My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, July 19, 2010

monday morning depression session

I didn't mention this at the time... mainly because I wanted to forget.... but I cried the whole way home from church last week.

The truth is... I just feel so alone there. There are a lot of really nice people. They say "hello" and smile as they pass me in the hallway.

I get to sit with Jim and Angie every week... except... they are on stage for 2/3 of the service so until Stasha gets there.... I sit by myself. And we sit so far up that... few people venture past where I am sitting and those that do... smile and say hello as they pass me by.

There is no place so lonely as being in the middle of a crowd of people.

I take ownership. I mean, I've missed a lot of church, some of it by being sick and some of it... just not wanting to make the effort to connect with people. The more I miss, the more disconnected I feel when I go. And the more disconnected I feel, the less I want to go.

We truly have become a society that is ten miles wide and 1/2 inch deep. I feel that more at church than anywhere else.... the place that I should be building strong relationships.

And, of course, for me, the people I'm closest to are the people who are working the hardest in the church and are therefore busy with ministry and those sort of details and don't really have time to engage in conversation before or after church. I have a standing invitation for lunch out after church but... I don't like to eat out, a lot of times I can't afford to eat out... and when I go, it's a mass of people who are all deeply connected and I feel very much like an outsider. It's just another hour of me feeling like the odd man out.

SO.... last night... a girl I dearly love at church... posted a status update asking, "why do married women at church avoid the divorced women"... or something to that effect. In a moment of unbridled honesty, I admitted to leaving church in tears last week. People say, "I'm glad you're here" or "I've missed you"... and I wonder what they missed or why they're glad because other than that brief salutation... they don't say anything else before moving on to the next conversation. I made it all the way from one end of the church to my usual seat at the front of the sanctuary without a single person even noticing me... or saying anything. It was... sad.

We have a missions minded church. There are people who go to Africa... Thailand... Myrtle Beach... Nevada. We strongly support the Georgia Mountains Resort Ministry that reaches out to tourists in our area. I think sometimes we are so busy working out the great commission that we overlook the people right in front of us who are in need... whether it's financial or emotional or just to have someone to sit with in church.

I think that little facebook exchange will change things... it made me realize that I'm not the only one who feels alone... and it made me realize that there are people who want deeper relationships. I got a sweet message from someone at the church that I don't know... and a few other ladies have decided to be intentional about building friendships, not just acquaintances.

It's time for me to glam and dash... busy Monday ahead and I'm starting out teary and bleary eyed. Gotta put it together and get out and earn some money. Hugs, y'all.


LYN said...

I don't go to church for that very one wants to go with me and the people already there have their niches..sure they smile and say hello but thats it..i felt stupid sitting by myself so i don't go anymore

Anonymous said...

It not in the sanctuary building itself, but in the small classrooms and Bible studies and other small events of the church that friendships are formed and grown. I know it is hard, but you would be so much lonelier without that church involvement. Is there a small-group Bible study you could participate in that Jim or Angie are not involved in? Sometimes folks may see that link between you and Jim and Angie and subconsciously think that your needs are being taken care of ~ and not that Jim and Angie are not taking care of you, but you do need social interaction on your own. I know I'm as guilty as anyone about not reaching "across the aisles" to welcome someone new, but at times when I get to worship service, I just want to sit and relax and worship because I've been "on" during the Sunday School hour tending to other people's kids and such. You mention walking past other people to get to your seat and no one speaking to you ~ how about turning the tables on those not speaking and you speak first? I agree that sometimes our churches seem more "internationally mission minded" when we have folks living in a five-mile radius of the church who need ministering to. Our former pastor was all gung-ho about traveling to Uganda to reach people for Christ (which is wonderful), yet he wouldn't visit those close by who were lost to Christ. Sometimes we don't see the needs right in front of our eyes.

Melissa Huray said...

I can really relate to you on the whole church thing. Mike and I have been at our church almost SEVEN YEARS and it still feels like we've made zero deep connections. In the beginning, we tried joining tons of committees, small groups, volunteering, etc... to get involved but it just felt like to more we did the more that was asked of us, and we still didn't connect with people. I'm sad about it. Our minister retired 6 mos. ago and now we have this interim guy and I feel even more disconnected. On another subject, do you still need a scale?