Anson threw up earlier. Hoping it's not the virus that is wiping out our town. Maybe it was just the left over pork loin he ate for lunch. I don't want him to have a virus, but I also don't want to have poisoned my child. Throwing up is the worst. Poor baby!
Family Supper Club website. Broccoli is really cheap right now at the grocery store. Check out the recipes. We have loved them!
It might not be "well" with my soul, but things are definitely heading towards "better" instead of plummeting towards "worse."
I could never begin to untangle the web of hurt, frustration and bitterness in my heart well enough to adequately describe it.
Maybe you've been there before where you can't quite figure out where "it" all started, or really what "it" is but you find yourself sitting in a big pile of "it" whatever "it" is.
That's been my life this semester, and I'm ready to get out of the fog.
A lot of the issues had to do with school. Things have been terrific this week with our new schedule. This is working. Hudson is getting all the attention and discipline he needs (or that this sinful mother can give him). The things on our lesson plans are getting accomplished every day. Huge sigh of relief. I'm feeling more productive as a teacher and mother. Not perfect...but at least like I have a fighting chance to do the things I know the Lord has called me to in this home.
A lot of the issues had to do with church. The church I'm in and the church I left.
I could never pretend to understand all that has gone on with two new churches starting out of one. I wish with all my heart I had a bunch of super spiritual things to say to explain the reasons behind starting the new churches and the way in which the churches began. I remember there being good reasons. But no matter how great the reasons were, I don't think I was prepared for how much I was going to miss the people I love...who have loved us...who have watched Aaron and I grow up, been there through every birth of the Hendrick children...seen so many of our days.
I don't think I was prepared for how much faith this was going to take, or how much hurt was on the horizon, or how much I was going to have to submit and follow Aaron. I had no idea how much I would doubt...how much I would doubt Aaron's leadership...maybe all leadership.
For sure...I had no idea how much changing churches was going to affect every single other area of my life. Maybe that's a good thing. If you've ever doubted the "church thing" I'm here to tell you that connection like you read about in the Bible still happens today. Until now, I wasn't sure how much "church" meant to me, or how much a part of my life it is. Now I know. The church means so much to me that when things are yuck, or off, or hard, or broken, or difficult it affects how I wash dishes, how I speak to my husband, whether or not I want to get dressed in the morning or get out of bed.
I know these new church starts were not supposed to feel divisive. There was not a church split. We started two new churches, but in many ways (for me personally) this has felt like a divorce. It has felt weird, awkward and hard. Relationships that weren't strained are, and relationships that were once close are not any more. There has been a lot of insecurity, a lot of wondering if the church we just poured 10 years of our lives into even cares if we left or misses us like we miss them, a lot of wondering if we will ever fit in to this new place where God has us. A lot of wondering why I'm here and what on earth I'm supposed to do in this new place that seems so foreign to me.
No one needs to remind me that this all sounds horribly selfish. I know. Believe me, I know.
No matter how great your imagination is, a new church is hard to imagine. Anything new is. There is a lot of good in this new place, but it's nothing like what I thought it was going to be. My reaction has been anything but godly. Lots of idols have been revealed in my heart. Lots of things not like I thought they would be, not the way I like them, not the way I was imagining and as a result I have shut down. All the way down.
On top of all that gunk, I didn't realize that I was going to need to grieve the relationships we left behind. I felt pushed to move on, and maybe no one meant to do it, but I truly felt like I was made to feel guilty for hurting...for longing for what used to be, and for the relationships we had.
Usually I love meeting new people. I love getting to know them. It's been difficult at our new church to even conjure up the desire to connect with the great people God has brought our way. I have felt horribly guilty for not being more willing to jump in and "make friends." That's really unlike me. Maybe I've been selfish, or maybe I had not fully grieved the loss of the people I left behind. Honestly, I think I've had a hard time making new friends when I still wanted my old ones. My mind is still busy trying to figure out a way to get back to that other place where everyone was together. Our old church feels like home to me, but not without Aaron leading worship and now when I think of "Pastor" I think of Allen Duty, and lots of the people I love are at our new church, and lots of good stuff is going on there...so where does that leave me?
Wanting something that does not exist...dealing with the fact that things can never go back to the way they were. That's good, but doesn't make it any less weird or painful.
Like I said...I know that there were good, gospel centered reasons for starting new churches, and maybe one day like a good girl I'll be able to regurgitate those reasons when asked to explain all has transpired this year.
But right now, it is what it is and I'm weary of pretending.
I love a lot of things about this new place that the Lord has us, (honestly...we left bunches of friends behind, but lots of our friends are here too), I love the vision of this new church, but no matter how much I love all that, it does not change the fact or make up for in any way that I have hurt over the connections that were lost. My children have grieved lost friendships, and their grief...so open and honest inspires me to be real with myself. I've caught myself dismissing their grief, chanting to them the reasons why we started new churches. It's good to remind them and myself why we're in this new place, but it's also okay to acknowledge loss and let ourselves feel it. I've had to apologize to my children for trying to turn them into robots when I have failed horribly at being one myself.
God is big enough to heal our selfishness and big enough to heal our hearts from the hurt over losing people we love to do the things God is asking us to do. I don't want to minimize those truths to our kids. All of it can be true...the selfishness, the need to share the gospel, and the pain...but most importantly the healing and sufficiency of Christ in our time of need.
Last night all three churches came together for a huge worship and prayer service.
Aaron led worship with musicians...precious people we love...
We saw so many people we had not seen in a very long time. I had tears in my eyes the whole evening.
It was incredible. It was moving. There was something so healing about being with the people we love, seeing the gifts God has given the body on display...
I haven't been in a worship service so worshipful in a long time.
Don't know why exactly or how...but I left that place changed.
I felt like I had been home. It felt like a tiny drop of heaven was visible in that room.
So that's where I am...
Throw your stones if you want. But it has been good to ask God to take me back to where "it" all started and stitch up all that has been bleeding.
Besides...I'm tired of feeling guilty for missing so many people we love. If we had been able to leave a church where we had served for 10 years and it not hurt, how jacked up and dysfunctional would that have been? No thanks. I don't want to be that kind of person. God may have called us to leave, but not because it would be easy to throw everyone away who meant so much to us. It's been hard, and I think I'm finally okay with admitting how hard it's been.
More than anything God has given me so much hope over the last few days.
Hope that He will heal all that is hurting in me.
Hope that the gospel means God is at work in me through these trials.
Hope that no matter how much sin and nastiness these trials till up, God is faithful to sanctify me and has already paid for everything lacking and offensive in me these trials are sure to uncover.
Hope that God will knit my heart somehow, someway with this new group of people in a way that would make me sick with grief, unable to function well for awhile if we ever had to say good-bye.
Hopeful that this stuff is coming to an end so that I can start participating in the things God has called the church to do...make Him known.
He has brought joy in my heart towards the church once again...the church we left behind and the church we find ourselves in.