1995 (I was 17) was by far the worse year of my life and 2010 ranks right up there. I’m not being dramatic or hyperbolic either. Honestly. In 1995, my grandfather died suddenly in June (I was living with him at the time), my mother in September, and a dear lady who virtually raised me half the time in December. World toss upside down repeatedly.
In April of this year, the explosion at Upper Big Branch happened. I will not yet talk about some of the things which has happened concerning this which has affected me personally, but soon. Needless to say, I lost heroes and without a network upon which to fall back on it, well, it got to me. I was there that night and frankly there are times that I feel like I haven’t left. Still waiting for good news…
In June, I left what I had been taught for 30 or so years to find a new church home. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, it would have happened eventually, but the manner in which I was first cut off from the only belief system that I had known and then came to the stark and abrupt and quick realization that we needed to find a place in which to worship was jarring. I feel like I have left a cult, honestly.
Look, I ain’t going to lie, I rather enjoy Christ Church and on most days, and grateful for my place in the congregation, in the same seat Sunday after Sunday, but there are some days that my indoctrination slams me against the mental wall. Depression? Probably. Some sort of psychosis associated with bad deprogramming? For sure. Not handling change well – yeah, that too. I mean, as I said, the separation would have happened eventually. I didn’t like the out right hypocrisy which was going on at my previous congregation. Plus, the allowance for child molestation which they seemed to me more than ready to pimp children out in order to preserve their individual reputation. Not to mention the changing nature of my own individual theology and doctrinal mindset. I would venture to guess that it would be a matter of a year or so before I would have been out right banned from attending. I was already approached for not using the KJV-1611 (which, by the way, no one uses) and it has come out that a rumor was started that I was a ‘dualist.’ I’m not sure if that meant that I appreciated the Son or I liked to fight with pistols. What would it have finally been had it not been the acceptance of lies, allowance of child molestation, and the like? Historical studies maybe? For me, this academic pursuit strengthened my faith, and serves to remind me of the sometimes long processes which God goes through to put something together that He wants used.
So, this year has been one of cataclysmic events and with such, I’ve had some routes of self discovery. I don’t know my place just yet – and frankly, to be honest, I’m pretty ticked at God (in a Job sorta way) so maybe I don’t want to know my place just yet. I know that I admire the stability of Rome more than I should. I also know that I am somewhat, just a little bit, less liberal than I was in January, at least in just a few itty bitty ways. Shoot, I’ve even come to like Zwingli. But I am still being thrown for mental loops. My wife puts up with me more than she should and we try to shield my days from my family. But, in the end, because of the interaction found here, I have a life line in knowing that others have gone through massive changes in their theology as well – and survived and not become bitter. I’m winning, I think. Today.
Next year will be better.
I have so very happy to see this year end.