My family recently made the decision to no longer be members of the church we've attended for thirteen years.
It feels like a divorce. Or what I imagine a divorce might feel like, and that is "awful." And so weird.
In the early stages of the situation, I felt far removed and objective. I was able to listen to my mom and say things like "mm hmm, man, that is so ridiculous." Or "wow, that's hard," and I didn't really feel much beyond sadness for my parents. I was, after all, an every-other-week attender, going to my husband's church on the off sundays and so already had one foot out the door.
But also, nothing feels real until it is final.
Our last Sunday was hard. At every moment I was thinking, this is the last time __________ will ______________. or, I will never sit here, stand here, sing here with these people again. And that's when I really started to pay attention to what we were leaving:
People, people, people.
People I love and have loved since elementary school. Friends who joked with me or cried for me or drank coffee with me, and none of them who knew that we would not be back. And then, some people who let me down, let my parents and my brothers down.
After the service ended, I went out into the commons and tried to act like I always have, except that I wanted to hug some people real close and say "I am going to miss you," "Thank you for coming to my high school musicals," "I really think you're special," and because I couldn't I had a pain in my throat.
I could go on now and say things that I should about how God is so faithful and triple omni-good, and that even though I'm disappointed I am looking forward to _____________________. But I'm so bad at goodbyes, I hold grudges, and I hurt for a long time. An elephant never forgets, you know?
All those things my mom was talking about have just caught up with me and I can't help thinking of ways I might make a scene.
If I go quietly, will they even know that I'm gone... Will they even care?
So this is my small moment to say that I'm sad about all of it and I know I will think of it for a long time. I will wonder about those people and how they've moved on... and how they step around the debris.