Wow...I have to be honest. This trip 'home' has been a huge struggle for me. As I lay awake here in Oklahoma, I am deep in thought of the journey that has brought me this far. It is easy sometimes to just get busy with life and stay distracted just so I don't have to focus on the entire picture of my journey. It is important to regain focus and meditate on where God has brought me from and where He has me today. I realized today, as I spent the day with my old friends that mean the world to me, I am so different than when I lived here two and a half years ago. I suddenly felt very alone. It has been such a difficult two years and I would not wish it on any of them. I just long for the friendships that I had when I lived here. I miss my home. I miss the security of knowing exactly what was going to happen day to day. I miss the structure that my kids had in a home and church. But, I do not miss church as I remember it. We have been in church ministry for over 17 years and have been the pastor that manipulates people to serve, forced our own convictions on others, been so religiously minded that we have pushed those who needed love and grace so far away from us and the church that they don't care if they ever darken the door of a church building. I know that it is very important to lift each other up as believers but I was never going beyond the walls of the church to love on others and share Christ's love with people who didn't know Him. Now, it angers me when I hear anyone placing judgement on another claiming that they are not spiritual enough. Isn't that up to God to point out? I think Jesus showed how we are to respond when he didn't place judgement on the adulteress who was being accused. He said, he who has not sinned may throw the first stone. And after nobody could do it, he showed her grace and told her to go and sin no more. God, help me. God, help the church. How arrogant of me to think that I can play the part of God and tell others how to talk, walk, live....I am to go out and share the good news. Is the "good news" how NOT to live? NO, heavens no. I don't care how spiritual you think you are, only God knows the heart of people. Let God be God.
My biggest struggle right now is whether or not I want to continue ministry as I have known and seen in all my life. Our culture thinks that if you are a 'Christian', you have to go to church. I have come to the conclusion that God just wants us to have relationships with each other and Him. If my boys grow up and have a deep relationship with God and share kindness, grace and love with others, I think that is all I could ask for. Maybe I am wrong in my thinking but that would make me happy. I am not against the church by any means. I just want to reach people and show them God like they have never seen Him.
Bare with me as I continue to evaluate my journey.....I am not there yet.