Church Experience Part 2
In my previous post, I mentioned that I feel like I am drifting and it really bothers me and that I also think that a lot of my church experience not being so hot right now is my own fault too. Well, don’t worry – I am not thinking about leaving Christ or the “church” by any means! I just feel as if I am still searching for a place of belonging, at least as far as church goes.
I do know that I do want to feel as if the church were my family. Having a church family here is especially important to me, since Greg and I do not have a lot of “real” family here with the exception of my brother who lives in South Denver and a cousin who recently (to my excitement!) has moved to Springs. The support of a family system is so important. Sometimes I am wonder if I would get more out of a small group study rather than attending a regular church service. Especially if it were a group study where people could be completely open and honest and not have to worry about always talking Christianese with each other. I realize that attending a Bible Study could afford some of this for me, but many that I have attended have not allowed for me to feel as if I can be real in them and that I still have to put on my perfect Christian facade before I enter. But I am not perfect by any means, and I want to develop deep relationships with others who are not perfect but who will forgive and love me for my imperfections. I cannot even express how deep the desire is for me right now to make some close Christian friends in Denver.
And as I get older, I am also not wanting to be so segregated into different age or life groups all the time. I’m too old for college group, not single, married but don’t feel tied down and no kids (yet per se), but don’t feel old either! One thing I have realized I miss about a church I grew up in is the influence of having older people as friends and church family as well as people my own age, if that makes any sense. Maybe I am idealizing this certain church that I attended in highschool too much, but things made so much more sense back then (in highschool) when I feel as if my faith was so much stronger, emotion could be openly displayed without worry of what others would think, I couldn’t wait for church and was in the church every time the doors were open (and then some!), etc. I remember leaving the church after Sunday Services for lunch, and then coming back to the church for impromptu board games with other church members of all ages. Or, after lunch, we would return to put in a Nitro-Praise CD and just dance around the pews and take pleasure in dancing before God. Looking at my reaction in church now during worship where I am pretty boring, one might be surprised to learn that I used to raise my hands all the time and even went so far as to dance around the pews. (Of course, this was an Assemblies of God church so that wasn’t too unusual there like it would be at Riverside where I would be snickered at.) But I miss the freedom to worship like that. I feel so restricted now and embarassment and pride has long taken over which completely kills it for me.