I’ve been to church today; not just once but twice, and it’s only mid-afternoon. I went to early communion and then I turned up with my children at the main service as well. I don’t recall when I last went to that service, but it was a long time ago as I’ve not been able to face it for months. The relationship I had outside of my marriage was with someone who represented the church; both the church at large and that particular fellowship. Consequently the church, both at large and in particular, has become for me a place of fear, anxiety, mistrust and grief .
And I am sick of that. I’m not standing for it anymore.
A week ago I started to think about the ‘wins’ that Satan wants in my life. Obviously a wrecked marriage would be the first, but he’s not having mine. Another would be the complete withdrawal of a committed family from a small local church. We have, over the past 18 months, withdrawn our presence, our time, our trust, our finances and our vision. I am fairly sure there are a number of people in that small community wondering what has gone wrong, and feeling pained by our disappearance.
I do turn up to the early communion most weeks, but I’m looking on from the sidelines. I’m not committing any part of myself to those people or that fellowship. I have been positively dis-interested in some major decision making that is taking place within the church. I don’t regard myself as a part of it any more. I’ve been bitter.
I’ve been giving Satan a win.
‘A bitter christian is a devastated christian.’ Gene Edwards
Ain’t that the truth.
I’ve been so bitter, and that has devastated my desire to identify with the body of believers.
Well that’s about to change.
A few days ago I glimpsed the Kingdom of God, when someone who felt outside realised that they are inside.
And I want more of that.
I want more of the Kingdom of God.
I want more of standing with other believers and changing the face of our community.
I want those who know the detail of my story to see me back within the community that I felt so let down by, and know that Jesus draws together the broken and the breakers, the wounded and the wounding, and enables forgiveness and reconciliation .
I feel as though I’ve reached a point where I’ve had to make a choice about whether I’m going to fight this battle or whether I’m giving Satan the victory.
I’ve made my choice. I’m back and I’m fighting.
For the first time I feel a little bit like who I was before it all happened. So much of me has changed, but the core me that loves Jesus and wants to share that love with others is still there.
‘A heart at peace gives life to the body’. Proverbs 14 v 30
Lord, let that be true.
today I am linking up with Lisha Epperson and #givemegrace