I need to get back to church, but it is so difficult. When you know the Bible is being taught under the inspiration of a God who loves you, can you expect that He will speak to you. This is good, but when you have wounds still so raw, it is painful. Touching this pain often brings tears. That’s okay; I’ve grown used to tears. What is difficult, other’s reactions to the tears.
There are people who totally ignore you and there are people who briefly acknowledge the pain and loss. Those are both just fine. It is the people who try to comfort that drive me crazy, bless their hearts. I know that they are well-intentioned. In some cases, I know that they are people who just can’t stand people hurting so deeply. The problem is that when people react in an effort to comfort, I feel like they are trying to get me to move on or past the pain ASAP. People who ignore or simply acknowledge seem to understand that this is something that I need to work through.
I have found this same issue in trying to find a place for worship. I love the church that I was attending before Christopher died. It is a small mission work. I so want to serve through that church, but to do so now, would be in my own strength. Further, there are just a few who know me or know of my loss. Most will never have known of Christopher. Actually, there are just a few total which makes me so very self-conscience about my emotion. To worship there would provide the perfect opportunity to simply move past all this pain and the resulting relational stuff with God. The same is pretty much true of the church that I have visited where I had attended in my young single days. They know me, they know of my loss, but they can’t really, because they never knew Christopher.
I visited the Church that I had attended when I adopted Christopher and for many years after. Different building, different staff, but many of the same people. They knew Christopher, they knew Christopher with me. There are enough people that my emotionality will not be an issue (if I am strategic about my seating!). There is just the issue of hugging.
The weekend that Christopher died, let’s be honest, should have been all about me, his only immediate family member. I have never hugged and been hugged so much in one weekend in my life. It got so “bad” that I had to explain to friends how to help me manage this. There were those hanger-on-ers who didn’t seem to understand that when I put my hands down, we were finished with the hug. I asked (in jest . . . . sort of) for friends to keep an eye out for these people and to peal them off of me. Even when we went to the cemetery, I sat in front of the casket much sooner than I would have liked because I knew that if I didn’t that they would all start hugging me again! Even my brother, Jim, commented that he had never seen so much hugging!
Hugging issues aside, I need to get back to church; I need to be exposed to the people and teaching of God in community. I need to see that, relationally, with both God and his people, I an move forward. My loss of Christopher has been a betrayal in these relationships. I need to work through it, with all the emotion the there is, and not simply move on or past it, which feels like it would be so much easier.
Truthfully, I miss God’s people. I hate to say it, but I need them. Sometimes, the betrayed needs to take the first step to heal the relationship. This appears to be the case for me. I know God is waiting, patiently and lovingly.