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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 234 - A Crisis of Attendance

Inside the prettiet flowers
Occationaly you will find a spider



So...

Yeah...

Um.......

I had a meltdown in church this morning. I've been struggling since my pastor died, more so since the summer shut down, and more so still since I've been absent most of the summer. Then this morning the straw that broke the proverbial camels back. Kidstuff would be returning, but only once month.

Do they not know? Has Kidstuff been relegated to "Children's Worship"? How could they? Kidstuff is the glue that held me in my seat in the early days. When there was no face I recognized, when I was alone in the dark watching, before Megan joined us, before the BFF, before the Dorcus ladies adopted me, before Ms. Amy stole my heart, before I knew of Pastor Ken's gulf issues, before Ms. Mary huged me, before June said "I don't ever want to leave this church" there was Kidstuff. Where they not only celebrated virtues like "Individuality" but they TAUGHT them. Where secular music was played along side praise music. Where large black men donned blond wigs and pretended to be women. Where Gordo cloned Pastor Hal. Where I laughed and where I was taught on a level that made me feel less lacking.

I thought I was happy returning today. I felt my weeks of absenteeism had made my heart grow fonder. I was wrong. I tracked down Ms. Amy in the busiest part of her day and I cried "I need to go home. Don't count on me for a while." *Boooohoooo*

Drama much Beth?

For weeks I've been struggling and praying. Is it time for me to move on? To leave the church that fed me and supported me and befriended me? The ones who never judged me and put up with my judging them? I could not face leaving behind my fav 5 or any of the hundred faces that now know my name and hug me and miss me when I'm gone.

As I prayed one word kept playing over and over and over in my head. Abide.

OK Lord, but what does that mean?

Abide. Came my answer.

*sighs*

So, I kept at it. On the rare Sunday's I was in church this summer, You'd find me in God's Garage. Usually hiding behind my camera. I was so uncomfortable in this format. I felt lost, disconcerted and about as useful as jewels on a pig, but the Lord said to abide so I abided. 

Then my meltdown this morning where I told Ms. Amy that I could not serve anymore. Not for now. I needed to step back and figure out what God was trying to tell me. The commitment I made to the 4th grade, to the Family Fun day, to the church had to be put aside. I just could not do it anymore. I felt horrible, I felt a failure, I felt like I let her, God and myself down.

As I was walking away from Ms. Amy I was crying "God, you said to abide and I did! What's my answer? I am so unhappy in a place that has brought me back to you, a place where I once longed to be every minute of every day. Where I bragged about. Where I never wanted to leave. I prayed and I abided. Now what? I have to walk away? Why?"

"Beth, you tried, you prayed, you served, but you did not abide. Abide in me"

What......Wait....

Huh?

Then, on the ride home I felt peace. At peace a thought came to me "It's about time" "You're on empty." "Put all other commitments aside and abide in me. Release your resentment and just attend church and be fed."

Just so you know, the voice in my head was my own voice. I didn't hear Charlton Heston or anything. There was no angel music, no burning bush. Just clarity through the drama. Typical me, I give up, crash and burn, melt down, LITERALLY minutes before God provides me with the answer.

He's been telling me that I'm on empty. That trying to do UpStreet, minister to my mother, pray away my resentment over not attending Bible Study, and being gone most of the summer I was just on empty. I have a new spiritual leader I barley know. I need time to get used to his style and I need to let him feed me. I need to get strong in order to better serve.

Duh Beth, why didn't you figure that out before now? The Godprint was right in front of your face. Abide you were told. *sighs*

So, today I'm back to basics. Sunday worship at The Church at Argyle. Pastor Rick and I have a date. When I no longer feel lost and empty, when God feels I'm ready, he will lead me to where he wants me to serve. Until then, it's Pastor Rick and my Call to 66.

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for another Godprint. I am wholly unworthy and profoundly grateful."

I am excited beyond mortal understanding at not having to venture out into the big wide world. The Church at Argyle is more than my church, it is my community, it is my people, it is my heart, it is my 3rd favorite spot on earth. 

Peace ~
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Today I'm grateful for:

Ms. Amy's love, patience and emails. She should be angry and disappointed in me. Instead, she loves me even more.

Ms. Mary's understanding. She new I needed to be home tonight. And I got an extra hug to start my week off right.

Godprints. When I open my eyes and see, they are easy to follow and tell me I'm headed in the right direction. Even if that direction is backwards.

Sundays. Even when melting down they are my favorite day of the week. This one didn't start off well but it ended great.

being prepared for Monday. My job may be insane, but I love it.

Wanda getting the break she needed. Even if the hangover was epic. Glad it was you and not me boss! Oh sorry *whispers* Glad it was you and not me boss

bible reading. I dug into Pastor Ken's book this afternoon. It solidified the whole "Wrestling with God" thing. Can you imagine it? I wrestle with God all the time in my head and in my heart, but to ACTUALLY wrestle with God and live to tell about it? Epic dude.

band practice. I've missed listening to "All Hail Sally" rock the house. Currently I'm in my bedroom, a sleeping hamster beside me and I'm listening to All Hail Sally as I type my list. In this moment all is right with my world and I'm a tad weepy. My heart is at peace, my mind is free of it's latest itch, and I am once again in my slice of paradise.



Occationaly inside the prettiet flowers
You find a Butterfly





                                   Sometimes you need to just be happy with the flower

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE it, Beth. God's voice DOES sound like our own voice, but it says things to us that we normally wouldn't say. Awesome.

    I'm glad you're taking some time to feel peace and "abide in Him"...you made my evening. I love reading your stuff.

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  2. This is all why I love you more! We're all on our own personal journey with God and that would and should be enough but as a bonus He lets us share the journey with amazing people who are willing to be vulnerable enough to put into words and share their story. Then we get to grow and learn, be comforted and comfort, all to realize we are not alone, its not my ministry its HIS, He is paying attention, He cares in so many ways and so beautifully through me and you (all of the me's and you's) when we abide and let Him. LOVE YOU!! So blessed to be a witness to and even more a character in your journey!
    Amy

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