|My daughter's honeymoon hotel room.|
I honestly can't remember everything that this anonymous person said, but one thing really stood out. They said that I was a hypocrite because I allowed fornication to take place under my roof. It is a fact that two of my adult children had their significant others living with them in my home. It had been a long-term situation, pre-dating my Christianity. I had known there there would be those who would be judgmental about it, but most Christians I knew were so loving that it just slipped my mind.
One of the most disturbing things about this anonymous message is that it must have come from someone who knows me, or my children, pretty well. It isn't as though I went around writing about these things. It is always disturbing when you find yourself in a position of looking around you, wondering which smiling face is actually throwing knives at your back.
At any rate, I decided to talk to a couple of my pastors about it. There were two churches I attended, and so I had a few pastors in my life. While neither of them accused me of being a hypocrite, turns out they both agreed with the anonymous comment, and both encouraged me to enforce different living arrangements for my kids. By the time I spoke to Pastor Matt, a couple of weeks had passed since my conversation with the first pastor, and you know, I had prayed about the matter, and I was absolutely convinced that God was not telling me to take matters into my own hands and lay down the law. I had made an appointment to speak to Pastor Matt because I was serving on the prayer team at the church, and while it was okay if someone wanted to judge me, it wasn't okay if I brought that judgment on the church. So I decided I should tell him and volunteer to step down from my position on the prayer team. He was very nice, and did make several suggestions for things I could do, but I told him no, that this was not what I thought God wanted. I told both the pastors that if God had a problem with the situation then God was perfectly capable of handling it.
In the meantime, I honestly did feel rejected. I am not saying that I was, just that I felt that way. And that opened the crack wide enough for me to start reflecting on all the questions and doubts I already harbored about my faith. I am all for the God of Love, but I had an awful lot of problems with the God of Judgment. This is nothing new. I have written about it many times. And I started bringing it up again then. I think people thought I posted things for the purpose of challenging their faith, but in all honestly I posted questions looking for answers, although by now I should know that those answers don't exist. At any rate, I ended up walking away once again.
Meanwhile, within a matter of weeks after these discussions, one of my kids and his significant other (1) got engaged and started planning a wedding for next year, then (2) got a place of their own and moved out of my house, and then (3) decided they didn't want to wait for a year and do a big wedding and are getting married next month instead.
My other child I also expected to marry her significant other, but didn't really think it would happen in the near future. They too were talking about 2016. But funny enough, there was a surprise pregnancy, and they decided to get married before that got too far advanced. They actually just celebrated their two-month wedding anniversary yesterday.
So I'm sitting around thinking, huh. I haven't spoken to either pastors for a long time, and one left me with the impression that he thought I was arrogant because I put my thoughts above God's or some such thing. The whole entire thing felt to me that "church rules" were being placed over what I absolutely believed God was saying to me, and over what I thought was the loving response. And a part of me wants to say, "I told you so. I told you that if God had a problem with it then he would deal with it. And he did, pretty quickly." The problem with this is that it would have to imply that they were right, that God is who they say he is, and that he actually did think that this situation needed to change, and well, I don't really agree with that anymore. I have rejected the Judgmental God. I have rejected the "narrow path." I have not rejected God, although I struggle with maintaining a relationship with him. It is difficult to have a relationship with someone you don't know, after all. If God is not the God of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, of Joshua, of Paul, then who is he? I know of some local churches I could attend, but you know, I have read The Book, and all those things I don't like are in it. So on what do those other churches base their faith? Maybe one day I will venture forth and find out. In the meantime, Sunday is the first day of my weekend, and Sunday morning is the ideal time for me to get my house cleaning done.
As for the coincidences and synchronicities in my life and my children's? I think it is probably God, first confirming that what I had heard was not wrong, and second just saying, this is creating a problem for Sharon with others, so let's fix it.
I came to the conclusion that I am a waste of time for those Christians who really wanted to nurture my faith. Most of them are gone now, and I miss them, but really and truly how many times do we need to go through this? When I started asking those questions again, one of my pastors said, "Do we have to dance this dance again?" And I replied, "I guess it is just mine to dance." He left me then, and I danced alone for a bit and then wandered off, to explore the universe in its amazing vastness.
I have flip flopped on this often enough that I feel I must have managed to alienate people on both sides of the issue. So if you are with me still, I have to thank you. You can't trust me perhaps. If I tell you I know the truth, you will know that next month the truth I know may have changed. But there are a couple of things I can tell you. I am not a hypocrite. I am absolutely and totally sincere, and I am in sincere pursuit of something that I suspect may be just beyond our grasp, and that is The Truth. Maybe it is impossible for us to know what the absolute truth is. We can just do the best we can.
But it matters not. Let me confess. I DO NOT KNOW THE TRUTH. In the end, maybe I don't really have to. I just need to try to live in the best way that I can. And that requires LOVE for all, always and especially my children.