Minor edit made to be less harsh. People who signed up to follow me saw the original edit. Sorry to those three people.
Can’t sleep, so I’m going to write about why. This might be a little free-form, so accept my advanced apologies for what is bound to be some nonsense and unresolved thought.
I mentioned several posts ago that by all appearances, I’m going to be looking for a new church soon. My present church is switching to Sunday night services that I am physically unable to attend. I also haven’t been able to attend midweek services in some time, just due to work schedule/location. So…that leaves me with no church come March when the transition happens. I know that sounds like a long time away, but it isn’t.
I thought it would be a little bit easier of a transition for me than it’s working out to be. Things at Pursuit have been ending for me for some time. As I said, the Wednesday night group hasn’t been doable for me in some time, but it’s more than that. I’ve been a church musician for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think I’ve played at church in over a year. I’d asked not to lead, but if people still wanted me to PLAY, I’d be glad to do that. No one has asked in all that time, including the guy I was regularly playing with, who brought in new guys from a different church and apparently had no more use for me. So…that happened. And then Wednesday nights happened. And now this stupid time-change is happening. (Sorry/Not-sorry to the leadership.)
I’ve left churches before. I was a minister when I left my last one. Then I didn’t actively go to church for about five years. At that same time, I was still employed at the Christian college, and we had three Chapel services a week, so I was getting a regular worship environment and I just let finding a new church fall by the wayside. (I know…shut up.) Plus, it’s difficult being a minister without a church, especially when you work at a Bible College because–well–you KNOW THINGS. There are a lot of churches I won’t go to due to dogma issues, personality issues, or having burned a bridge in the past. When Pursuit fell into my lap, it was a God-send…I mean that literally. So I really have no idea why He’s taking it away from me. (Or me from it. Whatever.)
I don’t know what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go. I’ve said in the past that when someone’s asked me if I’ve ever thought of leaving Pursuit, my answer has been, “Yes.” When they’ve asked why I’ve stayed, I’ve answered, “Because who the fuck ELSE will have me?” I say it for the laugh…but also because it’s the truth. I’ve been accepted at Pursuit in a way that I don’t think is able to be replicated elsewhere. It’s been the first time in my life that I’ve felt comfortable in my own faith–unvarnished as it may be–and I’m absolutely heartbroken that it’s ending for me. And it sucks going there every week and being reminded that it’s happening. Every week since the announcement, I’ve had to WILL myself out of bed on Sunday, because I know that come noon, I’m going to be so depressed I want to crawl into a ditch and eat a banana cream pie.
I can hear you now… “Well, it’s not like you have to stop being friends with people…” Umm… Ever left a church? You don’t MEAN to stop being friends with people…but you do it. It happens. There’s a man I used to regularly have lunch with from an old church I used to go to. He once told me he thought of me as “the son I never had.” That was in the early 2000s. It’s 2015 now. I found out last week that he’s completed apparently ANOTHER round of chemotherapy. I didn’t even know he was sick. People call it a “Church Family,” but you tend to get a call when one of your cousins is in the hospital… I was “the son I never had” to that guy, and if he’d died, I might have missed the funeral announcement. You lose friends. You lose “family.” It happens.
And that’s what’s devastating about it. Earlier tonight, I was looking at just the highlights of who’s in my Facebook feed–just along the chat bar. All of the people who show up there are people from Pursuit. All good friends. Many of whom I won’t see after March. I’m not just leaving a building–I’m leaving behind people I care about, because I can NOT figure out a way to stay, short of giving up either paying my bills or a personal tradition that means the world to me. I can’t do either of those. It sucks. It hurts. I’m mad at God, I’m mad at my church leadership, and I’m mad at myself.
And I can’t sleep. I’m having anxiety dreams when I sleep. Teeth breaking, waking up in cold sweats, panicked and alone anxiety dreams.
It might be another five years of not finding a church. That’s a possibility. I kind of feel like if God’s taking this away, then He needs to come to ME with a new church rather than making me seek out someplace new. I didn’t do anything to cause this…HE did. He shut the door, so isn’t he supposed to open a window? (That’s a stupid expression…you’re not supposed to freely come and go through a window, you know. That’s roughly akin to saying, “When God traps you in a bottle, he pokes a hole in the lid.”)
…anyway… Thanks for reading that. I’m going to try going to sleep again. Happy teeth-dreams, Internet. I’ll keep you posted on the things.