One may be the loneliest number but two can be pretty lonely as well

Warning - I am frustrated and grumpy and taking it out in this post.

You may have noticed that we haven't posted a lot lately. It's almost the end of September month and we are at about half of the number of posts we normally make each month. That is mostly because we haven't been doing anything but work/school, come home, eat dinner, maybe work out, maybe not, read or watch a movie, go to bed, repeat. It's not that I don't like spending time just the two or us or that I don't like routine, I certainly do. But every once in a while, it is nice to interact with other human beings. I think it is worse for me because 1) I am a girl and need more social interaction than Craig and 2) He has fellow student to converse with and relate to while I am stuck in a lab by myself. I maybe say 50 words during the day, maybe. In fact, last week I went the whole day without saying a single word out loud from 8 to 3ish. When the cleaning lady came in to change the garbage, I tried to say hi but my mouth was all dry so no sound came out. That being said, I don't think I would mind the work thing if we had friend to hang out with at other times.

We do have some old friends in town but we don't hang out much, I'm not sure why. I guess partly because we don't see them 2-3 times a week at church anymore so we don't have the opportunity to just say, hey, let's grab lunch/dinner/ice cream/anything edible.

Oh church, I'm just frustrated with churches. I hate criticizing the Church, as in the Body of Christ (stop laughing, I really do, I just ignore that feeling a lot), because I love the people that make it up but I need to get this off my chest. We have been living here for about 6 weeks now and we really haven't made any progress with church shopping (and hopefully the friendships that come with a church). Despite my last post, which was another rant from being annoyed with church shopping and was a little harsher than I now wish it was, I don't think we are being that picky.

We stuck with the Lutheran one for three weeks. The service was nice and the sermons were good but not a single person greeted us. Even when we went through the line and shook the pastors hand, he just said hi, despite the fact that he greeted everyone else by name and obviously didn't know ours. He could have at least said made up something about it being nice to see new faces. (Ironically, the sermon series he had been giving was about building communities.) We even went to a small group but it didn't really fit us. And I emailed people about other studies that would be more of a fit, but no reply. So after three tries and seemingly no way to even meet anybody there, we bid them farewell. (If you attend a very welcoming church or are a welcoming person at your church, take this as an encouragement, it is appreciated! I am convicted because I haven't always been a big greeter at church but that will be changing)

So we tried a different church last, a fairly large popular church in the area. They are well know for their music ministries and although the music was amazing, the rest seemed, uhm, fluffy? Let's just say when the sermon includes 10 full minutes of watching scenes from Sister Act and only 1 bible verse being references, I begin to wonder if someone has their priorities right. Just sayin.'

Despite what I said last month about their being tons of churches in the area, I feel like we are running out of options. Obviously some of the options are automatically out because of personal preference, but a traditional service is important to Craig so we will stand by that.

But each time we give each other a thumbs down look as we leave, I get more and more tempted to return to "the old church." The old church was the reason Craig and I met, and the reason I knew he could be a spiritual leader and husband and it's where we made all our amazing friends (you know, the ones you keep seeing in all the wedding pictures). We know people there. People that have helped my faith grow and helped show my how God could pull me out of the pit I was in. People that befriended Craig and I and gave us advice about what living in Logan was like so I didn't completely flip out about moving to Utah. And little people two, ones I have known since before they were born. And ones I taught VBS songs too.

Part of me is wondering if the reasons we choose not to go back there are valid, or if I am just holding a grudge and being stubborn. I honestly don't know. Maybe all the doors we are facing are closed for a reason. But the other part of me says I am just being impatient and there are reasons we didn't want to go there so why should that change just because it seems hard now. And even if we do go back, it's not all going to be the same. A lot has changed and just like coming back to the same town wasn't the same as before, going back to the same church won't be either.

When everything about a church is good except one thing, is that good enough? What if that one thing is church leadership? And how much of a church is the members as opposed to the pastor? I just don't know.

This week we will be taking a rest as we will be in Ft. Worth. I'm really glad, I need it. But then we will be back at it, trying to find out where God wants us to be. Until we know, I will just keep reminding myself that it is God's burden, not mine. He obviously wants us to fellowship with other Christians so He is going to have to make that possible. Iwill allow him to work in mylife, but I don't need to be encumbered with a burden that isn't mine so I'm going to try to give it to him. Really, I am. I'll let you now how it goes.


  1. I find your question about the Old Church pretty interesting. It makes me wonder if I were living in CS again (not still, but again), would I go back? And my gut reaction is an emphatic yes. I mean, I have the same problem with the leadership that you do, but for one thing--it's a Methodist church, so it is going to change sooner or later. And besides that, the church is a lot more than that; it's the people and it's the attitude and it's all the activities they provide (there would be so many ways for you to meet people, I would guess).

    On the other hand, you're not me (obviously). I don't have the doctrinal differences with that brand of Protestantism that you do. But what might be more important is that I was pretty spiritually unformed before I started going to that church. I'm just really attached to it because I barely knew Jesus when I got there, and I left feeling much more confident in who I was as a Christian.

    So, I guess my only advice is that maybe you shouldn't be too resistant to giving it a chance. You could treat it like your other potential churches; "shop" there and see if it fits the new you. You do have reasons for not wanting to go back, but you did also have reasons for being there before.

  2. Is that a comment-length record?

  3. Yes, plus it was good and that is a rare combination, or at least it is for me.

  4. I'm pretty new to your blog, so I don't know the circumstances you're referring to about your old church. I know this, though, church is about community. Community takes lots of moving past things, forgiving things, getting beyond. And it takes time on the ground. Lots and lots of time on the ground, before you feel like you're part of things. I went away to school twice, and I never found a church home either place. Now that I'm home, I'm back in the church I grew up in because of the time on the ground - the kids I teach and their moms and dads who were taught with me. (Despite the fact that there are basically no single men there...and I would REALLY like to meet someone at church.) I'm not sure this helps, really...because it could be both things. But I know how you feel.

  5. I understand your reasoning for not going back to the "old church." And your reasoning is one of the main reasons I never joined that church in the first place. I was wondering if you had tried my church, and I would recommend it, but I'm afraid that it's the fairly large popular church with good music and a fluffy sermon.

    I actually enjoyed the sermons thoroughly at my church (I'm going to leave it anonymous on the blog), and it was definitely a reason I decided to stay there. The music was huge for me, of course, being a former musician I need a good outlet for that interest. But I also learned something every week I was there and felt that I grew as a Christian. Maybe it's not the church you were talking about, but if it is, maybe it's changed. I was a bit put off at the new (huge) sanctuary, but it actually isn't as scary as I thought it would be.

    Anyway, at this point I'm just trying to beat Rachel, but if you want to discuss my "old church" in CS, send me a facebook message or something. Good luck!

  6. You shouldn't feel bad for posting "negative" reports. I read your blog because you guys are honest in sharing your life with us! You'd be odd to be happy and perky all the time! I know pretty well how you feel though. Brandon has all sorts of pilot hopeful buddies, and since the job market here stinks on ice, I haven't found a job yet. I only have a puppy to talk to. He's not all that chatty either.

    Church shopping is hard! I agree with Rachel, I think you should try 'old church' again. It may have changed (good or bad) but I think you're going to continue to compare any other church you try to the way you remember 'old church.' It may give you some perspective. Personally, I found after I returned from my internship that it was no longer so friendly. That made finding a new church a lot easier, because I wasn't thinking about 'old church' as the warm fuzzy standard to compare other places, and more as an option that no longer fit my life.

  7. I'm so sorry you're struggling to find the church that best fits you both now. Be patient, persevere, and continue to talk about the issues with your husband. God will provide a place for you to worship Him...in His time.

    As one whose husband is in church leadership, my perspective is that if you don't agree with the church leadership, do not attend the church. Ultimately, the leadership of a church influences all aspects big and small.

    My question for you and Craig to think about is what is the primary goal in your church shopping? Is it to find a place where you can be spiritually fed? Is it to feel comfortable and welcomed by the people there? Is it to agree with the doctrine? Is it to hear nice sermons? Is it all of the above? What if you can only find one of the above important points- which would it be? Maybe that'll help both of you put things into perspective.

    I know this time is hard and frustrating. Use the time to continue to discuss with Craig about what is important in a church to both of you. Be on your knees in prayer to the Father. I know you will become stronger as a result of this time.