Why is it that when things get tough I get literary? I mean really? Who goes through a major life change and thinks of a Coleridge poem? How many references to Yeats can I make in class?
I still haven't figured out what I was doing penance for, but I know that after a bit of purging (in more areas than stuff) I can feel a considerable difference. This school year I had foot surgery and was pretty much on my butt. For those that know me, you know that I am not a sitting type of person. I even built my craft table at standing height because I am not a sitter. I think the lengthy period of discomfort and immobilization certainly played a part in my emotional well being this year. On top of that there were major life struggles defining who I am and what direction we wanted for our family. The last little bit happened last week where the decision was finally made to leave the church we have attended for 10 years, and to change the children's daycare arrangements (also at our church). It was the saddest thing to say good-bye, but it was necessary. Things just fell into place for these changes to happen. I immediately felt better. Our family has felt better.
Now, before you start offering to have us visit your church I need to explain a few things. This divorce was traumatic for our family. It was not a hasty decision but it was a unanimous decision. I wasn't sure how we would explain things to 6 and 9yo, but God made it possible. It came down to the fact that if our beliefs are not in alignment with those we are worshiping with, no one is growing in their faith. So, for our family, now comes healing. It will take time for us to find a new church home. It will take time for us to be comfortable enough to visit churches. It will take time for us to grieve our loss. We have learned to respond to the many offers about visiting a church in a way that is not hurtful, but we just aren't there yet. We know as a family what we are looking for, and are certain that in His time we will find it.
During this transition we have learned some important things. We learned that we only lost the material aspect of our church. We lost the building. Our church family has remained in contact with us and we all find opportunities to visit outside of church settings. It's been a blessing in that way. Most of our church family has fled the building as well and found a place to worship for the reasons appropriate for them, but we all talk about our prayers that one day we will be able to return home as a family. Reality is that it may take waiting until we are all home with Jesus before that happens. The comfort is that we continue to share in our lives and our faith with one another.
Another blessing is that as I worry about the Christian education of my children, God gives me little signs that they have a firm foundation and that He is there with them and growing their faith no matter what atrocities are going on in the human world. I know that it's not the building that gave them their faith, but the communion of saints that brought them into a committed relationship with Jesus. Those saints continue to be in their lives and it is beautiful. There is certainly a rainbow at the end of this storm, and it is beautiful.