For too long a period of time, I allowed all my joy to be robbed when it came to church. The majority of the problem was my inability to focus on what is right about God over what was wrong in a situation. That was a huge mistake on my part. I robbed myself and what's more I robbed God. We've dealt with this, and there has been appropriate repentance. My response was wrong no matter what circumstances brought it about. But I will say this (even if I don't recommend it), my time of wanting no part of the church family into which I was called for a time, has made even sweeter this new home in which God has placed me.
I am reading a book that accurately spelled out the gift I have been given in my restoration to God's family:
"Biblically, tenderness is what follows when someone reveals you your own inner beauty, when you discover your belovedness, when you experience that you are truly and deeply liked by someone. If you communicate to me that you really like me and not just love me as a brother in Christ, that you take delight in me, then you open me up to the possibility of liking myself. the look of amiable regard in your eyes banishes my fears and my defense mechanisms...disappear into the nothingness of my non-attention to them. your warmth withers my self-disdain and allows the possibility of self esteem. I drop my mask of pretentious piety, stop impersonating Mother Teresa, quit disguising my sanctimonious voice, start to smile at my own frailty, and dare to become more sincere, open, vulnerable and affectionate than I would ever dream of being if I thought you didn't like me. In short, I grow tender." Brennan Manning The Wisdom of Tenderness
There are times I wish that I learned lessons more easily, but maybe, for one such as me, who falls off the low end of the mercy scale, the only way to learn tenderness is to be deprived of it until I am starved near to death. All I know is that in this tender place I have landed, I am relearning the belovedness of me. And I am grateful.