It seems odd to come home from church and write this, but I want to write it while the emotions are still fresh.
I have hope. I have hope in a better relationship with God. I have hope in a better fellowship with my brethren (even if I.. um.. don't have any right now).
I have hope.
I've been too quiet.
Hindsight being 20/20 tonight, I unloaded just a little bit before I left the church (nothing violent or regrettable, just some concerns that I've kept to myself) and I realized how much better life would have been if I had talked to people months ago. I have foolish thoughts sometimes that can only be dispelled by bringing them into the light of day. But at some point I stopped talking to people. Never once saying "Hey, this concerns me."
I love my church, my people, I love how they sat in the heat and watched the icing run on their cakes just to sell stuff to get a sign for the church. I love how they sweated in the heat to mow the yard and clean up stuff around the church.
I love how they held Bell, and loved on her.
I love how I know, without a doubt, that if I had ever called on any one of them and said I had a problem, they would have prayed. Regardless of the hour or the strangeness of my problem.
I love how I know that they pray believing - and that especially when they get together on something, their prayers are often answered. A few times, they've even been answered in ways that should have been published in a newspaper in my opinion.
I love these people.
So what I'm about to say, is simply voicing fears and doubts. I don't have one complaint against these people.
I worried about worshipping God there. Worried that by worshipping with all that is in me, I would interfere with their worship. Twice in the last few services I was only one standing up or clapping during a song service and I kept wondering if it didn't dampen their ability to worship. It seems foolish to write it out, but when everyone in a church worships one way, and you worship in another way - it just feels like your worship is intrusive.
That fear seeped into the way I played as well. I wanted to play with everything that was in me - and most often I did anyway... but as I left I kept thinking that I'd been too loud, made the song too fast, and just put too much into the song. In the last month or so, as I've been trying to truly give the worship services my everything, I would literally be tired as I left the piano. I had worked up there, poured myself onto the piano and worshipped as best I could with those keys. But, there, my worship still seemed different from others.
I came in tonight, and most of the congregation was gathered around a little, (absolutely darling) little girl singing "Jesus Loves Me". And my mind goes back to singing with my niece and nephew and how our favorite song was "We're goin' up to the high places (to tear the devils kingdom down)". And it was just one more cue that said to me that everyone in this church is singing one song, and I'm singing a different tune.
All my other concerns, fears, and confusions are just things that can and should be ignored. But the one thing that can't be ignored is that I don't belong there. I've burdened them with children they really didn't have anyone to care for, I've pushed where pulling was required, I've probably judgementally demanded change from people as I wished they could sing my tune. I've wanted to be loud. And they want quiet.
My apologies go to them, I'm sorry for everything I've put you all through this past... however long it's been since I joined that church. I'm sorry I can't fit into the mold that the church majority obviously wants.
My biggest apology is that I believe, firmly, that I'm going to come back. And when I do, I'm going to once again burden you with children you don't have people to care for. I'm going to be loud, and worship to my different tune than you all. I'm going to keep pushing to your pull, and probably aggravate you with my piano playing - because even though you may have a piano player by then, I bet I'll still get to play once in a while. And I'll be so grateful to bother you.
I'm going to whine and moan probably, and scare myself even a few times. But I know my Savior loves me and leads me through paths of righteousness for His names sake. I'm here. I'm His, and He is mine. I'm going to go away now church, and grow - I believe I am really going to grow - but I'll be back.
I'll be back because I want to keep growing. And I've grown more at this church than any other church before. I've received the gift of tongues while attending this church - and this very morning, when a message in tongues was given, I received an interpretation. I doubt I would have been bold enough, this first time, to give the interpretation, but I knew what it was and it perfectly matched the words of the interpreter when it was given. I want more. And you, my quiet, other tune singing people, that I love dearly, have blessed me.
Take care of yourselves, all of you, I need you to be there when I come back.