At church tonight, the pastor spoke about the need for relationships.
You know — the kind where there’s no screen involved.
The kind where you talk to each other. Verbally.
The kind where you really, truly connect with someone.
* * * * *
This topic has been weighing on me for a very long time. Like, for the past 4 years.
Four years ago, I lost every friend I had.
I had been very involved in my church, but when one person decided I wasn’t cool anymore, a series of unfortunate events happened which ultimately ended with my being completely secluded and cut off from everyone I had related to up until that point.
Being that alone is horrible.
You try. You try really hard to go on but it just doesn’t work. You begin to be suffocated by the monotony of endless nothingness.
The nothingness ends up manifesting in physical pain that can’t be explained. And the pain causes tiredness. And depression. Because nothing makes sense anymore. The only thing that really makes sense is that everything that matters hurts. And that doesn’t even (really) make sense. There’s no reason for the pain. No physical injury that might have caused the pain. No explanation as to why you’re suddenly all alone.
The nothingness is a constant buzzing in your ears. It drives you crazy. You’d do anything to stop it — if you knew what “anything” consisted of. It’s torturous. It’s always there, constantly getting more and more annoying and you have no idea how to make it stop.
I ended up leaving.
Maybe that wasn’t the best response in the world. But I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t go to church and watch the people who had been my friends doing what they’d always done, but this time, without me. So, I left.
* * * * *
I’ve always been a people person. It might not appear that way on the surface, but I am. I can’t even clean my house without having someone to talk to while I do it. I put off grocery shopping until I can’t put it off anymore — because I typically don’t have anyone to shop with.
So, when I lost my friends, my life went into a downward spiral. It was awful.
On top of all that, everyone I had hung around before believed that single people were more spiritual and closer to God than non-single people. It was also a
law rule in my church that if you were in any role in ministry, you were not allowed to date/court/otherwise entertain someone of the opposite gender.
As I was removed from ministry after ministry, and as my life kept up the steady downward spiral, I began to seriously rethink this notion of aloneness being equal to godliness or some kind of super-spirituality.
I know this is really simplistic, but if you look at the very beginning of the Bible, there’s this dude named Adam who was created by God for the purpose of keeping God company. But after God created Adam, and after Adam spent a couple days naming the animals, God realized that something was missing.
It was God who realized it.
It was God, who created the guy (so He’d have some company), who came up with the idea that people need people.
The Bible says that Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. It wasn’t a vague “God….. if You’re out there….” situations. They were face-to-face.
God. Man. Walking together.
And God decided that something was missing.
God invented relationships. He invented spiritual relationship. He invented relationship between Adam and the earth. He invented relationship between Adam and the plants and animals. And then He invented women. And when He invented women, He invented human relationships.
At the end of the day, He said, “It is good.”
If God invented human relationship and said “It is good” — then how is it possible that being isolated could be more spiritual or more godly than having healthy, dynamic relationships with all sorts of people?
As far as I’m concerned, asking someone to forgo relationships in order to be “more spiritual” is simply asking a person to be more spiritual than God is. Which…. is wrong on so many levels. It should never be done. Ever.
* * * * *
That was just the first step. Making the concept of having friends (especially male friends) ok in my mind was a huge step in the right direction — but it’s sort of like the process of rehabilitating a junkie. Once you define right and wrong and decide that you have a problem, you then have to take baby steps. The baby steps for the junkie are labeled. The program I’m familiar with had stuff like submission and honesty. But every step, although it might be labeled the same, looks different for each person.
It’s good, great and wonderful that I realize that relating to people isn’t a sin.
But what does that look like? How do you do it?
And how do you do it when people have hurt you so much that if you have to look at another person, you just might throw up? Yes, I’ve been there. I’ve been that repulsed by people. People in general. All people. (Except, not my grandma. Cuz my Grandma’s awesome.) Especially church people. Church people were the worst.
* * * * *
I came here hoping this problem would get better. But it hasn’t. I just don’t know how. I don’t know how to do relationships because all my relationships have been me sitting there agreeing with everybody in order to avoid conflict. That’s not a relationship. I also remember having relationships with people who invited me to hang out with them in a group and then everyone proceeded to ignore me until I got sick of it and went home. That’s not relationship either.
It’s not that there aren’t people to be friends with. It’s that I don’t know how.
* * * * *
So, I was really excited to hear the message at church tonight.
Until church was over and people dispersed and I was left with a 4-year old who was running around disrupting everything.
I felt pretty rejected. I haven’t felt that rejected since I left that god-forsaken place I used to live.
I tried to scoop up the munchkin and she ran under a table trying to escape. She wanted to play with her friend. I wanted to go home and cry. I grabbed her while she was coming out the other side and she hit her head on the table. I slung her over my shoulder and walked out with this 4-year old kicking and hitting me as we went.
After I got the munchkin into bed, I realized that I had been in such a hurry to get out of there that I hadn’t even taken the time to ask her if she was ok.
…..I’m a terrible person sometimes.
I thought about this whole scenario for a while and I realized that when someone feels rejected, they often behave in ways that others (usually) perceive as rejecting behavior (i.e. my not asking the munchkin if she was ok after hitting her head).
In other words, rejected people reject people.
I don’t want to be that kind of person!
I don’t want to cause the same kind of pain I’ve experienced. I want to be a better person than that.