Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Sunday Morning...



Here I sit, on my couch with coffee and a Sunday paper on my lap on a March Sunday morning at about a quarter to 9. Just that simple description still boggles my mind a bit, I must admit. I have been a life-long church goer. It is what. you. do.

But not me...for now. I have not left THE church, just A church. So when I run into a former church-mate I tell them that I am between churches at the moment. I don't know how long the "the moment" will last. I miss church. I miss people. I don't miss the sermon...but I miss the small-talk as we enter and hug a dozen people before finding our seat. In the same section every Sunday. I miss working behind the Info Counter, watching the faces of new-comers as they walked in and sized us up. I loved making them feel welcome and coaxing a smile out of their nervousness. I miss worshipping God with great music and lots of people. I miss going out to lunch with my group of friends every Sunday. The laughter and tears as we shared our lives together. I miss the sweet moment when the small talk turns to big talk. I miss sharing life.

My former church and I are not in a lovers quarrel, we are not mad at one another. No one cheated on anyone. It was time, we were done...kind of a "not you, it's me" dance happened...but not really. I cannot explain it here, there is too much and too little to be said. I feel the need to justify and defend myself..but not here or now. I can say that after a bit of time away, God did whisper to me that I needed to stop going back to my old well. He called it my "old well"...not a term that I would use. You may not believe that God talks to us like that, but my friends back there will believe it and understand it. It won't sound odd or weird to them at all.  :)

So I am "out here" figuring out my relationship with my God in a whole new venue. It is not an anti-church venue, more of a churchless-until-further-notice kind of season. Very different for me/us. Kinda scary...unknown waters...exploring an unmarked map. 

Five days ago I was reading one of my fav bloggers, Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary and she included a song that hit me between the eyes and had me in tears for an hour of listening to it again and again...




Then I saw it. I am on a NEW adventure with God. I have been consumed with all that I AM NOT (and do not want to be)  anymore...not a church lady...not a church staffer...not a pastor's wife. Back in the late 90's I broke out of the "church lady" way of thinking. I embraced a new freedom in God that was and is, still delicious. (The basis of this blog name.) But I've been concentrating so hard on what I do not want to be, that I have been unable to move forward into a new thing. 

This song was my "Aha" moment 5 days ago. I am in a time of...

delightful
scary
borderless
adventure

with...

possibility
purity
cleanness 
blank space
open borders

and without...

outside expectation
job description
preconceptions
labels
limits or
pressures.

My God-friendship is a whole new country waiting to be explored and discovered. I am not dependent upon a church denomination or a new book about progressive Christianity. Just me and God...walking together, talking, listening. I will bring along my great history with Him as One Who Loves, and drop off the ideas that have been tacked onto Him by men. I'm not scared that I will somehow accidentally fall out of His hands. His hands are TOO BIG for that.

I am His and He is mine. 

Someday I will walk into a new church and feel at home again. I'll embrace all that is wonderful about being with a gang of people who are crazy about God and one another. I trust that my new well is ahead of me. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the Sunday morning paper and my coffee here in my living room. God...Wherever You would call me, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.


"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

Hillsong



You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
[x6]

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine



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30 comments:

  1. This was beautifully said my sweet Susie. I totally understand where you are and where you are going. It is a season of life that is a necessary part of the life that God has called you to. We all go through different kinds of seasons...all a part of the work that God is doing in our hearts and souls. Nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. God knows that you are His, and He is yours. Thank you for your honesty. That's what I love about you.

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    1. Thank you for such lovely words Pamela. When I heard that song it just washed over me and showed me so much about my journey right now. And then, as almost always happens when I have a sweet encounter with God...He also showed me that this song was for you and your current rough season so I sent it to you that night. I so love how God meets each of us exactly where we are and He can even use the same words to meet very different needs in His children. I am thinking of you and praying for so often in recent days Pam. Blessings.

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  2. Susie, I discovered this song not too long ago, and I too was tremendously blessed by the power of its words. Thank you for sharing. I can totally relate to the words of your heart.

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    1. Thanks for coming by Nan. Some songs seem to transcend a single message and hit a lot of people in amazing ways.

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  3. I like the lyrics to the song, and am excited for you as you walk this journey, and I am hoping when the time is right God will point you in the direction of the church he chooses for you.

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    1. Thanks Terra, I know He will and I am looking forward to the new journey as we figure it out.

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  4. Everything your heart desires is ahead of you. I loved those days too. Better days ahead.

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    1. Thanks AB. (You are so mysterious, cannot find your website or anything.)

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  5. I'm there too. Still. Inching toward the end, maybe. But also so sweetly in this beautiful, mystical journey with Him in a new way. And I LOVE how He speaks. I GET it, Susie.
    Resting in His embrace, too.
    Carolyn

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    1. So thankful for all of these encouraging comments! Been a little scared to come "out of the closet" as non-church goer right now. Probably because I recall how I would have judged it in the past. Thanks for reading and commenting Carolyn!

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  6. His hands sure are big enough! Loved this post, Susie. Looking forward to being on this adventure w/ you.

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    1. Hi Anna, I am thinking about writing a post on how very BIG His hands really are. I spent a lot of time in the past worrying about ACCIDENTALLY back-sliding. What a silly thought! I am His and He is mine, just like you Anna are His and He is yours. :)

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  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm in the same place.The words "old well" really, really hit home for me. Wow! Blessings, Susie, on your journey!

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    1. You're welcome welcome welcome! Thanks for the blessings Niki.

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  8. Well, my friend...I believe God leads us, and I am a girl that was born for this time, but I sense He still talks to His people, be it through the church or through the couch... His love never fails. The church, the couch and I believe a whole lotta cattle belong to Him, last time I checked. He is faithful. He will bring you to the place of His choosing in His time. Just roll with it. He knows your name. He's got your GPS chip right in your palm, or maybe HIS. Either way. Meet Him on the couch while you can, who knows what adventure lies ahead. Besides, then you will say to Him... Lord, I miss our couch times. Count it all joy! Love you.

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    1. Rolling with it, and now beginning to see it as a positive adventure...much better view! Love you Dawn, you've been a huge help in this odd transition time!

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  9. Susie, a year after my husband stepped down from his role as Pastor, we decided it was time to give the new minister breathing room and move on. Honestly, it was getting a little awkward for us to continue to hang around, a bit like a retired school teacher insisting on sitting in the back of the class room while the new teacher starts her career.

    However, I was excited to go to a new church and have (gasp) NO ROLE whatsoever. We live in a small town, and people switch churches to suit their fancy like some people change shoes, so finding a church without a shadow was difficult for us. But we found one-- an Episcopal church, very different from the more fundamental ones we're used to. I'm loving the liturgy, the worshipful atmosphere, the people and the preaching. I hope, when the time is right, you find a new place of worship. Truly, it is good not to give up meeting together-- and in the right place, it is downright fulfilling again.

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    1. Oh yes, familiar territory. Our small town feels extremely small all of sudden in terms of churches for us. I've fantasized about walking into a few but ....just too weird to be a visitor in your own town...and trying to explain the situation etc. blah, couch for now. We were senior pastors in one small church here for 10 years, knew all the other pastors etc. Then for another 10 years we were on staff at a near by big church. I love our town....but time to move on I think. Thanks Julie.

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  10. Susie: Ask God to show you where you need to be and what you need to do in order to get there. I have been at this place where you are. One of the churches we visited during a time of feeling we needed to be somewhere else had some features that bothered us and decided to continue our search. I wrote a note to the gentleman who had invited my friend and me to visit. Beyond that, no one contacted us either by mail or by phone. That gentleman noticed something a bit later. He has been searching for the place God wants him to be. Right now, he is worshipping with us at our church.

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    1. Celest, thanks for coming by. I can't help but feel there must be another way...to be with God...to have close fellowship with others...but not always in a pew, you know? Exploring.

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  11. The relationship is what matters most. :)

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    1. Thanks Jeff. You are exactly right...it is all about the relationship. :)

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  12. What a great realization. God is good--he reveals our next steps when we are ready for them. Blessings on discovering more of Who You Are and What Is

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    1. Thank you Marcia. it is a crazy and not-always-fun journey but well worth it.

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  13. I'm right next to you at Jennifer's this week. I'm a pastor's wife who kind of had an "I'd like to quit" weariness and heaviness going on. I wrote about it a bit this week. I pray for you to find the exact "well" that God has for you.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, so nice to meet you! Thanks for coming by. I just hopped over to your blog and so "get" your post on weariness, but you certainly now how to push through and find God in ways that will keep you sane while in ministry. Blessings, Susie

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  14. You are so brave! But just trust that this is what God wants for you.

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    1. "Brave" is not the word I would use but thank you Martie!

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  15. This has left me a little speechless.
    Just realizing how many people are experiencing the energy of now and making such massive changes in their lives.
    Wow Suzie, WOW !!
    Indeed we tread the same path- differing words and images maybe but the same move of consciousness.
    The same search for truth.

    Lisa xx

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    1. I know! Crazy, isn't it? When I read your post I was smiling so big. We met as teachers of young ones looking for spiritual guidance years ago and now here we both are, letting go of the old and finding a new way to know God! Blessings on you dear Lisa, in your search for truth.

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