I have had issues going to church since Al died. I went on Easter, and it was really nice. But then today I did another “drive there and then leave without going in”. What gives? Maybe there is an invisible force field that keeps me from entering the building? I am probably saying the same thing as I said in my other post (Some keep the Sabbath going to Church…) but every time it happens I am caught off guard!
I am not mad at God. I don’t think that has anything to do with it because I am also avoiding the gym. I am not sure if I am avoiding being around a bunch of people or just avoiding the bunch of people I was routinely around while Al was fighting his cancer?? I go to a bereavement group every week and a bible study every other week without any problem at all. Those groups are all very small though; and they are also “new” groups that I began in my new chapter of my life.
This happened to me when my brother died ten years ago. It took me about two years (and some help from a therapist) before I started going to church consistently. I don’t know what made it okay in my mind– but I didn’t return to the church I went to when he was alive. It was a lot like the situation I am in right now, I had joined the church just a few months before he passed. I guess building the relationships I had started as the girl whose brother committed suicide was just not who I wanted to be. So I joined a new church. They were supportive and wonderful, but too rigid for me. I tried a few more Episcopal churches before landing at a church in Middletown that was non-denominational. Everyone there welcomed me and since my other brother was a member, they knew that chapter in my story. But it didn’t define me, it just added to the book of Me.
I stayed at this church for a long time, although I never became a member or got baptized or anything (still a little gun-shy I guess). When Al got sick and asked if we could move to the shore, it just made sense to find a church that was closer to our new home. When he passed away, I could always move back and go back to my Middletown church family. Except that I found a home down at the shore.
For the first time, I feel like I am at home in my community. I love my neighbors, I love the area I live in, and I love my church. As I stated before, I don’t have any desire to start new as someone else. So why can’t I go into the church?
I am going to keep pondering this but I will continue to make my weekly tithe online and download/listen to the sermon as it is released. And I will keep driving to the church and sitting in my car outside for as long as it takes for me to get the gumption to go in!