Sunday, July 26, 2009


I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn't limit the posts to sunshine-and-happiness reports and ignore the clouds and storms in our lives. We as a family are in the midst/on the brink of so many big (and happy) transitions right now, including Jeff's very different working schedule as a floor nurse, room sharing by Aidan and Leo, Aidan's impending start of kindergarten on August 10, and the new baby's arrival in a mere two months. Change is hard. But if Jeff's transition to nursing, and room sharing, are any indication, hopefully the others will be manageable and smooth as well. However, we are also faced with another transition, far from smooth or easy - that of finding a new church home. I am angry and resentful that we were left with no other choice but to leave a church we loved; I feel powerless that I am not able to voice my objections loudly and publicly. I can certainly give voice to them here.

We had been very involved, active members at a church near our home, with a church family who loved and supported us, who nurtured our children and helped us to root our family in faith. Jeff and I both sang in the choir and offered our gifts of flute and trumpet. I taught Sunday School, led Worship Workshop, and helped out with youth events. Aidan participated in Sunday School each week and was looking forward to singing in the children's choir. Leo made himself well-known to all those around us during worship. The members of the congregation loved us, and we love them. Most regrettably, irreconcilable differences with the pastor have forced us to leave the church, and it is painful beyond measure that one person alone could undo the good that so many others had created for us.

We visited a new church this morning, the first of a handful on our list. Jeff and I were hopeful and wanted it to feel like a perfect match, right from the start. We don't want to spend week after week searching for a place that feels like home. We want to be home already. When we told Aidan and Leo we were going to try a new church, Leo asked us, "Um, they sing bumblebee song at new church?" My heart ached as I responded, "No, honey, I don't think so." The bumblebee song is one of the warm ups our choir uses before the service, and Leo loves it (He also loves the "wee-oh wee-oh" warm up that sounds a whole lot like "Le-o! Le-o!") Aidan didn't have much of anything to say. But his behavior during and after church betrayed his feelings, and he made it crystal clear to us that he resents having to find a new church as much as we do. On the way home, all he kept saying is that he wanted to go back to our old church. Why can't we go back to our old church? he implored, over and over. I tried to explain to him, as accurately and age-appropriately as possible, why we could not go back, but still I failed him in my attempts.

In my 5 years of parenting, this has been one of the hardest times for me - doing what's right in the long run for my children even if it feels terrible to do so. I endure the cries after vaccinations at the pediatrician's because I know I am protecting them from greater evils than a needle prick; I put up with the protests when dessert is withheld when a good dinner is not eaten. But how can I possibly expect them to understand and accept that leaving a place that they love is "doing what's best" for them? We tried to stay. Oh, did we try! But a year later, those attempts have proven to be futile and we are back where we started, if not more saddened than when we first began. A wise man once asserted, "Doing what is right is not always popular. Doing what is popular is not always right." It is right for us to leave; we must find a new church home. But it makes us very unpopular with our children, and that is a difficult burden to bear.

One day soon, I hope, this rough period of transition of being church-homeless will only be a distant memory. The feelings of loss and resentment will be replaced with knowing that we have a new church where the congregation loves us and supports us - and the pastor is a leader who demonstrates integrity and a calling to nurture, encourage, and guide us in a positive, caring, and constructive way. We are lost, but we will be found.

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