We checked out another church on Saturday and will try attending it next Sunday.
It's amazing to me how disloyal I feel over leaving a church we attended for maybe a month and a half. Why do I feel as though, since we started attending there, we are now obligated to continue?
I know exactly why. Because that is the way I was taught to feel about church; all or nothing. No quitters. Blind loyalty to those in authority and if it hurts, if it's hard, if it weighs you down, then church must be doing its job.
It's amazing to me, to realize the extent to which I still carry all this baggage. It's fresh; it springs to life like fungus after a rain. It's discouraging, is what it is.
But then, I take a step back and remember that I haven't exactly been able to work through this baggage, until now. So, naturally it's going to be untouched and the emotions raw. In fact, it's pretty incredible that I'm strong enough now to begin to work through it. So, that's something to be proud of, even if I feel as though I've taken a couple steps back.
And the whole goal of this reengaging my personal church dynamic is to be able to attend church in a healthy, self respecting, thoughtful and deliberate way. I like the idea of coming together with other real, imperfect people who all love God and want to worship Him together, each in their own way.
Though I'm beginning to grow increasingly doubtful about whether or not I can find that within an actual church building. If only I could breeze through it- in and out, the happy church hopper. Lots of people do it, or so I hear. At least, I remember reading an article lamenting the rise of church jumping.
At the beginning of the process, I thought to myself, "All churches are imperfect, so I'll just choose the one that's literally closest to the house. I mean, why not?"
But that did not work out. Now I'm tempted just to go based on music. I mean, if the church is going to be imperfect, why not choose the one with the most beautiful music? In which case, in my experience, the Episcopalians win.
However, we have found one of those super large churches with a full band, digital projections screens, and a Greeting Team at the door. I watched one of the sermons they had on their website, and it moved me nearly to tears, so we'll give it a try. Despite the fact that, according to their website, we will be given name tags to wear on our first day.
Talk about driving away visitors.
And then my story! Holy crap, but that story has a ton of moving parts. Everything is slowly building and it slowly builds out of my own worst experiences. Dragging it forward frequently feels like just that; as though I have a wooden sled of stones and I'm pulling at the rope, getting it to jerk forward inch by inch.
And sometimes, it gets wedged. Like now. I wrote about three paragraphs today, all total. I am in the midst of trying to describe the Ganges personification and the ensuing confrontation, none of which am I very clear on.
At points like these, I remind myself of the private vision I have of the story, of what it will ultimately be like, hopefully. And I know I can do it. I just have to do it slowly right now. I keep in mind what I want it to be: richly imagined, evocative, disturbing, and beautiful. Just saying those adjectives inspires me to continue hammering away at the damn thing.
And holy crap, but I have been really upset about not being pregnant all of a sudden. That feeling has not gone away since the Baby Isle Episode. Where is this coming from? It's like my reproductive organs have mysteriously decided, all at once, to rise up and consume all my hard won calm and contentment.
It's not even that time of the month, and various commercials are killing me.