As I was saying in my post about Sarah I wanted to talk about what I learned from her cautionary tale.
And some of the things, as I've been mulling over it, surprised me.
I could be Sarah in 20 years.
I got married young. Right from the get go it was disaster after disaster. Our honeymoon was an exercise in disaster. A few weeks after our wedding lost my Dad which was a huge blow. We moved to save money and the neighbor across the hall was a nightmare...Kept us up night after night blasting music, men in and out of her apartment...Drunken phone calls outside our bedroom window. It was hurtful, scary, and made our home feel yucky and like a black cloud was hanging over it. We mis-managed money and then got pregnant, which meant we had to move in with family...We have been here 4 years in July and ...WOW! What change, growth and maturity these 4 years have brought. We've learned valuable lessons about money management, parenting, and a lot about ourselves as people. But it's been a hard hard soooo hard 5 years in so many ways...And at this point in time: in our current living situation, with all the changes and stresses and ever ything going on: I am completley overwhelmed.
Just being honest here, I'm still just playing the game. And I'm done.
I could continue down this road, I could continue playing: continue trying to make things work, for my kids. No I'm not talking about leaving my husband, or abandoning my kids...Not talking about my family at all, not really. I am talking about egh, I hate how it sounds but: being true to myself. More, being true to Jesus.
Families Where Grace Is In Place (by Jeff VanVonderan) has a lot of great stuff in it. But one thing that stood out to me was this thought (and this is the jist of it): God isn't honored when a couple just stays together, going through the motions, living as room mates year after year because, "God hates divorce". That isn't marriage. Marriage is friendship, marriage is companionship. Marriage is intamacy.
I am the bride of Christ...And right now, I'm going through the motions. I resent my "side of the deal" and every thing it entails at this point. I am stressed out and feel so much pressure not to disappoint. That isn't relationship! I am more worried about what the people at my church think (in a way) ...but mainly my (amazing) hubby and family. I want to be a good example to my kids, I want them to grow up and be in fellowship...SO I go. Yes, it's a little easier since we started our class. But I am not at peace. Some thing is wrong. Relationship is missing. And I'm tired of trying to find it in church, it's not happening. All I feel is pressure...Pressure to be involved in the women's ministries, to go to the Mom's IN Touch Prayer meetings, to BE some thing I'm not. I'm jsut not at this point. The Christiany things make my skin crawl (a little). The platitudes the "this is what it looks like to be a good Christian wife and mother"isms. Yes, sure the Bible does lay out some things, it talks about the virtuous woman. But I just want to be me. Let hte fruits of the spirit ooze out of me becuase I've been with God!
But that isn't doing it right, I'm not doing it right: or at least that's the message I hear, church after church.
So I quit.
I'm not playing the game any more.
People aren't going to like it, but I am not going to attend church anymore...At least not right now. I need space, I need to plug back into what's important: relationship with my friend, Jesus. I haven't had that in a really long time.
He doesn't want to be my room mate, he wants to be my lover.
So, it's going to upset some people. Some may judge me. But I want to be in church because I just love being around those people. Right now I feel awkward, I dont' click with ANY ONE, I feel dull and lifeless and icky. I've never LOVED our church, it's been okay...But it was kind of hubby's call, and I ...Well let's just say: it's time I take responsability for myself, I have a voice and I have a choice (not to sound all femenisty, I respect my husband...Buuut that's not really at issue here).
I have a feeling my husband is really not going to like it. Though I hope he'll support me...I don't know what will happen with our pre-readers class. If any thing it's given the church a vision, and I don't know... It's going to be a hard pill to swallow. But I need some space. No, I'm not kidding...I need some SPACE. I'd like to meet and fellowship with my friends who are In Christ, read and pray together, share: build real relationships. People who God sent my way, not people I feel obligated to spend time with (but do not click with) because we attend the same congregation (just being blunt). I want to ...eventually read and study with my husband. He can do what he feels is right as far as church goes, he's accountable to God for himself (and our family)...And with him holding me accountable and loving on me...I can't go off the deep end now can I?
Is this an easy decision? no. I'm sure it will look really negative to some people.
But I need to do this. Or I will end up like Sarah...I will grow in resentment, not relationship...I will spend the next who knows how many years of my life NOT where I'm supposed to be "for the sake of my family" and it will not benefit any one.
So what have I learned? My generation is different. In some ways our "open mindedness" has lead to us believing some twisted and wrong things about the world and about God.
But in other ways, it's helped us see the importance of Truth, the importance of the simplicity of the Word of God (The Bible). The importance of realtionship: no matter how that makes us look.
"Sarah" friended me on FB recently (or I friended her? she recently got an account!)... I haven't said any thing to her, but I think it was a reminder from God: follow me, not mans rules and structures.
So with that... I have a lot of praying to do...But apart from my fear of what certain people will think of this, I think I have a peace...I definitely feel relief.