I’ve been cheating.
On my church. With another church.
Okay, not exactly scandalous. But it’s a big deal to me. And to my family. Not the flesh and blood ones I inherited, but the ones we chose. The ones who chose us, over and over again, these past 10 years. Chose to feed us, to notice us, to like us and to love us, to teach us and learn from us, to laugh and cry with us, to help us move and paint and fix the thousands of things that have broken beyond what our remedial-level-handiness could bear.
This is the church that once considered us one of their missionary families. The church that once hired me, welcomed me on staff and appreciated me; irreverent humour, socialist politics, feminist rants and all. The church that rearranged itself entirely to support special needs kids and families like ours.
I know, I know, if our church is so awesome…
Don’t get me wrong, they’re not perfect. We’ve had our ups and downs. But the new church, it’s not a perfect fit either. In fact, it might require even more give and take from us. And we have very little left to give these days.
It’s not about that.
So, why trade comfortable, familiar and safe for new, strange and, since we’re both introverts, kinda scary?
It’s a long story.
A very, very long story.
If you come to this blog for Mommy stories about adoption or special needs, anecdotes about the strange thing my kid stuck up his nose last night or how I gave myself a black eye with my own umbrella; or, if you are part of the 99.99% of the world who could care less about my spiritual beliefs…. feel free to scroll past these “What I Believe” posts and return to the blog for regularly scheduled programming. I will continue posting about other things too. FYI, if you can hardly stand the suspense, it was a fork – up his nose (who does that?).
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to also unpack the story of our shift in life philosophies (what church folks often call “theology”) and the reason why this is a good thing for us, and not at all a reason to call my friends/parents/former pastor in a panic. Or do. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. Who am I to tell you what to think?
To the church family who has loved us well for over a decade, please know that this isn’t a judgment…
It’s not you, it’s me.
I’ve changed. So has my husband.
You’ve been patient. We haven’t felt bullied or disrespected for sharing our questions or concerns, even when you’ve disagreed with us, and wondered when we’d get over this rebellious phase, and ultimately accepted us as the official shit-disturbers of care group.
We just aren’t on the same page anymore.
We think you’re great. We want only good things for you…
I hope we can still be friends.
That’s why we tried to juggle two churches at once. That’s why we’ve taken so long to officially “break up.” And that’s why we might still visit from time to time (you’re not getting rid of us entirely).
But why make such a big deal about it? Why not just stop showing up and hope no one notices? Is it ridiculously melodramatic, rampant overthinking, to write a letter like this?
have you met me?
To us, church is not just a place to go; it’s a community, a web of relationships. I don’t expect those relationships to end, but as our affiliation changes, so will they. And that can get messy. Already I’ve heard a few rumors and misconceptions about what we believe.
I guess that’s inevitable. It’s hard for us to put years of intellectual wrangling into a few succinct sentences. It’s confusing.
I’m not known for my brevity, but I’ll do my best to clarify our understanding in the next few posts. I’m going to pretend that the entire internet wants to know our story. Of course they do. I’ll even answer questions from the comments section. Seriously, anything. Almost anything. Within reason. Use your best judgment.
Stay tuned for posts on:
- From Certainty to Mystery – why I’m not so sure anymore.
- Embracing a Bigger Gospel – why I no longer call myself an evangelical.
- What is a Progressive Christian Anyway? – why I support feminists, gays, tree-huggers and other crazy liberals Mark Driscoll has been warning you about.
So here’s us 2.0.