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leaving church [part 2]

i told you in my last post how i really and truly never thought i would leave my church.

i'm a loyal person, i like familiarity, and i do love routine. God knows those things so intimately about me, and i believe it's part of the reason why He called me away from it. all of those traits can be good things, but they can also the very things keeping us from the best that God might have waiting for us.

the other reason? my pride. yes, my pride.

but let me explain...

at our old church, i sang in the choir and the praise team and was given regular opportunities to sing solos. in a church of that size, i guess you could say that people recognized me when i walked by, or in grocery stores, or stopped at a stoplight in my car [true story]. as i served for those seven years, though, i wasn't looking for fame or glory or recognition. and pride really wasn't something i struggled with very often [thank the Lord]. to be honest, i don't love attention, and would have preferred to blend in a little more than i did. i really just wanted to be available for whatever God would do through me. my desire was to bring glory to God, to humbly serve Him while using the gifts He's graciously given me. it wasn't about me and i served with this mindset. i didn't want or need the compliments or the "fans". sometimes i would even pray against it so that i would not be tempted to think more of myself than i ought.

but when i was faced with the initial decision to leave or stay, that mini panic-attack i experienced was very telling. once all of that was threatened, i realized i was comfortable with my position. i was used to it, i was secure in it, i as much as i hate to admit it: 

i felt validated by it.

when it was all going to be stripped away, i realized how important it was to me. even if subconsciously, even if only in my flesh, even if it was counter to my attention-hating self, i guess i craved the position. the fame. the "glory". the admiration... the attention.

God has an interesting way of stretching us but blessing us at the same time. let me tell you: i wouldn't have chosen this way. i wouldn't have left my church. i would've suggested that He could teach me just fine leaving me where i already was. but God doesn't work within my parameters. i don't tell Him what to do or how to use me or how to grow me. He had to get me out of my comfort zone where i'd really listen. and it has been one of the best things He's ever done.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

i do want to stress this to you so badly, for any of you who know us personally and might be wondering "the real reason" why we left.... we did not leave because there is anything wrong with this church or the people or the teaching, or any other negative reason that you would come up with. you will not hear anything negative out of my mouth about our "old" church... 

it's just that this church is what i always knew. and i was too comfortable in it, and in my position within it. and that was not okay. as far as my husband, he was looking for something smaller. and that's exactly what we found. 


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<     click here for part 3    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Comments

  1. Wow - I love your blog and love reading your writing style... this post (and the last one) are fabulous... they are actually right where my family is right now! I was baptized in a 'mega' church and tried to get my husband to love it there too; he tried to get me to love a smaller church, and all along neither of us was contented. Then we wound up back at my mega-church, both plugged in and Tony actually moving toward leading men in big and courageous ways. Then, BAM! The church changed its strategy toward focusing on families, and the men's studies and groups began dissolving... here my husband is with a calling from God to serve and lead men, and the comfy cozy rug at our comfy cozy mega-church was ripped out from under him. We had loved a former worship pastor's style and decided to try out the community church that he'd left for about a year earlier... and we never looked back! I am now serving with the worship and arts team (and actually moving into a sort of leadership role - which would have NEVER happened at the mega church!) and Tony is training to lead small groups and begin pouring into men as he's been called to do... it's amazing what God will do when you allow Him to shake up your comfort zones a bit! :) Thanks for sharing, and I can't wait to see the next installment of your story! :)

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  2. It's amazing that you shared this! I'm in the midst of this same situation as we speak. I've been at our church since the age of 2...I am 30 years old now. That's a long time. I've never been to any other church. It's a small church and my husband became a member there 9 years ago. He is a called preacher and he feels it's time to move on. He's been invited to go to other churches before but we've never felt it was the right time because we lead the youth ministry at our church. But this time, he has received an invitation from a church to be mentored by an amazing Pastor. I had that same mini panic attack too. But I've prayed and I feel God telling me that my husband is the head and that his calling comes before my feelings of leaving the only church I've ever attended. Thanks for sharing and thank you for allowing me to share also. Blessings, Becky

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