It has been a really long time since I have written anything here on the blog, and even longer since I have posted on a regular basis… Life happened and continues to happen at a crazy pace. Priorities have shifted in our post-pandemic world. Asking myself what is truly important is a daily (hourly) occurrence instead of monthly or yearly pondering. Perhaps I am getting older and not as inclined to just spill my guts on paper or with a keyboard. In many ways I haven’t known what to write about. Many times I have wanted to write, but it’s hard to eliminate enough of the emotion to transcribe something coherent.
My world has changed. My job has morphed. My home is in another state. My old church of a decade is not somewhere I would go for a Sunday service ever again. My ex-friends are/were not my friends – and I didn’t even know it. Members of our extended family no longer speak with us. Things I have lived through in the last two years would have been unthinkable eight years ago, or five years ago, heck, even three years ago – I wouldn’t have believed those things could happen. In light of all the changes, God has been so faithful and kind to my family and I. God has truly brought us out of Nevada and relocated us to Idaho. It happened very quickly and extremely smoothly. I am still trying to figure out where my place is in Idaho – the people have been mostly friendly. Civil servants are a pleasure to interact with in Twin Falls – the DMV is joyous and helpful and great to visit – which is a total system shock to me and something that takes some time to get used to. Mostly my family and I are left alone here.
I have lived through betrayal. I have lived through abandonment. I have lived through lies. I have lived through discrimination. I have lived through all of that at the hands of people who have claimed to have “love and concern” for my family… and all of that in the name of God. Based on their actions, they never loved my family. In their defense, some of those same people always told us that their families would be fine, and that their families came first, and that their families didn’t need any form of correction, and that any discussion of their families was strictly not tolerated and completely off the table. They get some points for honesty. They also insisted that their family was the only family they trusted and that was non-negotiable… Good for them. I must have minimized the terms, because if I had to sign a legal document to be a member after reading the afore-mentioned in writing, I would never have joined – but back in Nevada a verbal contract is as good as a written contract – so legally, I should have known what I was in for. They were mostly honest with that.
There were other people however which were not so honest. People who never disclosed their lives. Who always seemed to be good and strong in the Lord. People who I trusted and loved who turned out to be completely different people. Those are the ones where I just shake my head in disbelief. I do realize that many people are full of crud – I just thought some people were different. Perhaps I just chose to believe they were better than they actually were. (Side note: I need to change how trust is earned in my life.) I have been having it out with God over my lack of discernment in several areas, and what I discovered is a pattern… I let too many people off the hook in church. I trusted people in church, especially the church leaders and fellow extremely committed members… MY BAD! I let them have a blank check on reality – and then didn’t like the amount/s they wrote that check for. Shame on me. I repent. You can have your micro-mega church – I don’t want any part of it. I am ashamed of having spent nearly 10 years of my life 4-7 days a week being a part of it.
I will never again trust church leadership to shepherd me or my family into our callings. Church leadership does not deserve that kind of trust unless they earn it.
When Jesus was asked by the man formerly know as legion if he could travel with him, Jesus told him to go back to the Decapolis and “tell them what I did for you”. Notice he didn’t tell the man to go to Jerusalem and learn the scriptures properly. He didn’t insist the man hang out with Jesus and learn right interpretation and proper practice. (Actually, he forbid him to go with Jesus…) He didn’t show him what to do or make him go through some six-week class, he just sent the man on his way to fulfill the calling and purpose for which he was made. Jesus empowered that man to go and trusted that God would take care of the details. Many church leaders, if they were honest, would say that no one can go like that without someone, (usually said “leader”), training them up. How many leaders would want to put someone like that into discipleship training, and then take credit for sending them out? How many leaders in church are doing just that? It’s disgraceful the way many things get micro-managed by people who claim spiritual authority. One of the things I’ve learned in the last couple years is this: individual’s missions may not necessarily line up with a church’s mission. Church leaders who attempt to align and alter people’s callings to further church organizational goals are participating in an evil practice. It’s one thing if people are called to serve the church and another entirely to hijack a persons calling for the sake of church growth or revival.
“And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep is that darkness?”