Saturday, November 10, 2012

Full Circle Revisited, and A Tale of Two Friends

I didn't plan to take this long to post to this blog. It's been a disappointing year in some respects. On Nov. 1, I actually weighed a fraction of a pound more than on Jan. 1. A fraction of a pound is hardly anything. But considering I started out the year determined to finally lose 55 (or as close to that as possible), at this point, with my carb cravings as strong as ever (despite going mostly gluten-free a few weeks ago, which seems to have helped my headache frequency and insomnia, I seem to have mostly substituted one set of carbs for another), I feel this may never happen without divine intervention.

Something else I didn't expect at the beginning of this year, but which I do have peace about and feel was the right decision for me, is something I call "Full Circle Revisited". I went from a non-denominational evangelical church to a liturgical church in 2008, spent a year and a half church hopping starting in '09, and joined another non-denominational evangelical church in 2011 (due to my need for fellowship and friendships, even though the worship style was more contemporary than I felt comfortable with). time went on, I longed more and more for the peaceful, deep worship experience I had at the church I'd found in '08, with its multi-faceted liturgy, responsive readings, timeless music and kneeling up front for communion rather than "passing the plate" in the pew. I know that a lot of Christians would find this boring and vastly prefer a band up front with lyrics of "praise choruses" on a big colorful screen. I even tried to tell myself that contemporary worship is meant to be a celebration and if my heart was truly right with God, I would want to celebrate Him in that manner. But as I already knew, I guess I am not like most people and need to have the church experience that is best for ME. So I rejoined my former church two Sundays ago.

I haven't attended the non-denominational church since July, but have continued to care for and miss the people there, especially two ladies I hoped to build a close friendship with. I still hope that will be possible. But of course, it will be more challenging now that I have changed churches, and they have not tried to contact me since I last saw them in July. The weekly Tues. evening Bible study started again a few weeks ago, and the pastor's wife emphasized I would continue to be welcome there. I have not ruled out rejoining that Bible study. But when my friends (who both attend it) have not contacted me in all this time to see where and how I am, it feels a bit awkward. (And my full-time job has been so chaotic lately that I haven't felt like going anywhere any night after work, including to choir practice at the church I've rejoined.) What I may do is to attend my former church's Christmas craft night next Fri. evening, which I expect they will both be at. I want to let them know I still want to get together with them and hope we can do that, and will just see how it goes....

So after all this time, here I am back at the church I left in '08 and realized I have always missed. And similarly, after this week's election, all the campaigning and ads and anticipation of a possible new beginning, here we are back exactly where we were: same President, same Senate and same House. I (and millions of others) sure never saw this coming, especially that first item I mentioned. And thus resulted what I will call "The Tale of Two Friends". I think everyone has had an experience where you think you know someone, assumed they cared for you, but then it takes literally nothing (at least, nothing YOU did wrong) to tear you apart. Early last year, two people from my past found me on Facebook. I was thrilled to be reunited for both of them and exchanged many long letters with both of them to catch up. Prior to election day, I found something on the Facebook page of one of them that bothered me (specifically, something in favor of a President who I feel has acted contrary in every way to Christian beliefs). I asked her about it and she explained her viewpoint. While I was surprised and do not agree, I appreciated that she explained how she felt. Well....when the results were decided, I went to Facebook, expecting my other friends to feel like I did. Instead, the other person from my past thanked God for the result. This was pretty shocking to me, so I sent her what I thought was a tactful private message. I prefaced it that I love her but wondered why she felt as she did. I also stated she is entitled to her opinion but that I just didn't know why a Christian would support someone that seems so anti-Christian. Nothing inflammatory there, or so I thought. Just asking...and expecting they would want to share their feelings with me just as the other person from my past did.

I was totally unprepared for what happened next. This "friend" became VERY indignant that I would dare to question her choice. She unfriended me on Facebook and asked that I not contact her again. Wow!! I sent back a conciliatory message, explained I did not intend to offend, was just asking a question. I heard nothing back. Then late last night, I found she posted to Facebook that a "friend" sent her a "snooty judgmental message" about her vote. Double wow. I believe in forgiveness, but in retrospect, this person has hurt me very deeply and unless they apologize, I do feel it's over between us. I have never had many friends and didn't want to lose one, but her lashing out at me just because I asked her a question is uncalled for. This person has been through a lot in the past couple of years and I have tried my best to be a supportive friend to her. That she would disown me over this is stunning to me. Like I think you know someone and you assume they would care enough to discuss and try to understand any differences in opinion you may have, since that is what friends do. But it appears that will not happen. So unless God intervenes and shows her how she hurt me, I say to her, goodbye and God be with you always...

On a happier note, several nights ago I had the great privilege to spend 2 hours talking on the phone to an incredibly kind, gentle, anointed (and famous...) Christian counselor about the isolation I feel from other Christians and my need to develop close local friendships (and the difficulty that I seem to have being able to do so). I thank God for her and appreciate SO much that she chose to devote her entire radio show that night to me. Among other encouraging words and the many Scriptures she cited, she latched on to the fact that I am an expert crocheter and suggested I look into visiting women at our local nursing home who are lonely and don't tend to get visitors, and bring them a shawl or lapghan I made to let them know someone cares. This is a great idea and is something I will look into in the near future.

After I post this, I will go back to working on the 8th of 9 large (18-inch) squares of a crochet thread project, "Amaryllis Tablecloth". A picture of one of the squares pinned to the blocking mat (to stretch it into its full size and square shape) is on my current post on my crochet blog at Once all 9 squares are finished and blocked, I will stitch them together and add the edging. I hope to have it done by the end of this month (the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend will help there). After this, I hope to start looking into the possible ministry that the wonderful Christian counselor suggested. Stay tuned....

P.S. I had completed this post and realized I left out something very important! My beloved '88 Mercedes sedan, "Bianca", which I have had since (I think) 2005, passed the 200,000 mile mark 3 days ago! Yay, Bianca! Hope I get to enjoy driving her for many more thousands. It will be a sad day when I have to replace her. But so far, she is doing quite well for her age and looks much younger!