Thursday

{driving away, journeying on}



My last weekend at church I cried,
much different from when I cried the first time I stepped foot through doors I
considered too holy for my dirt caked soul.
That first time was an awakening, a cleansing,
balm for aching child that I was and
He met me there and opened arms and
whispered words of peace and love.
He set my path, my journey
before me, teaching me how to walk and
never, not once, has He left my side.

And then, after years of following suit,
of going through the motions,
and despite my arguing, He told me it was okay to stop.
Despite my desperation and fear,
my lack of knowing where to go and how to move forward,
He told me to relax, be at peace and
trust Him.  He held my hand, whispered words of comfort and
I balked, did I have to be the one?  Did my journey have to
take this route?  Why couldn't I just keep walking alongside
everyone else?  My typical heart's cry,
why am I so different?  I'd been the one to spout gossip,
to "pray" for those who no longer went to church,
to wonder how they could call themselves a Christian when
clearly,
they were so far away that they no longer engaged in
our self-righteous idea of "fellowship."
I had been the one.
And I could hear God's humor in it all,
chuckling as He gave us the green light,
told us the time for our exodus was upon us,
giving us yet another reason to be talked about and shunned.



That day we went to ready our hearts,
knowing it would be the last time,
at least for a very long while.  We stood in worship and laughed at
appropriate {and inappropriate times} during the sermon,
we made small talk during breaks and after church,
declined an invitation to the pastor's house for lunch.
As we drove away, crashing brown ocean at our backs,
I cried.  Tears flowed,
not for sadness but for freedom, not for loss
but for gain.  Time to journey on,
to see what God had in store for us,
to meet Him in our daily moments, to feel His breath and
hear His voice. 



We drove away,
welcoming His Spirit.
"Time to stop quenching Him," I whispered through tears,
"All that time we spent trying to know Him, churches
teaching us not to quench the Spirit.  But what is more
quenching, more stifling, than a box?  And what is more of a box
than an institution?"

We drove away
towards freedom,
embracing the journey He was leading us on.
It's a remarkably beautiful road and
we are still driving.



6 comments:

  1. This is amazing. I understand your tears so often every week the music begins and the Holy Spirit comes down and mingles among us and I cry... soft cries and sometimes almost the need for the get down ugly cry. He ministers to our souls if we let him...and our broken spirits.

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  2. Hi.
    I don't usually comment but your post stirred me to do so.
    I found myself in the same place a couple of years ago. The pain of letting go of church was very real. Yet every Sunday the anguish I felt while at church was way worst. Our weeks away turned to months and now 2 years. It was hard but the Lord applied His balm on my wounds. And then he turned me back to The Church in His time which I still marvel over. Only God could have done this. If someone had told me that I would be yearning for mass each week I would have been the first to laugh loud & hard. We never know where the Lord is leading us until it is time but it is always perfect.
    Blessings on your journey.

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  3. Hi Amy,
    Wishing you love and peace. I am where you are but my family is not...
    Love, Tonya

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  4. I love how you describe this journey :) It is beautiful. I love the way God treats us all like individuals. He knows the depths of our hearts better than we do ourselves.
    I love mass, especially a sung latin liturgy. I'm weird like that. But there are times where I just need to take a little break and find His voice speak through the trees, a sufi poem or even the silence. I think it's important to let your soul be free and led to the places it needs to be. I relate friend xx

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  5. Hi Amy,
    I have a lot of thoughts on this. Wow! Your words are powerful and I like where you take us through them. Thanks for "thinking outside the box" I agree with you and I think for lots of people the man-made rules within our church denominations have crushed people.
    Christ died for all sins of the whole world past, present and future.
    I often here or read people talk of disappointing God. I always ask myself How does God look at Jesus? If we believe in Jesus, I believe, that when God looks at me He sees Jesus. He sees me covered in Jesus robe of righteousness. Amen!
    Thank God for His Love and Grace.

    Janet

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  6. Amy,
    This is beautiful. A few years ago I had a very similar experience in leaving the church I was in at that time. I had found myself crying after every service because the things being said from the pulpit were so unloving it literally felt like an assault on my spirit. I could no longer take it and I left. It was hard, but I was eventually led to a different church. But most of the most meaningful experiences with God have not happened in a church building, but just in listening to and following his voice, which is what you are doing. xoxo.

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