I took communion last night.
With Wizards of Waverly Place in the background, dished piled high in the sink and three loads of laundry piled on my bedroom floor.
I know Jesus meets us, sits with us and digs with us in the messy and I needed His body and blood last night and it was the perfect setting.
Anyone who has been reading my blog or knows me personally knows that I have stepped out of church and even reading my bible for awhile. It’s become an unhealthy, unfamiliar environment and I need time to heal and discover; from the mouth of God himself who He is. However in not going to church I am missing this one sacrament.
It’s always been the one that meant the most to me, that’s struck me in bones. The partaking in Jesus, in what He did as His last meal on earth. Breaking bread with his brothers, with the men He spent the most time with, the ones He poured His very being into.
Everything has been rough lately. I am in a head on, messy, digging in the dirt where “Walking on Holy Ground makes you shit your pants” (~Abby Norman~ ) kind of place. It’s been ugly and part of it is grappling with the old molds of faith and finding footing in a new freedom of who God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit really are.
I admitted to my therapist last week that I really don’t know who God or Jesus are. That the part of the trinity I feel the closest too right now is the Holy Spirit. I have been pushing back against legalism and the evangelical culture that hurt me and her people that let me down. I have been speaking with a few close friends who speak life and truth over me and I had a realization that all this push back was causing tension. I know what I don’t want to be, what I don’t want to be and that places that I don’t want to go. However the more I push back and the more I fight the more this tension inside my spirit grows.
I have felt like I am just floating through my faith for so long and those feelings were starting to scare me. After this last weekend those old thoughts started creeping in of losing my salvation and God being angry at me; pounding His gavel down, screaming SINNER.
I know that’s not God. I really do.
That’s why yesterday I knew I needed the body and the blood. I needed to break bread with Jesus and drink grape juice. Amidst the chaos and mess of my surroundings; my soul needed that closeness with Him, that grace that flowed when I prayed, ate and drank as a follower of Him and Him alone.
Peace flowed, joy entered. The floating feeling is slowly easing and I am finding my center again. I know that church right now is not for me, the bible is still hard but I am finding other ways to fill myself and my spirit with Him.
Taking communion with Wizards of Waverly Place in the background, dishes piled high and laundry all over my bedroom floor was probably the best thing I could have done at this point.
I broke the break and poured the juice.
I prayed; or rather spoke to Him in gentleness about where my heart was and where I wanted it to go. How I wanted to know HIM for Him.
How I want Him in every SINGLE part of me. Not far, not floating, not pushing back but knowing that I am solid with what I believe but that I still need more of Him.
Jesus poured out, in my mess.
November 5, 2013 at 11:55 am
Love this, Bethany. Releasing the anxiety I associated with communion was a huge huge breakthrough in healing over my own church issues — it’s astonishing how powerful such a simple sacrament can be, isn’t it? I’m cheering for this moment of peace you found between distractions.
November 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm
this is absolutely devastating, in the best possible way. I wish that all the ones that stand on the mountain top and pontificate about the appropriate way to “do Church” (oh, I HATE that phrase) could read this.
you found pure, holy ground. and damn, do I love you.
November 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Thanks Kate!! I realized that He’s there in the chaos and that’s where I found it to somehow be the most sacred of moments.
Sometimes communion in church felt so stuffy, so mournful. Like come on people why so down? Reflective I get but joyless… Not so much.
One day you’ll be at my place and we’ll take communion with Hannah Montana in the background!
I love you 🙂
November 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Damn do I love you!
November 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Yes please to communion and Hannah Montana with Bethany & Abigail. (:
November 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm
I feel as if I just peeked through the curtain into the Holy of Holies. “Jesus poured out, in my mess.”
November 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm
Okay…I have been reading this and here is what I don’t understand…without the Bible…and without Church…you really don’t have communion. You say you’re taking a break from church and the Bible…for whatever reasons that seem quite unclear…in all reality you can’t even know how or that we should take communion with the ‘history’ aka…the bible…that teaches us about communion…Christ….and so on. Communion is Christ’s call on the church to remember what he did and what he has commanded his children to do. Without the Bible how do you know what he asks of us? And the whole point of church is fluid…I get that…but you’re still in it with those you fellowship with. So be careful of how you word things and what you are supposedly taking breaks from, because frankly you’re contradicting yourself. I’m sure the enemy loves to have you right where you are at. What a shame that Christ died for you on the cross… and you repay him by doing a great job of bashing a lot of really good churches and people by generalizing the whole group…HIS BODY….the one you are intent on taking communion with…that body is the church. One more thing. Your compromise on beliefs is devastating. Christ was absolute in His word to us. His yes was yes and his no was no…there was no maybe…or you might get salvation…. His death and life were final. Figure out what you stand for…He didn’t die for us to be on the fence. He was clear about evil, what is right and what is wrong. Don’t just jump into the new world of beliefs because it’s the cool new wave of the church…because that’s not His church….He stood for something…and yes He loves everyone…but make no mistake…if Heaven is real…so is Hell. Figure out what you believe…because there are only two sides and not a lot of gray in between…and i’m pretty sure sexual sin and unborn life is not sitting in the gray…but I guess if you don’t believe in the Bible there is plenty of gray to go around right….again…what a shame He could die for us and we could be so blasé about our faith in Him.
November 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm
Let me also add my anger gets the best of me when it comes to Jesus and what He did for us. I will fight forever for truth because it’s all I can give Him with my poor pathetic life…that being said I hope you find your way. I know His arms were opened just as wide for you when He died…don’t hesitate to fall into them…just don’t forget He paid a price…us standing for what is right isn’t much to give back…
November 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm
First off you don’t know me, my story or my faith journey so do not come to my space and put your, YES YOUR OPINIONS on what I’m doing with God, communion Jesus or where my heart is. Communion is so much more than you made it out to be in your comment and wow, saying it’s a shame that Christ died for me to bash His church. That’s NOT the way I would see Jesus speaking to a hurting soul. You have no idea the wounding I’ve experienced, you don’t know me and do not ever question my devotion to Jesus or the bible, whether I’m going to church or not. Because Jesus, God and The Holy Spirit are so far outside of those things.
I would have a much different reaction and would be way more willing to engage in conversation and dialogue with you had you not come to my blog with angry hate filled words. You will be blocked and not allowed here again. Your brand of Christianity is what I’m walking away from.
November 14, 2013 at 8:53 pm
Whomever you are and how you found my blog I do have my way. As a believer in Christ. Going to church and reading the bible have nothing to do with me being led to take communion at home. And as you call yourself a believer then say it’s a shame that Christ died for me to belittle His People and His church when you know nothing of my story or my wounding. This is my blog and I realize I put myself put there but your “anger for Jesus” doesn’t fit with how Jesus would speak to a hurting, wounded person. Think woman at the well, adulterous woman (don’t throw stones) woman who bled for 12 years. Why I’ve had a season where my faith has been changing and growing I’ve learned that God is not a boxed God, a kept in church God or a just in the bible. He’s a God found in the unconventional and the beauty around us and for me that was taking communion surrounded by the chaos of my life, which because of the God He is He was right the. He gets messy and digs in the dirt with us, sitting on our floors while we sob. I’m sad if you haven’t experienced the beauty of Him that way.
I would have been than happy to have a conversation or dialogue with you but when you chose to come to my sacred place, in the name of Jesus and throw stones at me you leave no room for that to happen.
In respect of boundaries please do not ever come here again. You have not earned the right to speak into my life.
November 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm
Please e-me. It sounds like we may be at a similar place in our spiritual walks. Feel free to check out my blog. Just read two of your recent posts and am hooked. You write lovely in your rawness. Thank you for sharing.
November 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Thank you for your kindness. I love hearing of people who are finding their footing in faith.
November 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm
You are welcome Bethany. I would be interested to hear your story. Big hugs. Have you met any local like minded people in your area? I too, have stepped outside the box. Have you read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola? I think once you step outside the church system it is hard to go back.
November 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm
I haven’t. I actually live in Denver where Nadia Bolz Weber’s church is, she wrote Pastrix. My daughter and I have started going there.