Continued from earlier……
Another thing I should share is that I have made major changes in my life that, while I think are good for me in the long run, are receiving many admonishments from my friends. I belong to the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. I did not grow up in the church, I felt led to it, and chose to join, giving up (trying to) many of the things I grew up with (TV, make up, jeans, hair color, just to name a few of the most common). I have attended the Church for 8 years and been a member for four. In the last year and a half or so, it has become apparent to me that I was simply living the form to fit in, to find acceptance. I was no longer doing these things for the Lord, but to appear as I should. That is wrong. I feel like I was leaving a bad witness for the Church, and more importantly, for Christ by living one way in public and another way elsewhere.
So I went to the staff (the ministers and deacons) and said I wanted to be expelled, that is, I want my membership revoked. I still love my Church, I still want to attend my Church, I still want my children to grow up in this Church, but I felt (and still do) that as long as I am a member I will feel bound by it to try to live this way and I would not find God worshiping a form. The changes I have made include no longer wearing the head covering, cutting my hair short, and occasionally wearing jeans and shirts. I felt freed from the torment of conforming when it should have been uniting. Now I feel that I can search for God and learn to have a relationship with Him personally, before I try to have one with the Church. Many of my dear sisters in the faith are frightened that if I leave I will return to my previous life of drinking and partying &c., but I cannot. There are some major deal-breakers between God and I and I know what they are. Some are easier to resist than others are, but I have faith that He will nudge me if I am begin to give in to one.
I want to return to the membership eventually, but not until I can find myself: who I am, who I am in Christ, and have a relationship with the Lord that I know He wants to have with me. Many in the Church are afraid I will not return or that I am lost and on the road to hell, but as time goes on I know God will show them my heart, which remains non-conformed to the world, just as theirs are. It is unfortunate that we are all human and prone to assumption because I wish they could look past their assumptions and stereotypes of the excommunicated, at least when regarding me, and see that I am not normal, nor have I ever done the norm of anything and that I do not intend to in this either. For the time being, I have been placed on repentance. No one wanted to expel me, even though I wanted it, think I deserve it, and expect it.
I do NOT want any of you to think badly of my Church or the people in it. These decisions and actions reflect on me and my shortcomings. They have nothing to do with the way I have or have not been treated by anyone of these dear, sweet people. They are a result of my waywardness, my carnality, and my selfishness and I need to change those things, not the other way around.
I am so glad I could share this with all of you. It has been on my heart for some time now and it was almost as if my double life was spilling onto here as well. I did not feel like I could share about my being a Mennonite because maybe people would question why I am online or worse, others of my faith would find out and come to me about it. I realize now that that was just me. No one would be harsh and judgmental. I should go. I have spent way too long typing and this post is reaallly long and who wants to read all of that?! (Another symptom of my mania I think).