Monday, April 24, 2006

Late Night Musings

Every now and then, I click on the archive button and re-read something from times long ago.
I don't do this all the time, because, come on, I'm a busy woman.

But this week, on Wednesday night, I randomly hit August 2005 and read through my thoughts from that summer month.

I paused when I came to this entry:

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Oh my goodness, Poor Drew.

There I sat on my kitchen floor with my head under the sink looking for the damn button to restart my broken garburator which has my drain smelling like someone took a crap in it.
I’ve been holding it all in for a few days… and I couldn’t contain the flood any longer. Tears dripped faster than raindrops as I engaged in a little pity party.
“Are you crying mom?” he asked.
“Uh huh.”
“Why are you sad?” he wondered.
“It’s not just one thing. It’s a couple.” I replied.
“Can I do something?” he offered.“Just help me with these dishes and I’ll be fine.”
“It’s nothing you did, by the way.” I added.
“Would you rather wash or dry?” I asked as I filled up the sink.
“Dry. Definitely.”
So with my hands in hot soapy water, I didn’t bother tensing up my stomach or sucking back the angst. I let er flow.
As Drew chatted about things he did the past few days with Sherry and Mikhail, I nodded and murmured and cried quietly.The past 7 days have been tazmanian-devil-like busy, and even though I attempted to do a lot of good things for the right reasons, I may have bitten off more than I could digest.
At the height of my own personal whirlwind, in the middle of serving 22 people dinner at the cabin, I got a phone call from Clint.
“Mom? Have you heard? Everyone resigned at church. Two more Sundays and then that’s it. What does it mean?”
I gasped for breath as he continued asking me for answers. Numb, I told him I didn’t know.
My insides were agitated. Restless. Tense.
But with guests over an’ all, I couldn’t take the time to process nothin.
Claire called me when I got home on Monday night with additional details and even more questions.
At work on Tuesday, I overheard two of my co-workers talking about it with optimism which left me sceptical.
“Don’t worry, Jane. This isn’t like your last church. We are going to rebuild. Fresh vision. It’s exciting.”
“That’s what we thought at Fraser Heights. Those of us that were there til the end were convinced we could be apart of something new… a phoenix rising from the ashes… and whatnot.”
“No, this is different. We are totally committed.”
“So were we…”

Jonah was a prophet of God who was told to go to Ninevah and warn the citizens of that evil city to turn from their wicked ways.
Jonah wasn’t particularly interested in that gig, so he hopped on a BC Ferry-like ship and sailed in the opposite direction. As it turned out, things got rocky on that vessel as the perfect storm battered it to and fro on the tsunamish waves.
The sailors knew that someone on board was tickin off the Creator so they hunted down ol’ Jonah. Who admitted, yes, it was all his fault. And if they’d just toss him overboard, things would settle down nicely.
So they gave him the heave ho and voila – dead calm.

When our (Mark's and my) house was sold and I started looking for a place to settle on my own… I investigated 4 different areas. It looked like Murrayville was the obvious God-ordained location for me to raise my boys.
But I didn’t want to live there.
My heart was set on Fraser Heights. For my own reasons including friendships, the church and an affordable brand new house. Oh, and it was in the opposite direction from O-ville. I needed anonymity. Life was too fish-bowlish for me in Langley.
So I let my heart lead and I bought a lovely home.
The rough water that our church was floating on got choppier.They shoulda kicked me out.
No one did.
Six weeks later the church closed.
Some of my friends moved away.
And drug-lords moved in beside and behind me. My sweet, safe street soon housed a row of grow ops.
Two years later I threw myself overboard and sold my house.
Then a whale swallowed me and my kids. (We lived with my parents for 10 months.)
Finally in ’03 – we moved into the area that I always thought I should have moved into in the first place.

So that’s why I’m so shaken that this church is struggling.
Do they need to hoist me up and out?

Because, of course, this church’s struggles are entirely my fault.
Because, as a matter of fact, the world does revolve around me.
And the weight of that responsibility just gets to me sometimes.

Like tonight.

When the drains in my house stop doing what they’re supposed to.
When too many rooms are being used as a dumping ground for ‘things I’ll get to later’ stuff.
When the grass is dead and the weeds thrive.
When my head and my heart are in conflict.
And when the tears refuse to be stopped.

I’m better now.
I’ve got some good folks praying for me.
And Drew’s gentle smile has an uncanny way of restoring light to a gloomy day.

He was supposed to be at my mom’s place for night tonight. But an unexpected invitation to spend tomorrow at a friend’s house has him right where I need him.

“Hey, look mom,” he said as we stood side by side at the sink. “It’s a full moon tonight. Your favourite. You should go outside for a few minutes and just look at it.”

posted by Jane at 11:54 PM 1 comments links to this post

As I read it, I remembered the flood of feelings that almost drowned me that summer evening.
And then Thursday happened, which was busy.
And then Friday, which was busier.
And Saturday ... which was a typical weekend day.

It wasn't til this morning in church that I allowed myself to re-feel that pain of uncertainty.
Last August I was ready to jump ship...Err, um, church.
I was fully prepared to warm the back seat of some large established church and fade away into obscurity.

My sons would have no part in that.
"We are going to stay and build this church back up."
"We'll do whatever it takes. This is our church, and we're not letting another one of our churches close up."

So we stayed.
But I bubble-wrapped my heart. No way, no how, no one was going to sneak in and cause me to love them only to have the church close down and have everyone go their separate ways leaving me looking dumb, just having bought a house in the neighbourhood again.

I must have received an invitation at least once a month to join someone's care group. I always politely declined.
I was personally invited to every ladies function. I went twice.
We were invited, by various cool, friendly families to go to their houses for dinner.
Depsite my best efforts to sneak away quickly right after the service, someone would make a huge effort to find out how I was doing.

Clint and Max became fully integrated in the youth program. They became friends with the guys, choosing to spend time with each other outside of scheduled events.

Noticing that Drew wasn't connecting, Sue put together a Club 6/7 Sunday School class with two of the coolest teachers on the planet. He loves it.

And then, this winter, Dave reached out made it even harder for me to keep that bubble wrap securely fastened. He invited Drew to his house to 'hang' and make things using torches and welding tools.

This morning, we heard, what he assumed, would be his last sermon at our church. John Schmidt, our interim pastor spoke powerfully on forgiveness.
How we need to forgive even when we don't feel like it. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling.
He challenged us not only to forgive relationally; to the friends and family in our lives, but also express forgiveness to those who have hurt us in the church.
He encouraged us to clean up any "messes" before our new pastor started.

I had no problem with anyone in this church. No one had wronged me. I had not felt slighted or hurt by anyone.
His sermon was good - it just didn't apply to me. I had no hang ups or unresolved issues with anyone...

After he finished speaking, we voted.
I am not a member, so while they were interested in my opinion, it was not "counted".
It became official. Conrad Neudorf will be our new Senior Pastor.
We really are a church that is moving ahead.

Sitting beside me was a friend who was visiting our church for the first time. She innocently asked me for some background info as to how we came to this point in the life in the church. I started to respond only to be overcome by the tsunami of emotions I had bottled up since Fraser Heights church closed.

I don't have anyone in this church to forgive.
My problem was with my other church. The one that closed down when I needed it most. The one that voted to disband six weeks after I moved into that neighbourhood. The one that I was vulnerable at. The one I was so needy at. The one that my kids loved. The one that I loved.

I don't even know who to forgive.
Our old elder's board? Leadership Team? God?

In the end, I can see that it was part of God's plan that we all move on to other churches.

I know this is where He wants me.
It took Him awhile to get me here. I took the cirticulous route.

My trust in 'the church' as an establishment was shattered in 2000.
Six years later, I'm starting to trust again.

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