January 11, 2014

Spiritual Outcast

Growing up, I REALLY hated going to church.  Sunday school, I had no problem with.  I had more "friends" there than I did in school.  I think what I dreaded the most was just sitting through the sermons.  Nothing against the church pastor.  As a matter of fact, I still to this day have mad respect for Pastor Phil.  I just couldn't get behind Christianity and how literally it's followers takes the bible.

Eventually, my parents stopped fighting me & my sister in making us go to church.  We would still attend  youth group on Wednesdays, mostly because it was easy for my sister to skip-out of and I still had friends there I could talk to, but as far as actual service, I was persona non grata.  

I finally graduated high-school, got a job, and moved out into my own.  That was the year that I discovered that Christ based churches weren't the only ones in the Tri-Cities!  I finally discovered "The Divine Fellowship".  For the first time in my life, I had found a place that had welcomed my questions in faith, let me believe in the mystical, and even helped me develop my spiritual gifts!  I was so happy yet, I felt so out of place.  For starters, I was probably the youngest independent person there.  Secondly, I was used to being around people I grew-up with.  I had peers at my old church that were my age, grade, and knew-ish who I was so I was totally comfortable.  Lastly, it was blatantly obvious that this wasn't a Christian church by a LOT of means!

After a few years going on and off, I finally felt warm in the waters of the place and could finally go on a regular basis!  Sure, there was a time I moved to Spokane for a year and a half, had JUST started a family, and was forced back to the Trikes, but Divine Fellowship was there to help our family feel like we were back home and into a groove.  They welcomed us (especially me) with loving arms.  They were the best 4 years of our lives.  Then came the loss of Matt's job, our home, and our sudden move back to Spokane.  At that point, we had grown so accustomed to going to church again, that we tried like crazy to find a church of similar faith.  I had come to discover Unitarianism.

How to describe Unitarianism.  Take the spirituality of Paganism but mix in the principals of Christianity.  The church I ultimately chose was "Unity Spiritual Center" here in Spokane.  It was different in how they ran things and what they preach than from DF's practices, but not so different that I couldn't at least enjoy services and more or less feel what their reverend was talking about.  Having said that, there was one small snag in my going to church there;  my son is a total spaz.  

I'm going to fast forward to why I'm writing this post.  When we (specifically my son & I) started going to Unity, he had just turned 4 years old.  Per their curriculum, he was in his last year in the nursery.  Also know, that whole year, my son was gung-ho against going potty like a big boy.  It seemed like every Sunday it was something upon picking him up.  Either he wet himself, he hit yet another child, he would hide in the nursery when it was time to line-up and come out to the sanctuary for end of service songs, and so on.  So, come this past summer and it was time for their version of VBS (Vacation Bible School).  I was able to sneak Luke in because he was just a few weeks shy of the 5 year old age.  He was in under the condition that I attend with him and "Shadow" him.  This meant that I was to be on him like white-on-rice.  Sadly, this back-fired horribly!  He wouldn't listen, he was a complete monster, and at one point, they had to give me a break because I was about to have an utter break-down!

A week after "VBS", the director of the Sunday School program took me aside and informed me that after Luke turns 5, he will be too old for the nursery.  Unfortunately, he is just "too spirited" to be in the preK-Kindergarten Sunday School class.  Unless I stayed with him in the class itself, he cannot come to Sunday School.  That's right, my preschooler was kicked out of Sunday School before he even started.  Because of my husband's work schedule at the time, that meant I couldn't go to church either.  I hadn't been so upset in my life from being excluded from something.  I think what hurt me the most, was that this was my 3rd religious group in a row I was rejected from.  What made this particularly painful was this time, it wasn't for my beliefs, but for my child, whom I created, which I raised.  I had never felt like such a complete and utter failure in my life.  Because of this, I would later become fearful with my son's teachers at Head Start.  God bless Teacher Lisa, though.  When it seems his attitude at school is getting too much, she continually assures me that he will NOT get kicked-out or held-back for any reason.  

That was back in September.  It's now January.  Last Sunday, I had the courage to come back to  Unity.  Matt has a new work schedule so he can watch Luke at home while I went to service.  Going back after my son getting rejected was one of the scariest things I ever had to do.  My fear wasn't fear in the sense of being scared of the unexpected.  My fear was a mix of anger, anxiety, and sadness.  My hope was I went, saw some familiar faces, and have someone say "You know, we would love for you to bring Luke back.  It's been a few months and if he's really mellowed out since going to school, we would love for him to attend Sunday School again unsupervised."  What happened was a few people saying "Hi" to me, my awkward smiles & waves, and even the lady who booted my son out told me "Hi Lori", in which I gave a tense wave.  It took everything in me not to break-down and cry at the memory.

I just don't know if I can go back there tomorrow (Sunday).  I'm going to try this Unitarian Universalist church tomorrow to see how I like that.  From how my Hubs put it, it's a little more "structured" and "traditional" than Unity.  I don't even know if I'm going to like it.  I doubt it.  As they say, there's only one way to find out.  If this doesn't work-out, I don't know.  I just REALLY need my weekly spiritual fix, I just don't know if I can handle any more rejection from any more religious groups.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you've had a hard time with fulfilling your spiritual needs,,,nothing feels worse than rejection. Try and remember that there is NOTHING wrong with you, your beliefs, or how you live your life and raise your family.

    -big hugs-