Yes, it is!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cautiously Optimistic

It seems lately that for all the good things that have been happening for me, there is always one bad apple that tries to bring me down. 

I recently wrote about some healing changes that have been occurring in my life.  I also wrote about some things that have been on my heart about a couple of issues and people.  I am so thankful for those friends who have stood up for me.  Unfortunately, even though these friends went with their heart to include me in certain things at church, there are some people whose ultimate goal is to make things as difficult as they possibly can.  It's all about control.  Somebody at my family's church recently got into trouble because they approved me to help these friends with a children's ministry on Sunday morning.  Apparently, somebody at this church got wind of it and reported it to the top brass at that church.  The main reason?  I'm not a member, although my husband and daughter are members of that church.  I have my suspicions about who reported me. Am I angry?  Not really.  But considering who I'm suspecting, it's very disappointing, especially because I have done nothing wrong to this person except feel betrayed.   I've had background checks and fingerprints done as a substitute teacher in the public school system.  I'm safe.  If all it takes to be able to work in any ministry at my family's church is to go through their own class and background checks, I'm all for it.  But church membership is of utmost importance there.  I will NOT allow this to keep me from my children, however.  Unfortunately, that church has too many rules and regulations that I'm not in agreement with.  (I recently got a copy of the church's constitution and I have some concerns about it). So, I'm apparently not allowed to do anything at that church until I agree to become a member and be baptized as a baptist.

During this discovery, I have learned who my friends really are.  They stood up for me and were just dumbfounded at this turn of events.  The staff person who actually approved my friends' request for me to work with them went with his heart because he knew that I would be good and that I have a heart for children, especially those with special needs.  He has seen me in action.  He also knows that in order to work in the school system, I have passed the background checks that are required to work around children.  Beside that, working with a group of people, it wasn't as if I was ever going to be alone with any of those church kids.  After being told that I can't help in any ministry there, I started to panic at the thought of not being able to be near my own children at church but this staff member reassured me that I can be with my children at any time, even in their own classes.  I have to shake my head at this.  I can be around all those children when I go to check on (or even sit with) my children but I can't help with any ministry.  And in case you're wondering if I do check on my children, yes, I do.  I enjoy looking in on them to see how they are interacting with others and vice versa.  With the issues that my children have had (Ben has a severe speech disorder with sensory issues and Jackie has CP), I feel the need to make sure that my children are having a nice time. 

Despite feeling a bit depressed about this past week, I am feeling optimistic variety of reasons.  My friendship with these couple of friends who tried to defend me has proven to me that they are true friends.  They care about me and find value in me.  In fact, these friends have struggled on my behalf with their feelings about this situation and for that, I feel honored but also a bit guilty.  If it wasn't for me, none of those people would have gotten into trouble.  

One of the things that glared out at me on the church constitution is that there is to be no tattling.   I think some of those church members need to read their constitution because there is plenty of tattling going on there.  And this one, slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.  I'm all for reconciliation with this particular person but the ball is now in her court.  I've done my part by reassuring that I was not angry and that I had still considered her a friend.   Here's an interesting one, We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions.  Secret devotions? What in the world?!  Also, I've never heard of a church requiring church members to abstain from the sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages.  I know a lot of churches recommend against it but I've never heard of the requirement against it.  So that there would exclude me from becoming a member as I enjoy the occasional glass of wine.

In light of this crap that has been going on, I've been feeling optimistic about some things.  I recently had the opportunity to audition for a vocal group that puts on concerts throughout the year in the metro area.  I am proud to say that I am a member of the Masterworks Chorale.  It is such an honor to be a part of this.  Even more exciting is that we will be performing one of my favorite pieces, Handel's Messiah, during the Christmas season. 

This afternoon, another event made my heart feel so encouraged.  My day was made brighter after I received a message from somebody who has been missed very much during this past year.  This person was never far from my heart and it meant so much to see that message.  I feel hope.  I feel optimistic.  I know healing can and will take place.  Now on to the next step...

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