So, you know, I talked about how I want to learn to like my church again.
A couple things I’ve noticed. Stopping the evil internal dialogue has gone a long way. A long, long way.
And you know, to do that, God got serious with me. It was like He was communicating to me: Now is the natural moment that I’ve shown you this issue (your negative internal rehearsing of sins), and you need to stop it now at this natural moment of conviction/healing. If you don’t stop it at this natural moment of growth, things will go downhill in a bad way.
Second, years ago, when all this negative started happening … Anne, the individual, went into hiding. It was not time to talk about my secondary convictions, to show people who I am as a person, as an individual believer, to talk about the personal ways God was leading me to do such and such. It was a time of …. some hostility. And so, I just didn’t see any point of inflaming or entangling things with other life issues. I’m an avoid-conflict person, so I just hid huge, important-to-me parts of myself because I didn’t feel safe talking about them or sharing those parts of myself with my church.
So, in order to start “liking” my church again, I need to give myself the courage to be myself openly. Not in a brash, in-your-face, do-it-my-way kind of way at all. But more of, this is the good ways God’s led me, these are the deep things my heart cares about … kind of thing.
And, I’m starting to feel the safety, in my church, to do this again. To be uniquely who God made me to be, and enjoying their unique-nesses, too.
Third …. I think God has led me in a specific way to open myself up to making personal friends in church (with other moms). So I’m putting myself ‘our there’ for that possibility. We’ll see what comes of this, but I think overall, it will help me make church folks more able to see me as a person, get to know me, mutual enjoyment, etc. It’s hard for me to do, actually, because I like being alone. But, learn and grow! Learning to give up the comfort that I want to so carefully keep around me.
So, that’s where I’ve come so far, with nurturing a more mature “like.”