Monday, September 14, 2009

Life's Healing Choices

My husband and I once lived in Orange County and attended Saddleback Church.
When I found out I was pregnant (SURPRISE!) we made the decision to move back home.
We packed up our bags, transferred jobs, and left our new life, our extended family, and our church.
Moving home has been a series of unexpecteds
and, as I grew up being reminded:
expectations minus reality equals disappointment.
We tried returning to the church we met at but it just doesn't fit us in the same way anymore.

We tried a church last weekend and it was all wrong for me.
I'm not the person who likes a small church so when we walk in and the pastor is calling out names of those in the close congregation and putting them on the spot,
my uncomfortable-o-meter shot up.
While the pastor talked about the importance of relationship and how it's not okay to slip in and slip out on Sunday I thought,
"I LIKE slipping in and out! I don't WANT to be put on the spot during a sermon that has no beginning and no end."
(I know, this isn't entirely healthy but whatever, growth edge!)
Point is,
We really MISS Saddleback.

Saddleback was too big for me initially but despite it's grandiose size,
I am challenged in ways that aren't too totally terrifying to me.
Pastor Rick Warren has a way of speaking from his heart that strikes mine constantly.
Today, we got online and went to church from bed.
It felt good....
good to be back "home" and well, good to go to church in bed ;)

Today's sermon was the 1st in an 8 part series called:
Life's Healing Choices: Freedom from your Hurts, Hang-Ups, and Habits.
The message struck me in BIG ways--some encouraging and some calling me out on my &*$#.
For example, this one:
"What is the common denominator in all of your bad relationships? Answer: You!"
Right when I had my instant list of bad relationships: sister, brother, mother-in-law, I was given an answer that made me look at myself.
An answer that won't allow me to continue to blame them for hurting me.
Poo buckets.
But it's true.

Pastor Rick pointed out how most people subscribe to fixing themselves vs. allowing God to do it (GUILTY!)
There is stuff in me that I loathe:
I am quick to anger
I am in the shallow end of patience
I flail in the deep end of insecurity.
If I truly believe that my savior was Raised from the Dead (and I do)
the truth is, "He can raise a dead career. He can raise a dead relationship. He can raise my brokenness,"
but here I am, playing God in my life.
A great line I heard from the church we tried and I didn't like was this:
"The difference between me and God is that God never gets confused and thinks He's me."

I am stuck.

Ă…fter I sat and wrote my heart out last night about how much I hurt over my relationships with my brother and sister, I am called to look within:
I am called to admit that I am broken (I am!)
To admit that my secrets make me sick (Hiding from my past hurts!)
I must admit it to defeat it. (HOW!?!?!)

I don
't like any of this.
At all!
But here I am, once again, repeating: I am broken.
I am struggling with the idea of TOTAL Surrender, not just the parts I want to surrender.
I don't know if I can do this...
but I'll try because looking up is so much better than looking within!


  1. I go to a HUGE church and i wouldn't have it any other way.
    the bigger the church the better the programs {totally selfish i know}.
    Bryan grew up never setting foot inside a church so when we went to our first church together it was tiny and i felt so uncomfortable for him...
    thinking of you.

  2. Surrender....what a hard thing to do. I think I'm going to listen to that sermon but to be honest I'm afraid it is going to hit me like it hit you...I don't know if I want to face that reality. I'll let you know how it goes :)

  3. I'm commenting on this post and yesterdays...
    First, I am a big church girl too. I'm a slip in and slip out because it's what makes me feel comfortable... i like to listen, take it in and absorb it.I was this way in school though too. did not like being called on. Online sounds wonderful... i believe you can have a spiritual relationship even in bed!
    the sibling thing... your writing about your emotions and how divorce changed your whole life is so moving... it hurts my heart for you to have had to endure it and how it altered your relationship with your sister and brother. We can not change the past, we can mourn for the loss, we can wish for things to have been different, but in the end you can only be you and live the life that is right for you. What I do is focus all my love and attention on the family i have made with my husband, and think of extended family as sprinkles to my cupcake... meaning they don't make me who i am, my husband and children are the ones who I need in my life.
    i hope this even makes sense sometimes it's easier to chatt in person...then write it. I just wanted to tell you to keep writing, you have a powerful story to tell.

  4. Okay so this is awesome, awesome, AWESOME!! I LOVE THIS! And I can honestly say that I've never heard the phrase poo buckets before... You're growing girly! Right into a mature woman of God! He has you right where he wants you and it's cool to watch! Keep marching on!

    okay, so my word verification was unful... and if you read my blog tonight that is so not true... my stomach is sticking out like a mile from all the cookies...

  5. ps and I LOVE the photo that says a. love on it also! so cool!