My husband and I live in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area and have 4 girls under 10 and homeschool. We have both grown up in the IC. The last 10 years we have struggled and feel like we have been church shopping for most of this time until this last year we have given up searching. But for the last 3 or 4 years that we have mostly been away from the IC we have grown even closer to God. Seeing our lives transform outside of the box really has got us thinking of our dependency on it and other people and how much religion had a hold on us. It has been a hard road but am so thankful our relationship with our Father has grown so much deeper and continues to grow. All along I have had this guilt of not putting my kids in church (mainly from my mom and a few other friends). Slowly this guilt has lessened but since I have read some of Waynes books a month ago, I am amazed at how much that guilt is no longer present. We have enjoyed the God Journey podcasts and seeing others journeys that it has been like a confirmation of what we have been feeling the past few years and that we are not alone. We aren’t “crazy” after all!! Haha! I have felt a freedom like I have never felt before.
We have really hungered for community the past few years and I even started a ladies group in my home for quite awhile but this didn’t fill the void I had so I no longer host one. I also have had it engrained in me all my life that I need to “reach” people so this is what I tried to do but it never felt right. I look back and see the moments we had casual conversations over a meal were the most meaningful instead of the bible studies I tried to lead. I am now realizing that I even put the need for community above my need for God alone. I have always been at a more push to find a church because it was something we always did, or a requirement. My husband didn’t feel this way as much. But I no longer feel the urge to church shop anymore and feel the love of Father more than ever. However I still can’t fathom how I can completely trust God to guide me each day in this journey and bring people across my path. I am so eager to “start” something. So I am battling with that at the moment and wondering “What’s next?.” We actually felt like we should start something in our home right before we found Wayne’s books and now we are just taking a step back and asking God if this is really what we should be doing. So thankful for God’s perfect timing as we figure this out.
We do not know any fellow believers who would understand all of this and I find myself even hiding Wayne’s books when my family members come over or just trying to avoid church conversations all together. It’s like we have discovered this best kept secret or gift and want to shout it out but can’t share it with anyone in fear it could get taken away or be made less valuable. I pray that one day I can feel more comfortable with sharing our journey and don’t feel like I have to hide anything (and here I just mentioned feeling free, but I guess God has more to do in me). Even though we do not have anyone nearby to talk about this with, it is nice to know these forums exist to connect with others going through this journey.