Posted by: JennyRain | April 4, 2010

Astro-Blasters and Spiritual Leadership

I drove home from service today with a lump in my throat.

Worship on Easter is some-kind-of-powerful at our church. Between the Alleluia choruses and scriptural reminders of the fact that “He is risen INDEED…” I was mush by the end of four sets.

But it was more than that.

The lump represented something that has not yet had a chance to locate its happy ending.

I worshipped on Easter this year alone.


I mean, I wasn’t really alone. Our sanctuary holds almost 2,000 people… so technically… after four services, I had hung out with over 8,000 people… if you add our campuses to that you have over 10,000 folks… and if you add our Frontline services then… well… there were ah-loht of people.

My friends on the tech team were there, my sweet mentor was there, so technically I was around people all morning.

But I still felt alone because my husband was not there to celebrate it with me.

This is supposed to be a day of celebration…newness…rejoicing… but it was all I could do to get to the car without crying.

Perhaps I was just over-sentimentalizing my aloneness.

There are SO many people who have more valid things to complain about than this. People who want to be married, but have never had that dream fulfilled. People who are sick. People who have no home, no job, no family. People who have things much worse than me. Really, this is such a minor complaint I have…

But it still irks me.

I was all the way home from church before I realized the lump in my throat had not abated and my stomach felt like lead on the floor of my car. My spirit felt like dead-weight.  This is not the expected result of the most high holy day of my faith tradition.

I still can’t shake it.

This hubby I’m married to, he is absolutely amazing. Perfect for me in countless ways that I had no idea that I would need in a husband – yet God knew and created John.

But I want so much more for us, spiritually.

We are on separate planets when it comes to our relationship with God and I cannot seem to find the astro-blaster that will allow us to travel between locations. So for right now, we are just orbiting around each other…sporadically waving when we are close enough to see the other planet pass by.

But an occasional greeting just does not do it for me.

How does a couple create and maintain spiritual oneness when we are from different planets? How did this happen?

I was careful in this marriage. Careful to make sure we were on the same page with the non-negotiable beliefs in Jesus Christ. We are. Careful to make sure there were some practices in place in both of our lives that were indicative to a close walk with God. They were. Careful to look for fruit in both of our lives that evidenced a love of Christ and a love of others. It was there.


So how did we get here?

Oh wait, I know. The Virginia Diocese for starters. After they single-handedly crushed my husband’s dreams of being ordained, they leave me, his wife, to pick up the carnage.

Oops, there is his heart… gotta grab that… he will need it for ministry one day.
Yup, his crushed Spirit… gotta put that in the keepsake bag too… that is imperative for his spiritual well being.

There’s his confidence and his faith in Christian community… that’s a must-have.

Oh, and there is his identity and self-esteem, wow, it is not even recognizable – did they stomp on it or something? Well, better put those in the bag too.

His gifts…well golly… the Episcopal church – VA Diocese brand – never helped John ever take those out or discover them, so those weren’t damaged. They are still waiting in storage for some people of God to draw them out.

They took an amazing man, kicked anything that breathed life into him personally, professionally, and spiritually out of him, and then left him bleeding on the side of the road.

Then they sent him home to me.

How very… um… very Pharisitical of them.


Now, I’ll clarify, there ARE some good people in this diocese… I’m sure of it.

I have met a few of them and they are wonderful.

Unfortunately, we don’t seem to hear from them much anymore. Our phone is eerily quiet.

I’m bitter. I admit it. I was excited about being a part of the Episcopal church again. I guess I had no idea the VA diocese was so hateful. It was not that way when I was a member. It was at a VA diocese church (Truro) that my spiritual life began and blossomed. I have so many good memories of churches in this diocese.. Oh wait… all of those churches are now a part of the breakaway sect. Oh wait, and the one decent entity in the whole of the diocese, Bishop Lee, well, they ran him off too.

Maybe there is a trend in the VA diocese? Get a good person or community and then run them off.

So I’m angry. And bitter. And I pray about this every day. Constantly.

God, remove the bitterness. God, change me. God, if there is something I need to learn from this, some way I need to be a better wife to John, please show me. God if I’m not supportive in the right ways, show me how. God don’t let John lose his pure-hearted devotion to you. God don’t let this wreck his faith. God protect his heart. God, bring those who don’t know you in the VA diocese into a life-changing relationship with you. God have mercy on those who wear your collar but will not proclaim your name – they are only human.

But as much as I pray, there is just something about watching your husband get raked over the coals by holier-than-thou-big-hatted-hypocrites that has a tendency to agitate. I’m just sayin.

So here we are… Easter… and my husband and I do not have the chance to celebrate it together.

Do I realize John has some choices in his faith walk now – at this very moment? Yup. I do.

Do I realize John has deviated on some of his priorities in the last year? Yup, I do.

But let me ask you, if men and women – collared men and women – spent an entire two years systematically obliterating your gifts, strengths, and calling, how motivated would you be to give another church a chance?

It sucks.

And me, well, I’m dying for my husband to step up and spiritually lead in our home.


Dying.

I am left to lead myself and I am N-O-T a leader. That is my husband’s gifting and he is good at it.

Do I understand why he is leadership-gun-shy? Yup. Does it make it any easier? No.

I grieve for the times we could spend together worshipping. I am saddened by the ministry we could be pursuing together.

Yes, I am eternally grateful for his willing heart to allow me to pursue my own relationship with God. I just wish we could do this together more. Find a happy medium. Find a community we could both call home.

Right now, I am holding on in faith that God can do even this.

So this Easter, I am so grateful for what God has done for me and my husband through Jesus’ death and resurrection. I am grateful for the gift of my husband. And I still carry around a lump in my throat for what I want us to have together as a couple, spiritually.

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Responses

  1. […] a bit of a rough morning, I came home and immediately blogged. I did not say much to my husband, I just went straight to my computer and started […]

    • jenny~
      hi! it’s me…sew. thank you for sending this post to me. i just read it. wow, we have more in common than i realized. my husband and i were in leadership together at our church when his faith crumbled away. that was july of 2008…kind of a mid-life crisis thing after he turned 40. at first, everyone thought i was crazy at the church when i told them he didn’t think he was a christian anymore. we’d been counseling/ministering together for over a decade! everyone was shocked and surprised…including me! and to be honest, some people even thought i was making stuff up! couldn’t blame them. he always seemed the stable one — and me the more emotional, troubled one :). sorry to ramble on. i hope you don’t mind me venting a little. he has found tremendous relief in the blogging community. not me. i tried, but all the traffic from his blog came to mine and our marriage was in public view. everyone had a say!! i couldn’t handle it. don’t know why i said all that. i guess you’ve really touched my heart and feel “safe” to share here. public or not.

      let’s pray for one another, dear sister!

  2. OK… so I read the post after this one first which is why I was looking for this post, lol. I got it now! You and your husband are in my prayers that he will once again lead your home and God bring him out of this.

    • thank you so much for praying… i know God is good in all of this, and that is a huge help to my heart… God bless you

  3. You and your husband are now in my daily prayers. God bless both of you!

    • thank you so much 🙂 you are a blessing!


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