Some Things Are Not As Dead As They Seem

09 July 2012

I'm really not sure how to go about starting out this post.
I have some good things to share and some not so good as well.
I guess I will start with the good.

God has blessed me tremendously!
I have a church family in Illinois that has accepted me as I am and where I am.
They have more than opened their arms to me.
They have wrapped me up in the church family.
I feel like I am truly accepted by my church family and I haven't felt that way in a church in many, many years.
(Yes, I call them my church family. This may seem weird to those of you in Nebraska, and maybe even to a degree it may seem as though I am turning my back on you all. I still love you all, but this is a new chapter in my life and I have my own life in Illinois and this includes my church.)
God has placed me amongst a church family that is truly amazing.
Without them this summer would have been a very long, lonely, boring summer.
They have made Bourbonnais feel like home.
I couldn't have ever asked for what they have given me.
I appreciate it all and I am extremely thankful to everyone for what they have done for me.

I have to talk about the Mission Team again.
They are all amazing and I am grateful to have this summer with them.
I have to focus on the guys because I have spent the most time with them.
These guys are such a great influence in my life and I think God has put them in my life for a reason, possibly multiple reasons.
These guys blow the phrase "Chivalry is dead" out of the water.
They never fail to go out of their way to make sure the females that are with them at the time are taken care of first or put first in general.
This is something that I haven't grown up with and am not used to.
I have to make a conscious effort not to chastise them about it because I know that they are doing exactly what they are supposed to and it is my job to encourage them as their sister in Christ.
I may not have grown up with it, but it is something that I am slowly getting used to.
It is becoming something that I expect.
These guys have been such a positive influence in my life in how I view men.
I have never had this example of chivalry or of guys being gentleman before.
It is nice to know that there are guys who are still being raised with those standards.
It just makes me hope that I will end up marrying a man who is like this guys and who will be the example of a true chivalrous gentleman to any kids he is around or helps raise.
The guys on the mission team have no idea how high they have made me raise my standards.
They're just making it that much harder for a guy to get me to date him.
I appreciate all of their influence more than they can imagine.
I am and have been truly blessed by these Godly men on the mission team.

My boys.
I got to spend time with two of the boys that I have babysat since they were born.
I took them out to dinner this evening and then we watched some AFV and cuddled on the couch after we took a ton of pictures.
I love those boys like crazy and hate to have to say goodbye.
It's hard to say goodbye and watch them get mad because you're leaving again.
It makes it really hard.
I cannot wait until October when I get to come back and see them again.

Ok, so now for the lengthy section of not so good stuff.

I grew up in the Nazarene church (I got to a baptist church now).
I grew up in the church my grandpa pastored.
When I was a kid I loved going to my church and I loved all the people there.
This lasted until probably around 5th grade.
At this point I realized how much the church and those in leadership positions were concerned about the politics of the church. Most of the time the politics of the church were viewed as more important than the church itself.
Now maybe it's just me, but I don't think that that is how God wants the church to be.
I learned a lot of lessons from the church and the people in it over the next 7 years.
Although I have to say that the majority of them were not positive like you might expect.
I learned a lot of lessons I figured I would learn from the world rather than the church.
Some of the things that I learned are:
-People are not necessarily to be trusted (with personal matters or otherwise)
-People  will tear you down and rip you apart to get what they want
-If you don't suck up to people then you mean nothing to them
-People don't really care what you have to say or what you think
-Emotions are also highly overrated
-If you are a child of a pastor (senior, youth, etc.) you're automatically held to a much higher standard than everyone else and the slightest slip means you get looked down upon by everyone
-And many other lessons could be listed.

As you can see I didn't really learn anything positive from the church here.
It's hard to come home and go to the church here.
I feel like I should be excited to come back here and see everyone at church, but in all honesty I have a hard time even making myself go to church here.
I haven't had a connection with anyone here in years.
I hardly even went my last two years of high school.
It wasn't that I didn't want to go to church, because I really did.
Rather I didn't want to go because every time I was there I felt like I was being stared at and judged by everyone there. It didn't feel welcoming at all.
And ever since I left for school last August, the only people from the church who have contacted me at all are the parents of the kids I babysat.
No one else contacted me at all, but they were constantly talking to and conversing with the other college students from the church.
I can tell you why that is but I will refrain because it would end up being a rather lengthy description.

It was just hard being at church this Sunday because I felt very much like people would have even noticed I was there had it not been for the 3 adults that actually did care and make an effort to keep up on how I am doing while i'm in Illinois.
I really just wanted to leave within minutes of being there.
Had it not been for one of my boys coming and sitting with me during service it would have been a very long morning.
It also helped when I got a text from McKenzie.
After asking about the trip back here, he told me that everyone at Journey was asking where I was.
People have no idea how much that means to me.
The fact that they noticed that I wasn't there since i've only been going for about 5 months is something I wouldn't have expected.
The church here that I went to for 13 years didn't even ask that the first Sunday I was away at college. Not a single one of them.
Journey has been a blessing and I hope to stay apart of the church and their ministry for the next few years at least.

Now to get to family stuff.
If only I could share everything that is on my mind relating to this topic.
I can't do so because some of it shouldn't be shared and there is just far too much on my mind regarding the subject.
The main thing right now has to deal with my mom.
I like to come back here to visit for a few days, but it is very hard to come back.
When i'm at school my mom encourages all of the things I do and has not an issue with any of it.
Soon as i'm back here she treats me like i'm in middle school still.
I'm going to be 20yrs old in 6 months.
I am an adult but she treats me like a kid all the time when i'm home.
It makes it really hard to come back here to visit.
It's making me really consider just staying in Illinois for the summers and for a while after graduating.
I don't know that I will come back to Nebraska to live.
I love Nebraska but I just can't do it anymore.

Well, that is as far as I am going to go into those topics on here for the evening.
I really just wish there was someone I could talk to.
I feel the need to just have an actual conversation and discuss things face to face with someone.
Oh well, I do not have that opportunity at the moment.

It's going to be a long night of packing, listening/singing to music, and praying.
God has gotten me this far and I have no doubt that He will get me through whatever is coming.
It is through Him that I can do all things!!

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