Keeping the Faith

I got an email last week that called me out on something.

I was conflicted.

I think that’s what happens when you hear something you don’t really want to hear. Something you know is true, but don’t want to say out loud. Not everyone can confront you about those things. It has to come from the right person.

This one came from my mom. And she was right. She’s really the perfect person to point it out to me. And I would expect nothing less of her.

My mom questioned why I don’t talk more about my faith on my blog. Wondering if it’s because I thought I would lose readers or something. I can honestly say, as much as I love seeing that people are reading what I write, I wouldn’t let the desire for a following keep me from writing from the heart. It’s just not me.

No, there’s a different reason I don’t write about my faith. A less controversial reason.

My faith has become background music in my life. It’s always there, and I wouldn’t want to be without it. But I don’t pay much attention to it. I don’t dig deeper and really listen to the notes. It is a part of me, but not a valued part. At least I don’t behave like I value it.

I haven’t been in a Bible study since I went back to work full-time. Sure, I’m busy – cut me some slack. I have a lot on my plate and it would be hard to make time to prepare for a Bible study, that’s not light reading you know. And giving up one night a week?! I don’t know that I have that much time to spare. Sarcasm aside, it is a big commitment that I haven’t made time for in a long while.

We go to church…most Sundays. But there are plenty of Sundays we can make a weak excuse stick. It didn’t used to be that way. For years, the boys and I were at church and Sunday School every Sunday, without fail. (Hubby had to work most Sundays back then, he takes Sundays off now.) We made church a priority, and yes, I judged those who didn’t. It was easy to do. My faith was important to me. And I felt a compelling maternal instinct to make sure my boys grew up in the church. They went to church, Sunday School, participated in worship, catechesis, VBS, you name it. I  went thru 3 or 4 Disciple Bible Study classes and a Christian Believer class too. Pretty much, if the church was open we were there. My faith was the deepest of any time in my life.

So what happened?

I’m not sure. Actually, if I’m honest with myself, I do know where it started.

I worked at my church. And then I quit working at my church. It is a hard transition to make. I felt hurt by things that happened and I needed to take a step back. It was the right thing for me. It was not some big conspiracy or horrible secret. I just felt hurt by the way some things happened and I needed to get perspective. It took a long time for that hurt to ease. I think you expect your church to be different. Maybe we expect Christ-like behavior from mere mortals. Its tough. Even as I write this 5 + years later, it feels like I’m picking at a nearly healed scab.

Taking a break, stepping back, whatever you want to call it was the right thing for me to do. It is what I needed. The problem is, how do you get back in? I’ve always been the type of person who gets into the pool slowly. No matter how hot I am, I sit on the side and dip my feet in the water first. Then slowly, ever so gradually, I lower myself in the water. My head may not get wet for 15 minutes. I’m not the type who can just jump in. That’s kind of how it’s gone with dipping my toes back into the church. Slowly easing myself a little at a time. {Ok, not sure the two youth mission trips were dipping my toe, but they definitely stretched me!} Maybe it’s time to ease my whole body in? Maybe it’s time to find a place to study God’s word? I’ve done pretty well with the service part, not so much with the rest.

I guess it’s time to find myself a Bible study, to dig into the Word again. Time to focus on my prayer life. And time to nurture my boys’ faith. It’s never too late to get it right! After all, I’m 40-something and my mom just called me out:).

Thanks for the email, Mom. For real.

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2 Comments

Filed under Advice, Faith, Parenting

2 responses to “Keeping the Faith

  1. As another former church employee, I’m with you all the way (back) into the pool 🙂

  2. Great topic, Judy. Thanks for posting this. I too have been hurt by people in the church who should have known better. After 10 years absence, it’s time for me to return as well. I’m following the Nike slogan of “Just Do It” and get on with it already. Thanks for the shove.

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