December 06, 2012

Pondering....Loss

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Joining in with Brenda @ Ponderings of an Author for this week's installment of Pondering with a Purpose, the blog hop where Brenda offers a weekly prompt to inspire us to share on the topic via stories, poetry, photographs...or whatever.  Some weeks it's light and fluffy.  Some weeks, not so much.  This is one of those not so much weeks.


This week's prompt:  Loss


Everyone suffers losses.  It's an inescapable part of life.  Some suffer more than others.  Some suffer so much you can't understand how they don't collapse under the weight of it all.  Some do collapse or "snap" as the news tells us all too often.  Some losses are small and merely annoying.  Some losses are monumental and catalysts for change.

When I started thinking back over my life I was actually surprised by how many things I considered losses.  I lost my dad to cancer, my grandfather to an aneurysm, my grandmother to old age, a dear uncle to Parkinson's disease.....  When I was 14 and in 9th grade I lost two friends when a helicopter crashed into the crowd at a church festival.  When my dad was fired from the wildlife preserve he managed I lost my favorite place on Earth.  I've lost my innocence (not talking about virginity here), my temper, my security, my faith, and from time to time my mind.

I would have to say, though, that my biggest loss, the one that impacted my life the most and changed it and me the most, would have to be when we left a church about 10 years ago.  Tim and I were both leaders and involved up to our eyeballs in nearly every activity.  Tim and one of his sisters had had a falling out that put us on the fringes (at best) of the family.  In the wake of that we had made our friends at the church our family and loved them and clung to them fiercely.  So when church politics raised its ugly head as it so often does, we were unprepared for it.  I had all my ministries stripped away one at a time by an angry pastor and the worst was the feeling of being thrown to the wolves or simply abandoned by those we loved and trusted.

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In the months that followed our ordeal I went through what I can only compare to what someone who has been in a cult or held hostage must go through.  Nothing in my life has ever been as painful.  I felt broken, stripped, laid out raw and bare.  Anger alternated with depression.  Confusion reigned over all.  It took years to muddle through the mess in my heart and head.  To this day nearly everything I think still runs through the filter of what happened and it colors the way I see the world.

13 comments:

Judy said...

When we depend so much on a group of people, like our church family, I can understand how it can be so hurtful and such a loss when things like that happen. I have my own church family and would be devastated. Thanks for sharing this!

Wendy S. said...

YOu've experienced so much loss lately and I know the accumulative losses build up and we either find ways to be full or grace or explode. You're an incredibly strong woman whom has not given up on life, but continues to love and have faith even when it's the hardest to do. Honor your losses and remember rebirths happen as well. Love you...

retired not tired said...

I understand all too well. I seemed to give and give to our church until I couldn't give anymore. Did they ever give back to me? NO!!
I now love God but hate religion.

RoryBore said...

The church of my childhood had a huge divide when I was a teenager too. I wasn't involved in any ministries or anything, but I do remember thinking what a way for these Christian adults to act!! What the heck have they been preaching to me all these years?? It was a very confusing time, and I ended up straying away from the church for quite some time.
So yes, I completely understand when some people say they love God -- but hate religion. But in the end I missed the fellowship of other believers, and have since a wonderful new church home!

RoryBore said...

The church of my childhood had a huge divide when I was a teenager too. I wasn't involved in any ministries or anything, but I do remember thinking what a way for these Christian adults to act!! What the heck have they been preaching to me all these years?? It was a very confusing time, and I ended up straying away from the church for quite some time.
So yes, I completely understand when some people say they love God -- but hate religion. But in the end I missed the fellowship of other believers, and have since a wonderful new church home!

Stacy said...

Judy...we did depend on them, partly because of the family situation and partly because that is what we were being molded into by the pastors. We were pressured to be there for EVERYTHING and held to a different standard than everyone else. I was crushed when it all fell apart. We were married in that church, raised our kids there, the kids and I were baptized there (my daughter and I by my husband) stepped into lay ministry there. I am finally at a place where I can look back and be thankful for the opportunities I was given there that would not have come elsewhere.

Wendy...Thank you. You always make me feel so good with your kind words, but I'm not strong. I've got a strong God without whom I'd fall apart. I have learned to honor the losses. It took a while. ;)

Retired not tired...I know EXACTLY how you feel. We've been fortunate enough to find a small, unconventional fellowship that does church right. You don't find the politics and undercurrents in it. Nearly all of us have been through something similar and what we've come away with is a very strong sense of how NOT to do church. I hope you are able at some point to find a body of believers like it. :)

Stacy said...

RoryBore...You hit on why it hurt so much. It was church people. The very people who are supposed to know (and act) better. You place more trust in them, I think, because of it so it is completely devastating when they fail. So glad you have found a happy church home. God says we need to be with other believers.

Brenda Youngerman said...

Stacy when you give your life over to a group of people and then they turn on you it is worse than when your family does it... these are people you choose, the ones you trust and depend upon....
The only silver lining is that you hopefully have learned something from the experience.

Thanks for pondering with me

Anonymous said...
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Stacy said...

Brenda...You are so right and maybe doubly so when it's "church" people because you expect them to know better.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Loss of loved ones thru death is indeed heartbreaking, but as you note, loss thru loss of faith and trust, having something you love and cherish torn away from you, that is the hardest thing of all to deal with, be it in a partner relationship or a group relationship such as church. I am trusting that God has another way in mind for you to belong and serve. There always is!

Jennifer said...

Ugh, church politics leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Stacy said...

Josie...I love how you expressed it as the loss of faith and trust. That is it exactly. That kind of loss takes a piece of who you are with it. I'm in a great fellowship now with amazing people who have nearly all been through the same thing so we are very much on guard against acting like that. When problems arise we talk to each other face to face and right away.

Jennifer...I think they do for everyone.

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