I was driving back from yakima tonight and spending some quality time with Jesus listening to some of my favorite music (which happens to be recorded by one of my friends in yakima) and had a few moments of just crying to myself a mixture of joy, loss, fear, and contentment (or something like that).
At one point this weekend i had a very strange conversation. Well - i had a couple.
The first one: we were talking about our ex-church. me and four others (two of which had been on staff, and the other two had been "kicked out" long before anyone else). I didn't really add much to this conversation but i listened intently to all the things they discussed. It was relieving and traumatic - all at the same time. When we all get together it's like a unit that has been to war together - we can talk about things that have happened and those who were there with us totally understand... there's a level of understanding that nobody else has - unless you were there. But, at the same time - it opened up wounds that i thought were healed up... at least to a manageable point. The main thing that was weird about this conversation was once again realizing that I don't actually know my part of that story. The way things played out, I actually ended up saving myself a little bit of pain (at the moment at least) but it left this whole. a feeling i'm all to familiar with regarding my family - a whole that i can't explain and that i don't understand how to fill in... a black hole of knowledge that would help me piece together the broken parts of my heart... however painful it may be to find those parts and possibly break them a little more along the way - you can't heal unless you have all the parts back. But, i know the ones who have the information that can fill that hole... now it's a matter of timing...
The second one: was when i was talking to mel about something that somebody at work had said to me - the conversation morphed and transformed into mel telling me that she needed to learn from me - that i had an ability to live life that she didnt, and that her heart desperately longed for. it was shocking and weird - and made me all warm and tingly inside. I'm the baby of the group - everyone (especially S&M) have been mentors/big borther/sisters to me... i learn from them. They are the strong ones, the ones that have it figured out - the ones that challenge me... Well - apparently the tides have turned somewhat. Throughout this whole ex-church mess and our struggles with spirituality and "the church", trying to decipher what those things should look like in our lives, and how to live in a world where biblical truths are being used and abused i have somehow come out with a strong character trait. Secretly i'd call it a survival mechanism, but it's one that just happens to not be all bad. My story before ex-church morphed me in such a way that i can work in a church, "ignoring" the brokenness and unbiblical ways that the body is behaving, and choose to love the kids God has placed before me.
I had never really known that was such a weird trait to have, actually. but mel assured me it wasn't normal. My entire childhood was a system that was severely broken, that broke and wounded me in the process - and was totally out of my control - yet i survived it. I found ways to live and grow and become who i am today despite the world around me. You learn to read people quickly, work the system, and adapt to ever changing and possibly volatile situations. Because of my childhood - i can work in a system that every fiber of my being currently hates.
I hate the church. I hate how it hurts the people it's suppose to love. How it pushes away those that need it's truth the most. How it labels and judges before getting to know people. How it doesn't follow the one thing it was founded on - love. I hate how the family of God is disjointed and waging war against each other. I hate how so many people give Jesus a bad name. I hate that so many others hate Christians. and there's so many more... ex-church really did a doosey on me.
But - i LOVE the truth of the gospel. I LOVE my father. i can't see life without JESUS. but my life with Jesus looks so much different that most other peoples.
I'm not saying that i know exactly how we're suppose to live - or that i know everything about the bible or about God. Quite opposite really. But i know that God wants us to LOVE others - and frankly - we suck at that big time.
But anyhow - back to me being someone to learn from... (sorry about that little rant)
(apparently, my blogger failed to save the last few paragraphs i wrote the other night - so i'm gonna re-finish this post... though it may be different than the origional - nobody will know but me)
I'm the baby of the group - and the friend i was talking to has been my boss, a mentor, a spiritual leader, and also a very close friend to me for many years now... so to hear her say that she needed to learn from me - it was shocking and cool. It also prompted that little desire inside me to want to share my life with the greater world, possibly in book form... who knows... we'll just see where the Lord leads me this year.