There have been a lot of blog posts out there lately about folks wandering in the post-traditional-church wilderness. I'm afraid I'm definitely there, myself.
And I'm wondering, Father, if a lot of my wonderings and questionings lately, are from being often so alone.
Like... dear God, Father, how do I get to know Your Son and truly follow Him, get centered on Him? How do I do it when I'm feeling so alone?
Yes, of course I have You. That's awesome! That's wonderful! On the one hand, I feel as though that should be enough. More than enough!
BUT I need Your church, too. Don't I? Don't we need each other?
I've felt so cut off lately. Of course partly I was unwell for a long time, and couldn't get out much. So maybe I've been held back. By my self, my weaknesses, my tiredness, my fears, even my stubbornness.
But maybe also by others in Your body, whom I have, well, depended on. Depended on to do what I think the church should do for me (oh dear)?
Father, You know how much I have loved the "street family." I loved that I could serve by boiling eggs and baking and stuff. Only thing is, fewer people seem to come these days (well, of course it is winter...). And they don't seem so, well, grateful, as they once did. (Oh dear. Again.). And there seem to be undercurrents of disagreements... And we hardly ever sit down together and really spend time with You as a group, like we did before. (Am I the only one who misses that? What does that mean? Oh dear, yet again. My one pointing finger seems to have 3 fingers pointing back at me. Maybe this is MY problem after all?) Oh God, please help us. Please help ME.
Father, You know all about how cut off I was feeling from my biological family. My parents both died recently, and I lost my "daughter" role. And my siblings are busy with their own families, and I feel pretty alone, sibling-wise (well, except for my sister, bless her !). And my four daughters have all grown, and moved, and have families of their own, and my son, my youngest has moved out now too. You know how terribly cut-off I felt the past while. But You've been really helping me to adjust, I think, to my changing functions and roles in my biological family. I'm seeing more and more that I'm still a part, still needed and loved (and useful!). But just in different ways. So that's good.
But I feel so lost right now from Your family. From Your church. Yes, from the street family, but also from the "church in this city" and, oh yes, from the "churches" that I have "attended" in the past. I miss Your people. In the street church, people grow in You, and move on to new things. That's good, right? And the folks from those "churches" in my past? A few are still good friends (but most of them don't live close by, and even those who do, are so busy). It does seem that if we no longer have "X church" in common, we just don't have anything in common. Kind of like "friendships" in most jobs. (And yes, I'm guilty of this too). (Oh dear, oh dear).
Oh. And I do not seem to know how to reach out and "love my neighbors" right here in my neighborhood. It was easier in a small town where people couldn't hide from each other (though for sure that had its own challenges, lol). But it seems like city people are so busy, busy, busy... and maybe hiding from each other, cocooning... maybe afraid... surely lonely! So why is it so hard to reach out?
Maybe I just need to stop talking, and questioning. Long enough to rest in You. And hear Your still, small voice. Dear God?