Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christian Journey: Part 2

I wanted to share with all of you a new and exciting spiritual development in my life--I have found a church where I can finally "belong". I thought I'd share it with you over Christmas in several short posts instead of one big long one. I'll be traveling unplugged (as in without my computer--yippee!) for part of the holidays, so I'll be auto-posting and responding to your comments later when I return. I can't wait to hear what you think. I'm hoping you'll be excited for me, and perhaps encouraged about finding spiritual community for yourself, if you've not found somewhere yet. 

Part 2 of 6:

(...continued from Part 1)

Then I went to Maui in March. I heard a sermon on the beach. I remembered something...I knew deep down inside that I did want Christ, even if I didn’t want to belong to the group called “Christians”. So I rededicated my life to Jesus and enjoyed the very loving church in Lahaina. That was great. But then I had to leave Lahaina eventually, since my vacation ended. I found a nice church here at home, had a hard time adjusting to it, and joined a Life Group (a subset of the main church--small group of up to 15 people in which everyone can get to be more like community to each other than in a huge church). I kept trying to fit in. 
Eventually I had that extreme withdrawal reaction I get in many different social situations. I just could not force myself to go to Life Group, and eventually, to church. I didn’t want to go at all, even though I longed for spiritual community. I really wanted to fit in, but I could not. I wanted to belong. To me, “fitting in” is when you twist and contort yourself to meld with a group. Belonging is when you discover a tribe that thinks like you and values what you value. I couldn’t "belong" to this Life Group, as nice as they are, and as much as a part of me wanted to. 

(To be continued...)

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark


Anonymous said...

It's the most wonderful feeling in the world when you encounter a group in which you find a sense of belonging, isn't it? I have not experienced that too many times in my life. I did feel it during Quaker quarterly meetings, which were weekend retreats at state parks where members from many monthly meetings throughout a four-state region came together to cook for each other, sleep on bunk beds in cabins, give each other workshops, worship and have fun. I can't wait to read your next installment!

laundrygirl said...

I smiled when you talked about the Life Group. Derek and I tried to attend more than one and it didn't work - we simply did not fit. One of the groups was such a disaster for us that it reminds me of a Seinfeld episode of some sort!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Kelly. Yes, I too so rarely feel this type of connection with others and it is so freeing and comfortable. Thank you for your enthusiasm, Kelly, xxxooooO

Olivia said...

That's so interesting, Kristine. You sort of feel like you're "supposed" to fit. Especially when you fit the demographics and all and you're so much the same as everyone else. But you're not! I would love to hear the story of your Life Group experience--that sounds like a great one!! Peace and more Christmas joy to you, O