I miss my family.
I haven’t seen them in, well, months.
Yeah, I know.
For those months, I haven’t gotten to speak to them in person. I haven’t been able to break bread with any of them. I have been separated from them for so long, I am forgetting what it was like to hang out with them and share life with them.
I miss my family.
And the sad part is…it was my choice to not see them.
Some of you may be confused. I still post pictures or comments on IG and FB about my two lovely children and equally lovely husband. How can I miss my family if I am constantly talking about them and sharing my adventures with them with all of social media?
It’s not my family family that I’m talking about. It’s my faith family. My church family.
I haven’t been to church in, well, months.
There was no real big “thing” that happened that made me stop going. The pastor didn’t offend me. The messages weren’t awful. It just sort of “happened.”
One weekend, visitors were here from out of town so we couldn’t make service.
The next weekend, we had an event to go to during the normal service time.
The weekend after that, I guest taught a yoga class that occurred right in between the two service times.
The weekend after THAT, I taught that same yoga class again.
And then I started teaching that class on a regular basis.
My lack of attendance at church wasn’t a maliciously planned out act. It was a series of unfortunate misses that snowballed into us digressing from regular, devoted attendees to members asking, “Wait, what happened to the Takaos???”
Don’t get me wrong. I still love the Lord. Tremendously. I know that He is the one guiding and blessing and helping me through a number of anxiety producing events in my life. But my relationship with Him feels much more strained, almost like I am trying to communicate to Him with a foggy brain. Part of it may be that I have also neglected my normal prayer and meditation times in His word. But the bigger part is that I am missing my family.
Whenever I’d go to service, I’d always leave with a feeling that I belonged, that there was a sense of support and love and joy despite all of the craziness going on around me. I could be anxious about a number of things (job, family, money), but I always left service knowing that God’s word and voice would guide me towards a greater sense of peace. I felt encouraged to read more, to pray more, to trust more, to do more. So without that spiritual guidance or family alongside, these past few months I’ve felt sort of “EH.”
I pray in the mornings, but the words are sounding trite and rehearsed.
I read a verse or two, but the true meaning of the passage is not sinking in to my spirit.
I say that I love God, but there’s no zeal, no zing, no power behind that statement.
I KNOW THERE IS MORE. I have felt more. I have felt the spirit of God in my soul, the spirit that gave me freedom and faith and rest and joy. It’s hard to explain just what “more” truly is, and the best I can do is say that when I felt MORE, I felt fulfilled and at peace and alive.
Me missing my faith family has been in the recesses of my mind for quite a while, and at 2:17am this morning, I awoke with a start, unable to go back to sleep. I was jolted out of REM because I was thinking about a stressful situation at work, trying to pray through the fear and anxiety and anger. But it was hard. I couldn’t give up my uncertainties and trepidation surrounding this work event to the Lord. And I couldn’t understand why until I heard God say it very clearly:
You are trying to talk to me, but for months, I’ve been trying to talk to you and my My words have fallen by the wayside. Don’t just call on me when it is convenient for you, but talk to me like you would your children. Talk to me like you would your husband. Not talking with them for a day would be strange, yet you haven’t REALLY talked to ME in months. I love you so much–talk to me the way you used to. Enjoy my presence. Enjoy being around your faith family. I am with them, and I will always be here for you. But, I also miss you. They miss you. Spend time with me. Spend time with them. Get back to your family.
Christmas season is meant to celebrate Christ’s birth, and when I think about what it was like the week before I gave birth to my children, I remember being filled with such excitement, such expectation, such awesome joy. But this past week, I felt none of that even thought we are going to be celebrating Jesus’s birth. I mean, DANG. THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR?! AND I’M NOT EVEN EXCITED?!?! WHAT?!
So this leaves me to the “BIG QUESTION” of this post: What do I do???? Obviously, I want to go back to be with my faith family. But herein lies some problems.
- The service we used to attend is no longer. There is now only one service instead of two (and we were going to the later time one that has been disbanded).
- There are a few regulars at the yoga class I teach, and I hate disappointing people. If I were to not teach yoga anymore, I’d feel bad that I was letting them down.
- I loved the church we were going to, but from the time we stopped attending, a pastor from our church planted another one! Should we try going to some of the services there to see what it’s like?
- Our friends also attend some really great churches with really great missions and really great people. What if God wants our family to also explore those places of worship as well?
There are many questions to consider. But ultimately, I know that I miss my faith family and I need to talk with them, break bread with them, and reconnect. I also don’t want my children to grow up without knowing who Jesus is or not knowing what a true relationship with Him is like…and how will they know it if I don’t know Him or have a true relationship with Him?
I welcome any feedback, comments, or questions you have–and in fact, I hope to hear your insights and words of wisdom. I love my family. I love God. And I want my actions to show just how much He means in my life.