My big brother called last night. Apparently my mom let him know I hadn't been attending church and was struggling a bit with religion altogether. You know how our moms are always looking out for us...no matter how full-grown the 'babies' are.
I'm not sure what she thought my brother could offer...besides comic relief. He's an ordained pastor who is now working with a company that educates seniors (not 12th graders...elderly seniors) on Internet use. He also rebuilds computers.
I guess he probably does know a thing or two about organized religion and he truly did make me smile and laugh a bit. He offered me the 'older brother advice', which amounted to what I know...be honest about my expectations, realizing they will NOT be met, but being up front about what I can and cannot accept.
He suffers some of the same bad memories of our childhood church and has been denominationally challenged most of his life as well. Ironic he chose that field...that denomination...as a career for many years. He's a wonderful evangelist and I imagine he's a strong pastor; he just has too much passion for truth to 'settle', and that resulted in stepping on some mighty big toes.
The thing he reminded me is to try things that I haven't tried in the past. Try new denominations. Try new environments. Try new 'types' of churches. Give it a chance...you don't have to give it your all...but give it a chance.
I can do that...I think.
I'm probably going to use this space to truly 'work through' what I find in this search. I've already got a list going of places I want to visit and it's always interesting being the 'newbies' for a while.
I still don't know the outcome of this part of my journey, except to say I'm willing to try...I'm just not fully convinced...I guess this is the part where I leave it up to God. He hasn't let me down yet (literally or figuratively), and I already feel this pull towards Him as I stand on the edge of this new horizon.
I also want to thank each of you who commented and encouraged and spoke from the heart. It's always reaffirming to hear others' stories.
I pray your Friday is fully blessed!