Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Experience with Church Response

In the past years I've personally experienced some things that desperately needs to be brought to the surface. 

How do I say this lightly? The Church has to take a step back and rethink some things.  There is a definite difference between grace, mercy, and acceptance.  Giving grace and being supportive is not saying "I 100% agree that this is good.  I accept you because I agree with you."

Let's support and love on people because that's what Jesus would do.

Show love and kindness to parents.  Include them.

Let women lead connection groups and allow them to speak up at church.

There needs to be a stronger ministry for high school graduates through newlywed life.

There needs to be support for those who life looks different then what God had originally planned.

Let me explain:

Growing up I would think such poorly about those who lived differently than me.  Why do they think getting drunk on weekends and going to church like no big deal was okay?  Why are there divorces within the churches and broken families?  Don't Christians know how to do premarital counseling?  Why is there adultery?  Why did God have to include that in commandments? 

What about child abuse?  Why are people on drugs okay?  Why are we not praying?  Why do Christians always seem and come off so judgmental and perfect?

Because we grow up with rules and guidelines and if life situations come our way that don't "fit" we quickly judge and turn away.

But you just turned away everyone you know.  

We have all fallen short, it just looks different in each heart and each family.

In the past couple years I've dealt with trying to find support and a small group of church friends to live life along side.  Why has it been so difficult?
Because reality hit.  Sin came to surface.  Pain and confusion became part of my life.  It didn't "fit" with what believers could take on.  I felt thrown out like an old rag.

Since then I've found those who are there to listen.  And unfortunately not within my community of believers.

Why is that?  Why does it take looking outside my church community to find those who will support, hear me out, cry, mourn, grieve, and keep on living with me?  Why was I pushed out from the people who I trusted to begin with?

What will it take to have The Church respond differently?  How do you respond to "tough situations"?  What about situations you disagree with?

Two Months Ago

It's been two months since my last post.  I shared the news we were expecting again!  The months didn't fly by necessarily.  I just didn't take the time to post.

Updates on our little family include:

--Not long after that post I had a weekend of less nausea and so we went to the doctor that Monday (8/10/15) to check on the baby.  Strong heartbeat and moving around like it was a jungle gym!  I was so surprised and so thankful to see everything going well.  However it also made me really confused.  So, now what?  Will my sickness return?  Is it going to get better or worse?  And...we could still lose this baby.

--The next few weeks I had some REALLY bad nausea and constant puking that came about unexpected.  It was horrible!!  But each week it got better and I had some "functional" days if I had help with Ellie and breakfast.  It also helped if I didn't have to cook.

--Labor Day weekend was my first time OUT of the house (other than appointments) since 4th of July weekend.  We had a family reunion and Adventureland on Labor Day.  That Tuesday I paid for all that "outing" I did, but it was nice to get out.

--This pregnancy is different than Ellie's where I get more headaches, however the nausea died down sooner.  Now that I'm going to the chiropractor regularly it's been helpful to get back on track with my neck pain.

--September 20th was Jon's birthday.  We went out to eat as a family of three and it was nice to just spend time together.  We were still living at my parent's house and preparing to move back home.  We had a lot of conversations about preparation for that transition.  We had been living at my parent's house since July 23rd!!

Pizza & Dessert with his family

--September 24th (16 weeks pregnant) I was functioning enough that week to get a haircut.  The next day my mom helped me take Ellie and I to the chiro in Ames and then back home and move in all our stuff.

--Gnats.  After being gone for SO long we had gnats.  Every.  Where.  We had to clean out the fridge and freezer of dead gnats and throw away old food.  It was really disgusting.  I had to have Jon's help or my gag reflex would be over the top.  I would sit on the couch with my "next" small meal and have gnats following me as I ate.  I felt like I was camping.

--The following weekend we returned to my parent's house so I didnt have to make my house spotless for Ellie's birthday party.  Saturday Jon traveled to his friend's Harvest Party in SW Iowa, while my parents took Ellie and I to Center Grove Orchard for some early birthday celebrating!  My parents helped make sure I had plenty of snacks while Ellie also got to enjoy herself and bring home a pumpkin!

In love with the goats :)
Gma & Gpa in cornpool
--Ellie's birthday and updates about her turning three will have to be a separate post.  However I will say I kept her birthday simple this year.

I didn't take any pics on my phone from her birthday because my mom had her nice camera out.  So here's a pic of Ellie from two months ago when my mom got her dressed up to go out to eat with them....when I was still nauseous and on the couch.

I love this girl so much.  She melts my heart.