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Posts Tagged ‘Spur’

Koinonia

I was prepared for today. The Not-So-Casual Observer and I spent a few counseling sessions digging up roots, role-playing, and praying, all in an effort to get me to a safe place to tackle seeing my old church friends and family today. It was wonderful. And it was sad. But when it’s all said and done, Jesus moved mountains for me today.

A casual friend got married this afternoon, and I was her makeup artist. I feel strongly about being with a bride until all her photos are taken after a huge snafu a few years ago, meaning I don’t typically leave until after the ceremony at most weddings. This time, however, that meant seeing people who were my spiritual parents and friends who aren’t, practically speaking, in my life anymore. And frankly, there’s only so much you can do to prepare yourself for facing that much fear and hurt and exposure again.

But I did it. I was scared when my former spiritual father, whom I’ll call The Spur, walked up to me, but he embraced me and we talked for a few moments. I was able to articulate that I missed him, and that I hadn’t come around for the last year because I didn’t feel welcome. And while his response left something to be desired in the sensitivity department, it seemed genuine enough. Later, I had an opportunity to talk with his wife, Red, and though the conversation was casual, she mentioned that she still had a picture of my kids on her refrigerator.

That meant something to me because I feel as though pretty much everyone who left just forgot that I existed, that I was once part of their group, and indeed a consistent and committed part for almost five years. I feel like no one cared that I wasn’t there anymore when I was still broken and bleeding from the loss of pretty much everyone who was important outside of my family.

I hear the familiar, decades-old echo, “No one loves you enough to stick around. They will move on and forget about you, never giving you a second thought.” My father abandoned me. My mother wasn’t emotionally available in any capacity. I was pretty much left to fend for myself for as long as I can remember. And here I was again, still carrying around all of that stuff, just thirty years older and with different people.

Perhaps the strongest realization I had today was that I miss being in community. I miss the deep sense of knowing that I belong in a group, having refrigerator rights, being with people who love me, my kids, people who want God’s highest for me. I haven’t had that for a while now, and it’s a gaping hole. It makes sense, then, that God would want us in a church called Community.

For the first time today, I was able to put my finger on an emotion called “hurt” (The NSCO will be so proud; I’ve been failing at that for months now). I can say that it hurt to no longer be part of a family, and trace that back to the hurt of not being part of my family of origin. Hallelujah.

A few weeks ago, NSCO told me that seeing those people again was a gift. I believed her, but I didn’t know how it would play out. So glad she had more faith in me and our Jesus than I had in myself.

Feeling: grateful, tired, proud, and hopeful.

 

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