It has been one year since I walked away from my last church.
In some ways, however, I’ve only recently begun to leave emotionally.
It has been no secret how scarred, broken, and useless I was when I resigned last year.
I made sure everyone knew the pain I felt.
Always hoping that someone would say some magical phrase, and it would all go away just like that.
But they didn’t.
And the pain remained.
For so long (I suppose about a year or so), so much of me, no matter what I was saying to anyone, wanted to keep tabs on what was going on there.
I needed to know about the failures there without me.
I needed that for my own selfish ego.
It was a drug.
And I was addicted.
Even after having been gone for so long, I still failed to see any real worth in myself outside of my identity there.
Even though I was still screaming, I felt silenced.
Until last week.
What you probably don’t know is that I have been working on this post for weeks.
Editing, moving things around, deciding what to leave in and what to take out.
I had initially settled on the idea of still not understanding so many things.
And then posting an open letter to the church dated some time last summer.
I’ve decided to keep that to myself.
All because of last Monday.
For those of you who actively follow my blog (yes, both of you), you know that for some reason, I’ve been posting more lately.
I have no explanation for this other than thinking to myself, “eh…I need to write more.”
So, I began to write more.
About volunteering with the student ministry again.
About the importance of this generation seeking after Christ more than before.
About spending time alone with God.
Even about the Healthcare Reform.
That last one got over 100 people to read my blog in a single day!
Over 600 views in the month of March.
Not that it’s a big deal, but that’s a lot for someone who isn’t a “big name.”
And that played a significant role in my self validation.
Those facts, together with a comment I received on a different post, a section of a book, and a daily devotional from this weekend, have completely changed my point of view on things.
First, a comment from a dear friend of mine.
Now, Josh comments on my blog more frequently than most, and he always makes note of the value he places on our friendship.
But for some reason, this particular comment stuck out:
In case it’s not clear, I’m so glad you’re blogging more frequently.
You have a voice that speaks so clearly things that matter.
And I’m glad to call you a friend.
The second thing was an introductory paragraph in Chapter 9 of Pete Gall‘s latest book, “Learning My Name.”
There are three words here that I heard louder than all of the others as he was reading it to our small group Thursday night:
This section about slaves is intended for people who long to hear God say, “Your voice matters.” Slaves tend to forget they’re wired for better than fear and mere coping techniques.
[emphasis again mine]
And finally, on Saturday morning while reading Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest,” I come across this paragraph:
Compare this week in your spiritual life with the same week last year to see how God has called you to a higher level. We have all been brought to see from a higher viewpoint. Never allow God to show you a truth which you do not instantly begin to live up to, applying it to your life. Always work through it, staying in its light.
[emphasis still mine]
So, here I compare.
Almost a year has passed.
I still hurt, but not quite to the same degrees of bitterness and anger.
FINALLY I SURRENDER!
No longer will I remain captive by my past.
No longer will I allow the enemy to control my worth.
Sometimes it takes just one voice to remind us that we have a voice of our own…
That I have a voice.
That is something that I had questioned for a full year.
Do I have a voice worth being heard?
No, not on my own.
But He is worthy.
And He is my Voice and my Strength.
Peace and love.