Journey home

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Church
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About 6 months ago I left what had been the only church family I’ve ever known. At the time, the only answer I could provide as to why was that I felt as though God was leading me somewhere else. For some folks, such a reason wasn’t reason at all. After 4 years of building relationships, holding various leadership roles, learning and growing under many gifted pastors, and graduating from this particular movement’s version of seminary, “God is leading me somewhere else” didn’t really seem to cut it. And I get that. As a highly analytical, introverted, internal processor, my decisions often seem abrupt and perhaps even inconsiderate to those who are affected by them. It’s definitely something that I need to be more aware of. There were people who deserved to be better informed of what I felt God was putting on my heart so as not to have the proverbial rug pulled out from underneath them. To be fair, part of my thinking was that I wanted to leave quietly. I had begun to question a lot of things and I felt the best thing for the church was that I say little and walk away until I had the answers I needed. Still, there were probably some things that needed to be said or said differently. By God’s grace, I hope to learn from that.

The months that followed have undoubtedly been the most introspective and doctrinally shaping of my life. Many of the questions I had have been answered (which for me, has only led to more questions, but nevertheless…) and the ones that haven’t been answered are beginning to slowly unwind by the grace of God. I believe what was started in my heart and mind 6 months ago has now altered the course for my entire life in ministry. So yeah, needless to say…kind of a big deal.

That would be the good side. The bad side would be that the last 6 months have also been marked by a sense of “loss”,  periods of confusion, repeated bouts of what appeared to be spiritual warfare, and occasional loneliness. I had never truly been a part of a church so I had never known what it was like to leave one. My summation would simply be this: Christian community is not optional in the life of a Jesus follower. It’s essential. If I didn’t fully get that before, I certainly do now.

And by the grace of God I think I may have found my new home. At least I hope I have. And I also hope that God will continue to bless, protect, guide, and provide for my old home. Although there are things we disagree on, they are and always will be my family. I’d do anything for them and I’m grateful for all they’ve done for me. It’s just best that I move on.

And so the journey continues. While I’ll never tell anyone that following Jesus is easy, I can say that it’s never boring. My path has taken turns that I never would have anticipated. But realistically, many have sacrificed and left behind much more than I have to pursue God’s call. I’m just trying as best I can to be available. Where it leads is ultimately up to Him.

But for now, it seems to have led me home. We’ll see.        

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