Yesterday was joy, tears, melancholy, anxiety, and probably some other emotions, too. When we got back from our family outing I began to feel more and more out-of-sorts, dealing with shortness of breath and stress along with a sense of impending doom.
I didn't recognize what was at the root of it, so I tried to walk it out of my system. I paced briskly along the sidewalk, noticing the sweet skunky smell of marijuana wafting into my nostrils. It helped a little. The exercise, not the marijuana. Or maybe it was both.
I got back in and let some tears roll because I was remembering stuff, like how the church I grew up in welcomed Kevin warmly and supported us as we embarked on our marriage journey. And then a couple years later we switched to a smaller church because I was overwhelmed and panicky and feeling oppressed. I mistook where the oppression was coming from. I thought it was the church secretary and her requests for me to play music and serve at events. It felt like harassment to me.
The truth, however, is that the spiritual abuse knocked me into a different frequency. The words of loving and kind church friends became somehow harsh to me. It was like bad lip reading, except not at all funny. The secretary wasn't doing anything especially wrong. It just would've been great if I could have clearly expressed to her what was going on with me.
When the pastor and his wife met with us to ask us why we wanted to switch churches, I could only say I was struggling with my emotions and there was a lot of gray area. They graciously accepted our departure with hope that perhaps we would return after a break.
We like the little crappy church we attend now. It's got mostly elderly people in it, but they're lovely and we find that the small community is beneficial and relaxing for us—a place that honors our freedom.
I'm ready, though, to link up again with my original church family. So maybe we can kind of, sort of, belong to two churches. Or something.
I feel great today, by the way. My emotions are behaving themselves for now.