Safe in Deep Water
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about this time last year. Even though every singular event has a thousand moments leading up to it, everything culminated for me in the early spring of 2017, in the middle of Easter season when the church focuses on the death and resurrection of Jesus. There tends to be a lot more conversation around death, suffering, living in the tensions of life, renewal, redemption, and resurrection in this season, so I guess it’s appropriate that it’s a mile-marker in my journey of deconstruction.
My old church has a popular worship song that speaks of personal redemption, reiterating that in Christ, we have victory and hope for resurrection even before our physical death. This year, I just found those lyrics so ironic as I thought back to how this time last year that same ministry was telling me that because of my divorce, I would never be qualified to take their stage and lead worship there again. Singing the hope of resurrection while shutting down the hope for the resurrection of my personal ministry. I try not to dwell on that for too long so as not to tip my internal balance too far to bitterness.
This year, I’m at a new church. A much smaller and more humble church. One where I can actually speak to the pastor and even have conversations with him about how I might perceive a piece of scripture differently from him without it coming across as an attack. One where I can lead worship from stage knowing that I am broken but not incapable of being a minister to other broken people. One where I can exist as an introverted leader who’s been burned in ministry before and is trying to slowly learn what is the healthiest amount of involvement for me now.
A lot of times deconstructing feels like being on the tiniest ship in the middle of the ocean. Occasionally other small vessels pass by, offering encouragement and support, sharing their unique perspectives, maybe helping me course correct or think differently, but we know that none of us really know exactly where our destination is. Or if there even is one.
To float out here in the abyss of faith has been more beautiful than anything else. I truly don’t feel alone anymore the way I did when I was entrapped in evangelicalism. I am kindred with people who are wise enough to admit that they don’t have all the answers. I have been carried in so many beautiful ways since leaving the church I thought was getting it all right.
If you’re floating, or if you’re on what you know is not actually solid ground and just ready to get off of it, know that there is hope out here in the ocean. Whatever you build your boat out of, I know it will hold until you come across someone who can offer you something to strengthen your vessel. You may not know where you’re going or how best to get there, but the rest of us are out here trying to figure it out, too. And I think the journey is totally worth it.