Anything but Ordinary, please!

Embracing life to the full… Including questions, challenges, joys and adventures

Insecruity, heresy, searching for a church

Insecurity, heresy and searching for a church… what do they have in common?? Well, they combine some of the things that are swirling around in my heart and mind this morning… Sunday… when we used to be participating in church on a regular basis…

My morning quiet time started by spending time with the Lord in prayer and reading 2 Thessalonians… after picturing the second coming of Christ I once again realized I have a lot of questions… This is one of the reasons why being a part of a church community is so important… so we don’t have to figure this stuff out on our own.

After further prayer and reflection I moved on to one of the books I’m currently reading, Unladylike by Pam Hogeweide. I’ve identified at some level with almost every page written in her book.

Sometimes I laugh

Sometimes I cry

Sometimes I get angry

Sometimes I find courage

Sometimes I develop more questions
In the book she quotes from Kathy Escobar’s blog where Kathy is stating some of her beliefs and confronts the idea of being called a heretic… Kathy wrote:

  • If holding that women should be fully equal with men and free to lead fully and completely in whatever way is God is calling them to lead makes me a heretic, then yep, I guess I am.
  • If valuing practicing the ways of Jesus over nitpicking about doctrine makes me a heretic, then yep, I guess I am.
  • If being convinced that it’s possible that men and women can be true brothers and sisters and soul friends without all kinds of sexual weirdness and fear makes me a heretic, then yep, I guess I am.
  • If loving and valuing the Bible without making it more important than the wild-and-mysterious-Holy-Spirit-at-work-in-people’s-lives makes me a heretic, then yep, I guess I am.

Immediately after reading this I ran and got my lap top. I planned to post this list of bullet points in efforts to say,

“See, this is what I think too! Having these thoughts contributes to why I’m scared to find a new church community.”

I realized that I am afraid to be shamed for my possible heretical convictions… I’m afraid to bridge conversations with people who are going to question my love for Jesus because I believe these things. These fears are a part of what keeps me stuck at home in front of my computer screen on Sunday mornings instead of venturing out to find a new community of faith…

I also had another, more raw, motivation for putting these things out there… This motivation came from wanting to say,

“See… I’m not the only one who believes these things!! Those of you who doubt me or disagree with me, Go shove it!”

Not sure if that statement comes from the Jesus I follow…

So, before posting these words I decided to visit Kathy’s blog.. WHICH IS AMAZING!! and I found this post about insecurity and security, where she states:

secure people don’t need to convince people of their security.

in fact, secure people don’t need to convince anyone of anything.

they embody a groundedness that doesn’t need to get all worked up about things when others see things differently.

insecurity breeds defensiveness and a need to convince.

i do not want to be an insecure person; i want to be a secure one.

not secure in knowing all the right answers to the questions, but secure in feeling loved and okay-just-as-i-am.

for so many of us, security often remains elusive.  we care too much about what other people think.  we feel unloved and unlovable, we definitely don’t feel okay.  we’re always feeling too much or not enough.  we only see our flaws and never our strengths.  lowly worm theology is easier to come by than being the beloved.

i sometimes wonder what God thinks of all of the insecurity that has been bred in his name.

I don’t want to post things out of insecurity,  out of the desire to receive approval from others or out of the desire put other people in their places.  But I do need to know that I’m not alone in my struggle towards finding security in Christ as an evangelical woman with leadership gifts and no children.

The truth is, I struggle with insecurity and searching for a church brings this out. I pray that I develop my security in Christ and find a community that doesn’t shame me for the questions and convictions I have. I pray that we become a part of a community that breeds the type of security that Kathy describes… That means taking steps of faith to put myself out there…

Maybe next week.


4 comments on “Insecruity, heresy, searching for a church

  1. Erin
    September 23, 2012

    Love this, and you. You are not alone. 🙂 I think my faith becomes more simple but way more secure, authentic, and effective everyday. Keeping it basic… Love others, love yourself, love Jesus.

  2. vicki paxton
    September 23, 2012

    traci- thank you for the honor of allowing me to be a part of ‘your process’…i just loved what you wrote here…. i remember many years ago, (after i had begun therapy), telling an older ‘looked up to’ lady friend, that i realized i had no ‘self esteem’. I never forgot her reply…”That’s great Vicki!”
    (me-” huh?…why?”) lady friend…”because now you can have ‘God esteem’…She went on to explain….”Most people spend their lives trying to build their ‘self’ esteem…when the best thing any of us can do is grow into our true self…the one we were meant to be, the one that only our Creator fully sees. Her prayer for me was that I would only see myself reflected in His love, and think less and less about how I think I ‘should’ be, and think less and less about how others see me”

    …When I remember that…and when i let myself imagine how God sees me…(and how God sees you)….how God created us, how God feels about us….when i let those ideas seep into my heart and mind, i accept that i am dearly loved
    …i believe i make a ‘kingdom’ difference just by being who i am
    …. i feel happy to have my particular personality and gifts,
    ….and it’s okay that i ‘m always a flawed human being….
    …and it’s okay that i am sometimes a wonderful human being…
    when i accept those things…i feel empowered once again, to risk loving ‘big’…empowered to not be afraid to fail….or not be afraid to succeed….
    i even feel empowered to empower others….

    Dear Jesus, Please help us all to see ourselves the way you see us, to see other people the way you see them…to see the world through Your victorious Kingdom lenses….no fear necessary…no people pleasing or people condemning necessary…that’s what i hear in my daughters heart and mind. Please bring her to a community that will hold her heart and mind like You do. amen

  3. amy williams
    October 4, 2012

    My dear sister, you are most definitely not alone. This post could have come straight from my diary. Recently I have found myself becoming very defensive around my siblings. After the fact I realize that they accuse me of being all sorts of things that are not really true about myself, but are in fact true of their lives. They accuse me to keep eyes off of themselves and their own shortcomings. Insecurity has a way of spreading like wildfire, and every time I think I have found some security…. it only takes a spark to send me into a tailspin and make me want to prove them wrong.

    “I’m afraid to bridge conversations with people who are going to question my love for Jesus because I believe these things.” – I also know this feeling all too well. It saddens me to think about how much hurt we christians inflict upon each other. The church is supposed to be our family and a place of freedom and love and acceptance. Instead it has too often become a place of ‘polite oppression’ …. which breeds insecurity instead of strength. It saddens me that we are still telling our teenagers that the most important thing in life is living up to a set of artificial standards set by the church rather than helping them to discover the unique person that christ has made just them to be, and helping them to bring a piece of heaven here to earth by becoming secure in that person.

    You are not crazy and you are not weak. You are a beautiful strong woman. I pray that you may find a church home where you can feel completely free to live out your calling; a place that can bring joy instead of fear and frustration.

    I often feel like I am fighting against the world, like the whole world is walking in one direction…. and I have a need to walk against them. I have often wondered ‘what is wrong with me that i can’t just turn and go with the flow of traffic, it would be so much easier!’ But no matter how hard I try, I just can’t do it. I used to think there was something wrong with me, but I now believe that God has created me this way. Most of this world is a follower. There are very few leaders, and even fewer visionaries and changers. You are a leader, you are a visionary, you are a changer. You have the gift of being able to see a better way before it is realized. I used to think that everyone could do this… but I am learning that it is a very unique gift. Don’t be afraid or ashamed of this gift. It brings hard times, but it also brings more joy than most people will ever know.

  4. traciraerowe
    October 4, 2012

    Amy, Thank you so much for your post, your identification and your encouragement. I almost started crying when I read it. I am gaining strength in these truths as you are. I miss our walks!! Also, thank you so much for the link from your church. It gives me hope that there are churches out there who are breeding freedom rather than shame.

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