I have been thinking a lot about Church recently, what it is, what I think about it, and what God thinks about it. I have always been a 'churchy' kind of girl, always loved going, and kind of felt at ease there. I know this is far from many people's experiences, but right now I can only really write from my own.
I have sat myself in a variety of pews, chairs, cushions on the floor, and stools. All in different 'types' of churches. Pentecostal, Baptist, Anglican, Evangelical, Methodist, Assemblies of God, Pioneer, New Fronteers, House Churches, 'We haven't quite defined ourselves yet' Churches, and all the other types in between.
I have found God in all of them, I have also found heartbreak and sin in all of them too. Cos Churches are full of people, and where people are, there is always mess.
People are messy.
But I still believe that Church is what God wants me to be part of.
Before I had CFS, being 'in' a church was mostly what I 'did'. I worked there, worshiped there, played there, and while I spent time at university too, I guess my whole time schedule revolved around 'Church'. I don't regret this, and felt at the time it was the thing I wanted to do. That was ok. But gradually having CFS has made it really hard for me to be part of the church I loved. It was too energetic, too many people all at once, too big a commitment. I found I didn't really have a place in some parts of it as I was so very unreliable. It wasn't any one's fault, just circumstances. It has taken me years to get my head around this, I kind of felt like my right arm had been chopped off. Those years were tough, really tough.
So I have had to take a step back, from 'doing' things in church, and just work out what are the most important things, for me.
Then, in time I use my small bits of energy on those.
And with the arrival of children, they have changed again too.
Conferences, I can't really 'do' conferences, they are big, and loud and exhausting, they take huge amounts of energy, emotional and spiritual. I do like christian conferences, but I also think that maybe, just maybe we all spent too much time preparing them, making them look flashy and appealing, advertising them, then being at them. When really, our energy could be spent elsewhere.
That's what I have discovered anyway.
They often seem to be filled with communicating the latest 'trend' in churches, I don't have time or energy for churchy trends.
Just keeping it plain and simple is where I am at right now.
I also like biscuits, cheap custard creams dunked in a cup of well brewed tea, this stands me in good stead to enjoying most churchy gatherings :)
In the past year we have moved to a different church, and it has been a bit like buying a new pair of Jeans. My previous Jeans were wonderful, initially fit me really well, but over time my body shape changed, and I needed a new pair, My old Jeans will always be my favourite I think, but the new Jeans enhance my shape better, and match better with the rest of my wardrobe.
................................... There is more to this post, but I have been writing it for a few weeks, so in order to ever post it, it needs to come in segments.....right now I am watching cbeebies and playing a game with my daughter - not the most conducive environment for clear writing ey !!