LOST

Reading the title of this post, one may think that I will be talking about the fantastic ABC Television series ‘LOST’ .  And while it is a great series, and worth talking about — it is not what I’ll be talking about.

What I will be talking about is being lost in a mass of people.  When I started going to New Creation a year and a half ago, it was amazing.  Sure, the first couple of weeks the lights, and the unique way of doing things I had not seen before had me captivated.  But then the initial ‘excitement’ of that wore off.  I was now a regular attendee.  I didn’t miss a Sunday for a year, came to several Fire in the Night prayer meetings, and also attended Anazao (youth and young adults group) most every Wednesday as well.  I volunteered to help with the website, I volunteered to help with a series of outreach events.  The Lord did some amazing works in me.  All of it was amazing.

Then in December.  I started to drift away.  To get lost, so to speak.  Now, don’t confuse what I am saying here.  I am still a Christian.  I am still a follower of Christ.  That has not wavered at all.  But I stopped going to all of these things.  Why?  I honestly have NO idea!  In the last 3 months I’ve been to a single Sunday service.  In the last three months I haven’t been to a single Anazao service.  In the last three months I went to half of a Fire in The Night service.  Those two times I have been there for a service in the last 3 months were AMAZING.  The Lord touched my heart.  So, why didn’t it push me to keep going?  Working an overnight job that typically interferes with all of these service times does indeed NOT help.  But it also in and of itself cannot be the only reason.

So why, then?  I still believe the core principles of what the church body as a whole believes.  I love the leadership.  I love those on staff.  I love the teaching.

I began to think, what am I missing?  Ah, yes.  I am a shy person.  I don’t typically initiate conversations.  Is that why I got lost? Because I’m not outgoing?  Looking at everything, it would seem to be the case.  Relationships are certainly two-way, and I didn’t make a lot of effort by any means to try and be close with many people.  But still, I do have some casual friendships there, and I’ve appreciated them.  More than any of them will ever know.

Sean was the first real friend I had.  It was such a God connection.  He was ‘in charge’ of the website, and needed help.  I was the help God provided.  It worked out great.  He was the designer, I the coder, we worked well together.  Then he left – on perfectly great terms.  So I was left to be ‘in charge’ (sort’ve).  I was the one that knew how to do it, so I did it. (Updated/Changed content, etc).  But, I am no designer.

Then we have Andrew.  The other real friendship I have there.  What to say about Andrew?  I am grateful for his generosity.  His kindness.  At just how hard he has worked to keep in contact with me.  Thank you, Andrew!

Alright, not to bounce all over the place.  So, not having been there but one Sunday in the last three months..  why would someone not say anything?  I mean, SOMEONE has to have noticed that?  The tag line “we love you and there is nothing you can do about it”.  Is it just a tag line?  Or do they actually believe it?  I don’t know, I guess even when I felt the most ‘connected’ to the church, I still felt like an outsider.  Like it was always ‘them’ and ‘me’.  Which is a feeling I totally understand as being there for awhile after coming to a new place.  It’s normal.  And yet, while feeling like an outsider, much of the time I also felt ‘at home’ there.

Not going to Anazao at all for three months…  after having gone pretty consistently for just over a year.   Did someone not notice that, too?  Does PT just see me as having been a casual attendee, too?  Am I not outgoing enough?  Why would someone not notice that, or say anything?

Okay, after having typed that, I realize that I perhaps sound like a whiny brat looking for attention.  That isn’t what I’m looking for here.  In fact, with my more shy personality, I would typically not care about this sort of thing.  But I LOVE going to New Creation.  I love that the Lord IS there.  And I want to be able to continue to go.  But I need relationships.  I need people.  I need people to care.  The body is about supporting each other.  And I’m starting to see I never really had that connection to the body.  Relating it to the physical body, I  feel like an organ that got transplanted and the body has slowly rejected it.  Like it never truly belonged, and perhaps never will.

Now the website.  I LOVE working on it!  I also love having direction.  But perhaps its not what I’m supposed to be doing?  I have felt for some time that I was being ‘punished’ for having a full time job AND volunteering for the website stuff.  That because I have a full time job, and cannot be in to work on things as much as I would like to be, that I’m not good enough to work on it.  And maybe I’m not.  Maybe someone else really could do a better job.  I don’t know.  I want to keep doing it, though!

Pastor Sam is very good about asking me how I am when he sees me in the office – and in the moment, my answer of “good” is always accurate.  But clearly, deep down, I’m not good.

I’m just lost.  I’m tired of feeling like I don’t belong wherever I’m at.  I know that a certain amount of the responsibility is on me to be there in the first place in all of these areas.  But when I’m not there, why does nobody really care?  God. Help.  First, why did I start to fall away from the church in the first place, and secondly, why does nobody care?  Lord, these are honest questions and I ask that you help bring me some clarity in them.  Am I expecting too much from the church and those there?  Am I not expecting enough from myself?  Lord God, I pray that any bitterness that tries to arise from this situation be squashed in Jesus’ Name.  Lord, you know my heart.  You know how much I love the atmosphere of the church.  You know the many times I’ve defended it and the body and the work that YOU do there.  You know God that You placed me there for a purpose. You know.  I am assured that YOU love me, and in the end, that’s all that really does matter.  I thank You that I do have some amazing friends in my life outside of church.  I thank You that You are in control.  I thank You for Courtney who has been such a crazy awesome blessing in my life.  I thank You that though you don’t bring about sickness, I was sick enough this morning to not feel well enough to go into church – so as to post this blog and get things out.  I thank You Father, for Jesus.  And its in the Name that is above every other name, I pray.  Amen!

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One thought on “LOST

  1. Hey Josh.
    Very interesting thoughts, and I have had many of the same thoughts myself. I, as you know, have had and still have concerns about New Creation, and, at the same time, I have absolutely without a doubt encountered God in that building.

    My only true response, and one that I have spent a lot of time contemplating for my own reasons is that, I feel that that body tends to rely on each other too much. I feel that God has allowed you (and others) to step away, and to know that He is still so much alive and connected to your heart. Their “tag”, “we love you and there’s nothing you can do about it”, I believe, is true.

    If it weren’t for their lack of connection to you, would you feel that it’s a perfect church? Maybe God allows lack of connection for you to seek connection with Him. I’m old, right? Really old, and I have learned that, frequently, we don’t learn when we are comfortable. Perhaps you are going through this period of discomfort so that you can grow; perhaps God is allowing the people to let you down so that you can learn that He never will. I don’t have a solid answer, but I promise you that, when you come through the other side of this, God will show you what He has to reveal to you through this. In the meantime…Sunday nights at Faith are comin’ back! Love ya!

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