(super unedited but it’s better that way. Life is a work in progress, so are many stories. Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about learning.)
Looking, searching, finding, breathing? She didn’t really know anymore. She didn’t know whether to just call it quits or continue to seek. Seek for what? She didn’t know the answer to that either. She didn’t know the answer to anything.
Well one thing. One thing she knew the answer to. A life of isolation, no matter what you believe is not healthy. It’s not normal. It’s not okay.
But she didn’t know where to begin. So many changes. So much loss. Not much gain. One failure after another, trying to find, she didn’t have the answer.
Confusion, maybe. Maybe confusion. Confusion if there is only suppose to be one god, and one jesus, and one book to follow if you claim. Why are there a bunch of religions that can’t even get along? Why are there a bunch of people who claim one thing but…. that isn’t what this adventure is about. This adventure is about once again, trying again.
She has felt so lost lately. Was there anyone, any where, any more who actually cared about her? She was a part of, of what. A bunch of people who, what? So many incomplete thoughts. So much sadness, hurt. Maybe anger. At herself, not towards anyone else. They had to all be right. She was not a good person. She was a horrible person. It had to be true. Because if it wasn’t true, she wouldn’t be alone. She wouldn’t be an outcast. She wouldn’t be so isolated.
As she sat, as she did everyday. Reading her scriptures. Trying to make sense of it all. Trying to figure out why she hasn’t given it up already. After almost four years, and so much loss. She much hurt. So much pain. So much…. Why she just didn’t give it up. Why she continued to seek.
But what was she seeking. Seeking what the book said? Seeking for people who would except her for who she was? Help her grow? Help her? Help to not be such a horrible human. It had to be true, or she wouldn’t be alone. All the perfect people that surrounded her, had people. Tons of people.
She prayed one last prayer. Lord, where can I find this place that is talked about in scripture? That hasn’t become so worldly. That you can’t even tell the difference between your people and the people of the world.
She sat in silence. Which at one point use to be a comfort. Now was to noisy. Way to scary. A place that got darker by the day because there is no hope for a person like her. She must deserve to be alone and the isolation or it wouldn’t be like this.
But she sat anyway, waiting for her next adventure. Waiting to see if there would be an answer. Things have been quite for to long. And the silence gets over whelming. More overwhelming then the loneliness of life.
How about baptist? It’s the only thing you haven’t tried. She pondered that thought. It was true. It was the only christian religion left to try. But try for what? What was she trying.
She sat and looked up churches in the area. She found a few. But which one. They all looked good on paper. All churches look good on paper. Well most do, there are a couple that don’t.
She found two. They sorta made sense. But she just couldn’t seem to coordinate the visit. Maybe she misheard. Maybe she was just grasping for straws. Maybe she was just crazy, like everyone told her she was. It has to be true or she wouldn’t live such a lonely life.
What to do? Talk to who, she didn’t have anyone. Maybe she was just trying to hold on to this imaginary Jesus because it was the only love she had left to feel. Though that was even getting hard to imagine. She just wanted to get better. She just wanted to be loved. She just wanted to…. she didn’t even know any more.
So she did what she does best. Take it to the river. Take it to the river and see what happens. Pray on it. And wait. Wait for what, she didn’t know anymore and to be honest she was so tired of waiting, she didn’t even care any more.
But she took it to the river anyway. She would talk to her new found friend who she has known of for many years. But she knew his answer. He would want her to come to his church. She tried it once. It wasn’t the place for her.
As she sat with her friend at the river. He was very distant. Tired, sick, not doing so well. He didn’t say much. Just that he was tired. It worried her because of his failing health. It worried her because he wasn’t usually so quite. More observing but neither of them felt awkward in the silence. They were both use to being alone.
As they sat there, and she continued to pray. The church down the river on her mind. Not sure if that was the place to go tomorrow or if there was some place else she was missing. Just wanting a clear answer. Was this her next adventure or just some more dead ends, trying to find something.
They sat for sometime, in silence, when a man pushing a stroller walked up. We both talked to the cute little girl and she knew she was a cute little girl. Probably enough sass for all of us.
The man said to the friend, “So you love your church?” The friend perked up, there was nothing more that he loved to talk about than the love of his church. He loved his church, and he didn’t need to wear a t-shirt to prove it. He just truly loved his church but was wearing his “I love church” t-shirt.
He sat and chatted and talked and chatted some more. The man listened and added his own words in. He asked me where I went to church. I just said, I was thinking of attending a baptist church down the river. The man knew of the church. Said some good things about it.
She asked the man if he had a church and he said he did. He stood up as his wife approached and got ready to leave. He said he was a lead baptist pastor at a church. She thought, of course he is. She joked with him. She heard out of most religions, baptist tend to talk, and talk. So she asked if he would have her out by noon because she had things to do. He said, lucky for her, there were two services. If she came to the 8 am, there was a guarantee, if she came to the 10:30, he wasn’t guaranteeing anything. They all laughed and went about their business.
She thought, cool an answered prayer. Maybe, it was a bit out and who wants to go to anywhere at 8 am? She looked the church up, seeing if they were studying anything interesting. She tried to look it up on the map and it didn’t come up, which is why she couldn’t add it to her list. As she explored the site, she saw they were studying the book of Luke. She loved the book of Luke and had just told her river friend just that. It was the only thing they had discussed. She listened to a message online, and she was hooked.
The other church at the river was still on her mind but this was more of an answer pray. God knows she hates to go places without at least having a person she knows there. Doesn’t even have to be well known. God knows how much she loves the book of Luke and God knows how annoyed she gets at the stupid random stuff that happens like at the river. It’s so annoying.
She was up on time on Sunday. Bright and early and actually a bit excited. Was this going be it? Was this going to be whatever it was she was looking for?
She found the church, it was cute. She walked in. She didn’t have any of the usual anxiety she gets. She didn’t really feel anything. But that quickly faded.
She walked past a group of people. Nobody said a word. The website talked up how they were friendly, and had greeters and no worries someone would direct you. Maybe she was invisible. Or maybe she looked like someone who normally attended. She didn’t care.
She wandered around for a few more minutes. Starting to think, maybe she miss understood. Maybe this wasn’t where she was suppose to be. Maybe she needed to be at the river church. Or back at home in bed.
Suddenly, the pastor from the river came up to her. Said he didn’t think they had met. She said they had, yesterday at the river. He lit up, became excited. Explained, he thought she wouldn’t show up. Thought she was going to the other church. He told some person walking by who didn’t share the same excitement he did. She couldn’t help but giggle and wonder if he had an older single brother.
The music was church music, the message was not about Luke because they had a different message planned this week for a special occasion. It was amazing. It was what she was looking for. A message packed full of scripture, and a this is how it applies and back to scripture. People who were in their bibles. Who mostly brought their own bibles,. Who opened them, took notes, and followed along. With scripture being the main focus.
She left the service feeling lifted and a bit over whelmed. Ready to sneak out because they did this other thing she wasn’t use to. After service they gathered together, most of the church and discussed more scripture. She thought this is to good to be true. But she was feeling over loaded.
The pastor caught her and said this is the book I was talking about. She took the book because this man was very nice and she didn’t feel like being rude.
She left, threw the book on the other side of the van, and just drove home. Still thinking about the church at the river.
She got home, thinking, pondering, processing. She ended up bringing the book inside the house, amongst all her work things she had to accomplish the rest of the day.
The book stared at her all day long. But she didn’t want to open it. Just another stupid book, she thought. Just another book about what makes a healthy church, that just is a bunch of blah blah blah. Kind of like this story.
She got tired of working on work stuff. It became boring and she couldn’t focus anymore.
She picked up the book. She started to read it and became hooked. If she highlighted in books the whole thing would be highlighted. It brought about excitement. It brought about, this is exactly what she had been thinking. It brought up, all sorts of things.
She finally went to bed. Exhausted but filled with a bit of light again. She didn’t think this would be her church home. She might end up at the river anyway. Or at least go to finish out the Luke series.
But this might be an adventure for awhile. Exactly what she has been looking for. Exactly what she has been seeking. Between the book and the service, her mind was racing.
She really doesn’t want to do this but she is so tired of being alone. She is to tired of being tired. She just wants to be around people. She wants to be better. She wants to find love. She wants to not be isolated. She wants to do what this book said. She wants to be apart of a healthy church. She wants to serve again. She wants to have the fire she has four years ago. But she still isn’t sure this is the answer.
Or is it just a temporary adventure. An adventure that usually leads to something else.
But as far as she can tell. This adventure is starting off as most of them have. With a strange answered prayer.
She has given up on many things. Dreams, prayers, hopes. All she can see right now is darkness, isolation, a horrible human who only deserves to be alone. She knows it’s not suppose to be that way. But she looks at her life. At her failures. At her faults. It’s all she can see.
But maybe, just maybe, this is a bit of the change she is looking for.