I just read Mazvita’s blog about separation (http://iamabbaschild.blogspot.com/2008/08/separation.html), and it really resonated with me. That may sound stupid, because I’m not separated from the Rock the way she is while she’s support-raising, but something about how she feels torn and pulled makes sense to me.
I guess the best way to describe it is that I feel like being 27, having a full-time job, being married, and living out in the ‘burbs separates me from the people at the Rock. Clearly, this isn’t breaking news, but it’s still something I deal with on an ongoing basis. And I still don’t really know the right way to handle it. I am so committed to the Rock and the Rock’s ministry. I can’t even picture myself being anywhere else right now. But there’s an awkwardness and a discomfort in being called to this ministry, and yet being somewhat an outsider.
When Aaron and I were engaged and newly married, I had to pull back my involvement somewhat so that I could apply myself fully to learning my new role as a wife. That sucked. I mean, being newlyweds was awesome – learning about each other, having fun together, building routines and traditions. But being barely involved in the Rock sucked. And it was very hard to come back into it. I’ve been working on that for a year now.
This summer, I finally got fed up with it, and tried to jump back in full force. I did Canvas Group on Monday night, Bible Study on Tuesday, girl time (SYTYCD) on Wednesday, the Rock on Thursday, Dinners on Sunday. And you know what? I started to feel more connected and comfortable and part of the group. I had some great conversations and felt like I was building the foundations of some meaningful relationships.
And then, just about a week ago, things at home exploded. Screaming, crying, the whole nine yards. Why? Because I’ve been neglecting my relationship with Aaron since the beginning of June. We’ve been coasting on a tank of fuel that hadn’t been filled in way too long.
So there’s the tension. I have to spend time with my husband. I have to spend time with my church family. My free time is limited. What I do with that time is crucial. I can’t hole up in my apartment spending every evening with Aaron, even though that is very easy to do. The consequence of that is feeling isolated, lonely, and spiritually shriveled. But I can’t live like I’m single either. That part really sucks. I hate feeling like there’s anything constricting me, I like to think I can just do whatever I want. But the consequence of that is becoming strangers with the guy I promised to stand by, support and encourage for the rest of my life. That’s unacceptable. I love him. I love spending time with him. There’s no possible justification or excuse for me to be apathetic toward him or our relationship.
I really want to pour into the lives of the young women at the Rock. I’ve been through many of the things that they’re dealing with now, and I know in so many cases, they just need to know that someone understands, and that it’s survivable and that God really does do amazing things. But how can I do that when I have so little time to devote to building relationships? So often I can’t be where they are when they need me to be. I can’t be the on-call friend, so I end up just being the “see you Saturday night” friend instead. There has to be something in between.
I feel like I really need to figure this out, because it’s not going to get easier. I’m going to keep getting older. My job is going to keep demanding more from me (and if I start my own business, the demand will be even greater). Aaron & I will always need to spend time together. And if kids ever come into the picture, then it’s only going to get more complicated. I guess it’s a trial and error sort of thing, which is frustrating. Because after every error, it gets harder to get up the guts to try again.
But I can’t give up. I have that pull inside me telling me that the Rock is where I belong right now and that I am there for a reason. I was not made to sit in a pew once a week and be satisfied with that. I am never going to be satisfied with being an, um, half-assed Christian. Sometimes I wish I could be. Lot’s of people do it easily. But that’s never going to be enough for me. I’m an intense person in many ways. I have very intense moods and thoughts and passions. Being lukewarm on anything is not comfortable for me. So either I’m going to be passionately pursuing the life God has planned for me (which includes marriage, church, work, etc.), or I’m going to be passionately dissatisfied with being mediocre.