I'e been fighting with myself about posting this for the past few months. Having a public blog that isn't anonymous makes things like this a little tricky - do I allow myself the time to debrief and express how I felt in the situation, understanding that those reading may come away with an inaccurate view of what happened, or do I keep silent because people know people and have ideas about things and it'sbetter just to not bring it up.
So I'm writing this with a disclaimer. These are my feelings and perceptions about what happened. I learned a long time ago that feelings are not always an accurate presentation of reality. At the same time, I need to be able to express and validate how I felt. Also know that I understand circumstances had a lot to do with how I felt, and I always give others the benefit of the doubt. I don't think anyone was intentionally doing thigns to make me feel that way, but more I was a victim of circumstance and miscomunication. Either way, it still hurts.
When I was on my internship I fell in love with the Summit. I fell in love with the people there, I fell in loe with the city, I bought into the vision and goals that the church had set out. When Jess and I talked about me coming back to be on staff I was excited and at peace about it. Ben and I both knew this was where God wanted us and that He would take care of us.
When we moed out here we were both anxious and excited. It was nice to be able to reconnect with people after being away for 5 months and so much changing. I wanted to jump right back into ministry. I was looking forward to support, encouragement and mentouring from those around me.
Unfortunately, as time went on, that's not what happened. Relationships became strained and something didn't feel right. Instead of being encouraged and supported I was feeling alone and isolated. Instead of people helping me to succeed and achiee my goals it felt as though they were waiting for me to make mistakes. No one came along side me to help, instead they stood at a distance watching, and talking. More than once I was told that expectations of others had not been met. The thing was, no one told me what the expectations were, or that they even existed.
I felt hurt, judged, and isolated. I felt as though no matter what I did it wouldn't be up to standards, because no one would tell me what those standards were. I tried to reach out to people, I made it clear that I was struggling and needed help, I asked for help and it was promised but never given. I got burnt out.
I admit most of this happened during my pregnancy when I was hormonal, emotional and super sensitive. I admit that could have affected how I was percieving things, but I'm not alone in how I saw things. Other people could see the strain in a few relationships and could see the undue pressure being put on me by others. I was told I just had to deal with it, that it was who they were, and to keep reaching out to them and once the relationship changed it would be better.
It hurt. It hurt a lot. Every event or project or responsibility I had put a tremendous ammount of stress on me. Added to that was the idea that I was the one who needed to deal with it and fix it. I thought that was just wrong, but there was nothing I could do.
When it came to the point I was loosing sleep and not functioning because of the stress I had to step back. I went on a break to destress and prepare for Hana's birth. It made me happy, it took the pressure off, and in my mind I was able to ignore the rift in relationships and work harder at rebuilding them - it was much easier now that there was nothing left for them to judge as far as my professional responsibilites.
When the church closed it was a blow, but not entierly a suprise. There were problems that I suppose I shouldn't discuss here. It was sad, it was hard, and the timing was horrible. Hana was born two days before the last service. I was still in the hospital and she was no where near ready to be discharged. People were organized to bring us meals the first week we were home an dit was wonderful.
After that, we were all alone. No phonecalls, no visits, no connectuon to anyone. I suppose I'm just as much to blame, I didn't call them as often as they didn't call me, but I was at home all alone with a new baby. And it wasn't everyone, a few did keep in touch and still do, and that's wonderful. But what about the others? Especially the ones who had been there and knew what it was like to be alone with kids? The ones who I had seen gather around others, having dinners, making phone calls, helping with advice and experience.
I think that's what hurt the most - ralizing that the relationships we thought we had were no more than professional. The relationships from the church melted into nothing the same way the relationships from my other job did. Ben and I both experienced isolation and rejection. Again, not from everyone, but enough that it still stings.
So maybe that's why I'm so happy being a stay at home mom. Maybe I'm scared to go back into ministry. Maybe thats why I feel as though the church closing is a personal failure.
Just so you know, I have forgive and moved on. I hold nothing against any of those from the summit. I understand life is busy and things happen. This is just part of the healing process.