I hate drama. I hate confrontation of all kinds. I generally do my very best to avoid it.
But lately it seems to be finding me, despite my best intentions.
Last spring we had drama over our adoption – trying to fight a completely bogus third home study, “required” even after we had completed our post-placement visits and had been sent the “consent to adopt.” (Grrrrrr.)
Confrontation became necessary last winter, when we realized that we never should have put our girls in school and we were going to have to pull them out right after the first 9-week period. (Blehhhhh.)
Last fall we decided to switch churches, wanting to be more involved in the military community where we live and where Wayne works. We explained our decision to the pastor and his wife and they seemed to be understanding and supportive. We thought everything was fine, but as time went on, it felt weird. People didn’t contact us to check on us, ask why they hadn’t seen us, or to invite us to do stuff with them. Our “life group” never contacted us at all. It felt like we were blacklisted. I’ve tried to shrug it off, but it’s still felt like conflict to me. Maybe it’s just “out of sight, out of mind.” Hard to know, really.
So, about that “going to church on the base to cultivate community with our neighbors” thing? Perhaps I was dreaming of living in a small town in 1950. The truth is, no young(ish) families go to the chapel. One other family goes on occasion, but they only show up once every 4-5 weeks, and half the time the mom refuses to speak to me. The people who go to church there are either, 1) retired, and I mean they retired about the time I was born, OR b) students, and I mean half my age, single and only here for a few weeks or months for training. There is no family ministry going on. So we were going to a tiny church with bad music (oh it was bad – felt like going to church in 1982) where I had to teach children’s church every week and it was becoming increasingly clear to us that we were doing this for no. actual. reason.
Wayne and I had several conversations about it – should we stick it out, should we leave, is this right for the kids, we only have 20 months left here…(Yeah, that’s still a decent amount of time…)
Then, Sunday night, we were given the chance to see things really clearly.
A leader at the base chapel accused Abby of hitting her son. The son said Abby hit him, Abby said she did not. No adult saw anything. Wayne and I believed Abby. (This particular boy has some issues. Once he came over our house and bit Emma, then crawled in our coat closet and refused to come out. Are you imagining a toddler? Oh, no. He’s 9.) The other mom did not believe Abby, and she went berserk. She pointed her finger at Abby and yelled, “Don’t you sit there and lie to my face!!” When I turned and, in shock, firmly said, “Now hang on,” she began to address the rest of her remarks to her son, officially, but she was right behind me and shouting angrily that she was sick of this happening every week (whaa?) and things like “This is bullcrap!” It was crazy. Crazy! Wayne and I just sat there in shock for a few minutes. We didn’t engage with any of it. After a few minutes, we quietly picked up our things and left.
I spent the rest of the evening googling local churches.
I strongly value stability, longevity, reliability. I believe in seeing things through. But somehow, lately, it looks like I don’t. I pulled my kids out of school after 11 weeks. We’ve been here a year and a half and are starting at a third church. Ugh!!! I tried to make Wayne promise that no one would think badly of me if we changed churches again. 😉 I know we look like church hoppers. We don’t want to be! We don’t plan to be! We left one church with good intentions of ministry elsewhere, it didn’t work out and now we’re changing again. I’m really not proud of it. I hate it, actually. Especially because I can imagine what people are saying behind our backs. But – I don’t know what else to do.
Last night I took the girls to the Wednesday night program at a large church not too far from our house. (Ben had t-ball practice.) They loved it. LOVED. There were lots of kids, fun activities, and most importantly, no one yelled at them or called them a liar! We’ll all go on Sunday, and hopefully this can be our church until we move.
Because I’m really, really done with drama.