It was "Church"!
Since I have been a young child, I have always gone to church. I went to church in college...after college...married...children. Church has always been an important part of my life. It's a place of "growing", "fellowship", "acceptance", "forgiveness" and it's fellow believers who walk along side you in this world.
That's always been my perspective and if it showed itself differently--I always chose not to "see" it because it was "church".
But, the reality is that "church" is a group of sinners (including me!) that brings about indifferences, unkindness, judgement and betrayal. In just the past few months, I have had a number of friends who have had such deep struggles with their church in different ways from members to the pulpit to splits to pastors leaving.
Even though I put on my "rose colored" glasses...let's face it that church can be unkind, it can judge and pastors can let us down. We let each other down.
We, too, the past few months have been on search for a new church...a place of fellowship...finding a place that we want to be part of and a place that wants us. Sometimes, after walking away from a church and saying "If that is what church is, I don't want any part of it". It's hard to not let that distortion have it's "last word". That's what you hang on to...you let it have the last word!
But, just as I encourage some of my dear friends...I am really just saying the advice to myself...
as Christians we should be in church! There is no perfect church and none even come close to it!
Hebrews 10: 24,25 says..
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. "
I think when you take off the rose colored glasses...it can hurt and it's not rosy anymore! And sometimes it's not "hurt" but just plain exhaustion because it feels like everyone is fake. The Christian walk is hard and I think women especially are notorious for giving off "air" that everything is great. We all want to be the perfect family, perfect kids, perfect doctrine, just perfect...but we are not.
And when church is not perfect which it's not and never will be...those imperfections and wounds can be our "last word"...or only "picture" of what Christian fellowship is...what "shepherding a flock is"... so that is what we hang on to.
I write this for some dear "friends"....I write this for "myself".
It says in John 13...
"You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
This is what we are called to do...wash each other's feet, to meet together, to pray, to break bread with one another, to speak and encourage each other in our growth for the scriptures and resting on His perfect and wonderful love for us....
I guess my point to all this is don't let the "distortion" have it's last word...continue to search and seek a group of believers that will walk alongside you in this Christian walk. That is my prayer for you...that is my prayer for me.