Why I Decided to UN-Church Myself

Originally published Monday, 13 February 2012.



 I've found the most agitating type of human beings are the ones who never step outside of their own passions, agendas or lifestyles for a routine evaluation and checkup. You know, the ones whose everyday conversation starts slowing turning to the same topics and shameless forms of self-promotion? 

Those conversations, whether silent or aloud, begin and end with the latest feat, most recent accomplishment, or most valuable piece of advice from only one side of the conversation. None of the mentioned topics are bad, per say, to include in casual or relational conversation. However, when the traffic of words is coming only from one side of the freeway, the relationship, I believe, begins to slow at a grueling pace, much like a traffic jam. 

I know this because I can be that human being. 

As a girl with many passions and an equal amount of agendas and "to dos", I have been hit smack in the face with my own words. My mind has been overly consumed with whatever is going on in my life, that I began to get hypercritical, overly involved, and inevitably useless because of frustration. 

This time, it was with church.
My life has always been for the building, establishing, and encouraging of the people of the Christian Church (as a global body). I was raised in the Church and though I admired the strength and authenticity of my parents' faith, they graciously gave me freedom early on to discover the things of God on my own. 

I was married in the Church, before a way-too-big gathering of family and friends, both churched and unchurched. We wanted our marriage to show more than us falling in love and gettin' hitched. We wanted to commit to family and friends, that no matter how good or bad things got, we will strive always for our marriage to show the world the tangible love of Jesus.

I work at the Church, because I believe God has called me, at this time, to lead and teach and experience Him through worship (in all its forms). I love my job and am so thankful to be doing what I love for a career.

Yet, my first paragraph applies to even the most well intended of things. 

Church. A seemingly good thing to be focused and single minded about, but when so consumed with, like anything else, it can be highly toxic. I have found myself wallowing in self pity, bitterness, and work-aholism. It is not good, nor is it pure. It just is. 

So two weeks ago, I decided to UN-church myself. 
Not "leave the church." I still very much love and believe in the unity of the people of God, but I did decide to take a two week break and step back. I needed to figure out why I was so frustrated at what felt like the entire world (my body, my husband, my work, my writing, the shopping mall, etc).

My momma taught me that if I'm obsessing about the dusty specks in everyone else's eyes, then I needed to check the mirror and see if they were flaking from the log in my own.  (Read more on that here)

They were. So I resolved to do some self-examination. 

I went to the Proverbs' for wisdom where it says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to our body and nourishment to your bones." 

The important things in life are not what I see as fit, right or necessary. 
The important things in life are what God deems as fit, right and necessary. I get so caught up in my own head that I forget to seek Him, His heart and His will. 

These two weeks, I've sat in stillness and awkward silences, reading and begging God for perspective. There's been no epiphanies or miraculous signs and wonders. But I do feel health returning to my soul and nourishment to my dry and weary bones. 

I'm ready to be back. Inspired and refreshed, bring it on Sunday. 

Friends, if you're in this same place with me, know that God sees us; in our selfishness and our shame. Cry to Him like a child returning to her Father for affection and He will give it. He will show you perspective through His word and wisdom. He just wants us to ask. Maybe you need to UN-______________ yourself from something for a short while to sit and wait and hear from Him so that you too, will feel refreshed. 

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By Julianna Morlet

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