I’m joining the Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Fridays. Rules are: for only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Won’t you join us?
I just finished watching the intro video for the in(RL) conference and Woah. I mean WOAH. It hit home and it hit hard, there’s definitely going to be a mark there tomorrow.
Community is something I’ve been craving for a while now. Real community, deep community. Lasting friendships with people who can handle seeing me at my best and my worst and who, in turn, I can support in their best and worst.
Not a single day goes by that I do not miss or think of my friend. You know the one, my friend who after spending 10 years of essentially an unhealthy codependent relationship with me,
chose/agreed/stopped….what’s the right word – walked away? It wasn’t one-sided though. I’m as much at fault for collapsing that community as he is. I also walked away. I chose to cut contact. I stopped putting in effort.
And let me be the first to say – NO friendship will survive, heck no community will survive – without everyone involved putting in some effort.
(technically my 5 minutes is up, but I have just a bit more to say, please forgive me for exceeding my limit)
When I lost that friendship, I truly felt like I had lost my community. I don’t have many close friends, it’s not in my nature. But I miss the ‘whole-ness’ I felt when I had a secure community, when I had someone or a couple of people who I could call with anything at anytime and who I would do anything for …
I’m not getting community from my church either. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for the past year, I’m I struggling posting about now. My home church, the one I’ve attended the past 20 years doesn’t feel like home. I feel like an outsider and often leave more frustrated and aggravated that when I arrive. Key leaders/influencers do not understand my life-stage and do not appear to be able to relate to me. I am the only single
female person my age or even close to my age. If you are not a high-schooler or younger OR in a committed relationship OR have your own family, there is little room for you here – that’s the message I keep coming face to face with.
The past 8 years or so, I’ve taught and directed the Children’s Department. I’ve conducted VBS, commanded Awana, taught Sunday School, and coordinated Children’s Church. But recently, after many difficult months teaching an age group that has always been difficult for me to ‘gel with’ (*ahem* 6th grade – I just don’t do well with preteens….God bless those of you who have a calling for them, they have such struggles…) I’ve been pressured to stop teaching and attend a small-group because my “fire for God isn’t burning as brightly as it should,” and I’m not “getting my cup filled” (don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in being refreshed so you can refresh others, I simple do NOT believe we all get refreshed the same way – teaching refreshes me, studying, prepareing lessons, anticipating questions, I always get way and I mean WAY more out of teaching the kids than I did sitting in class… but church leaders don’t understand that, and are unable to explain it to me in a way that makes me trust their side of the position)
And yet even if I did go along with their side, there is no small-group for me, nowhere that I’m comfortable sharing my struggles and offering my support. The group closest to my age is widely considered the “couples class” but, administrators say: “If you attend it won’t be a couples class anymore”
sure. That’s like saying if you attend the teen class it won’t be a teen class anymore – um hello, third wheel anyone? And while I understand that the class doesn’t always discuss ‘couple’s things’ that’s the experience they bring, that’s their dynamic. And it works for them, but I don’t have that experience and it’snot something I can relate to at this stage in my life.
So, after much prayer and meditation, I’ve resigned my position with Awana and chosen to seek community elsewhere. In 5 weeks I will depart from my home church and explore fellowship in a community 30 minutes away. One where there is a thriving singles ministry, one where I can hopefully heal my soul from this hurt and begin to construct my community all over.
And it scares me.
And it excites me.
This possibility of a new community.
It’s just what my soul is crying for.