I attended this event at my new church. I started back in October and I am really excited about the prospect of being an active member after this church after laying dormant for so long in my old congregation.
The honeymoon phase is so exciting! The opportunities feel endless! No one here carries preconceived notions of who I am or what I can and cannot do as a member. Here it is all still hugs and genuine smiles. It always takes a while to get at the gross stuff that is swept under the carpet.
What makes me so happy here is that they recognize there is stuff swept under the carpet. There is no pretense that we are any different from each other, that by being in the church longer you are then holier than me. For example - try to beat me. I have grown up in the church AND I have two degrees from Liberty University, what up? No. I have seen people become Christians and shoot right past me on the "holy" scale. The idea that there is competition about who is the cleaner pig is beyond me.
But anyhoo, my church seems to be as real as a church can be, real and forthcoming. So how do I know I won't be burned again?
One answer - I have taken the precaution of putting no person on a pedestal. I do not look to anyone like they are higher or holier, that they have all the answers. When that person inevitably fails you, the boom from the fall can cause earthquakes in your life.
And lastly, I just do not know if I will be burned again or not. People will be people and people can hurt other people. It is one of our many freedoms. So will Satan attack me through this church? Chances are if I am on my guard and I can focus on serving God the best I can and doing the best job of what I have been given to do in the church that I should not have the time to focus too much on being brought down by a load of someone else's garbage.
In reference to my last post though, I am still a spaz around the pastorate. I trying to play that one cool, but I am never myself around someone who calls themselves a pastor of our church. I crawl so far into myself I feel like a shy little girl on the first day of school. I just completely retreat. I can be myself in a group of pastors...but one on one I keep expecting to hear that I just do not add up. So this will be a process that I am thinking will not solve itself quickly.
More to come!