I am really frustrated at the moment.
I have been here for a month, and at this point, I cannot fathom the idea of going to one of the local churches and/or campus ministries. I've talked to some of them and they all seem nice, but the idea of going makes my stomach churn and my heart start racing. The last time I went to church, I spent the whole time thinking that I was going to throw up.
It's not that I'm worried about the people liking me or any of that. I just can't handle the idea of spending time in another religious institution.
Right now, my church is online. I read more about God and how He is working in other people's lives and I love that. I love seeing how He shows up to other people. I love reading about other people's struggles. I love seeing their thoughts and their experiences. Sometimes it breaks my heart and sometimes it makes happiness swell from the very depths of my soul, but it always, always, always gives me just a little bit of hope that God hasn't quite given up on me yet. That there is still time and things won't always seem as terrifying as they do now.
To be honest, without people like Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, David Hayward, and Elizabeth Esther, I don't know where this last year would've taken me. Honestly, I think that I would have given up on faith altogether if it weren't for their stories.
Mostly, this is because my faith has more and more seemed to drift from mainstream protestant faith. I find myself seeing more and more Jesus in people who, well, aren't really the people you'd expect to see Jesus in, and less and less Jesus in the people where Jesus is kind of supposed to be. Or where people say He is.
And this scares me.
It completely removes any capacity for neat categories and boxed up people.
It goes against all I've ever heard about those horrible evil non-Christians.
More and more, I find myself seeing the actions of people who are christians, and I find myself screaming, "But THAT'S NOT JESUS!!"
Because it's not. It's not the Jesus I read about.
But then I see Jesus. And He's not where He's supposed to be. I see him standing on a stage in front of me, telling the whole audience, "It doesn't matter what you're going through - violence is not the answer!" except with a bit more profanity than that.
This doesn't fit.
And it's scary.
And if church is going to be a place for me, then it has to be a place where Jesus is seen in all other places.