I believe!

    I so hope that you find some peace on your journey. Keep going!



  2. anotherkate…wow! i feel a lot better after reading your post AND i’m pretty sure that my faith is at least bigger than a mustard seed. what occurs to me is that at church the pastor (whom i absolutely appreciate) says that you strengthen your faith in community and i guess i equate community to church. plus, i hear people say they don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with God which can sound like a cop out…BUT i digress, we are all on different places on our journey, right? thanks for your insight and i hope you also find peace with your journey…i’ll let you know how mine goes from time to time…


  3. Wow! Great post…deep.

    Where to start? First, you are such an incredible individual that it’s hard to understand why you would EVER feel like a hypocrite. But as an outside observer, I have never perceived you as a hypocrite and never will, no matter what your feelings about religion or church are.

    Similar to anotherkate, I’m probably tacking on my personal feelings about church and religion, but burning out and holding a grudge, oh and losing faith…they really are so personal and tailored to each individual. It’s definitely a journey and at some point, you’ll find the place that’s comfortable for you.

    In my case, the only time I started to be ‘ok’ with me and being in my own skin was when I stepped away from the organized piece of religion. I had to stop being around people that claimed to be working on their relationship with God, but instead spent 2 hours of every Sunday, pounding into my head all of the people outside those doors who weren’t doing the right thing by God. That’s where I lost my faith. In one ear I was being told not to judge lest I be judged, and in the other ear I’m being told that people that divorce are wrong, homosexuality is wrong, marrying outside your religion is wrong, every other religion is wrong.

    How the hell do they or I get to decide that for other people? I don’t want to digress so, if you feel that within your church community, you’re able to establish and maintain your relationship with God, then you should do what makes you happy and don’t feel like a hypocrite just because you question that sometimes. It just means your a thinker – a leader, not a follower. Always remember that we need both kinds in the world to make it go ’round.


  4. d…aw shucks…

    i think part of it was because religion was not convenient for me…i’m pretty sure that’s not one of the deciding factors for being religious or not. i hear what you’re saying about your experience of religion and believe me i am not even close to being in that situation….that makes me sad that people can do somethiing like that to ANY individual but more so to someone like you that i hold in very high regard…my church is a methodist church and they are extremely accepting of ALL people. my issue wasn’t so much an acceptance thing but more of a “let’s use you up until you have nothing left” thing…like i said in a previous post, i’m a big girl and can make decisions on my own…i think i make it mean that the more i do for my church, the closer i am to God and the better christian i am…funny to read it…like anotherkate said “very few people go to church already whole.. In fact, I think that may be a lifetime process. God is supposed to be a healing God after all so I say bring it on… If you got stuff that needs fixing, where better to go? But remember, you are going to God, not to ‘church’”.

    if i look at it that way, it puts it into perspective for me and sets me a little more at ease with my choices…thanks for the great advice and “straightening” me out to both of you…


  5. Such a pleasure to communicate about issues that really matter Wutup… I’ so glad that you feel a little more at ease with stuff.


  6. Just making sure you’re not still in church? You are allowed to come home and communicate with all of your masses to let us know you’re ok. Missing ya is all…thought this would be a good place to let you know. Hope all is well.



  7. i’m baaaaaack…just took some time off…had friends in town…

    anotherkate….thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. i find reassurance knowing that others share the same fears/emotions as i do and realize what a “common thread” that exists with both those that agree and disagree (whether they’d like to admit it or not). thanks for making it safe for me to be vulnerable here.

    deek….i miss you too more than you know. every now and then a person comes along that you connect intimately with…who gets you 100%…i count you as one of those people. thanks for checking on me AND more importanlty, thanks for being in my life.

    now as someone once said….”fasten your seatbelts!”


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