Posted by: shariglass | March 9, 2010

A different kind of journey

Over the past 3 months I have been on a different kind of journey.  I suppose in reality, it hasn’t been the last three months, but the last 1 1/2 years.  It’s only the last three months that I’ve pro-actively taken part in this journey.

Anyone who knows Brian, knows that he gets on these “fads” and when he gets on a new “fad” he goes all the way.  (Previous examples would include things like Chinese medicine and healthy cooking.)  The thing about these “fads” is that even when he moves on to the next one, the others stick around.  Well his latest “fad” for the past year and a half has been with Eastern Orthodoxy. (and I’ll stop calling them “fads” now, lest he delete my post 🙂 )

Are your first thoughts Eastern Orthodox What? or perhaps that conjures up praying to idols, crunching bones and drinking blood, “saving” babies by baptizing them, annoying chants and something weird going on with Mary, then you have an inkling of what I went through during the past year.  On top of that being called a heretic and told that what you believe is all wrong, it really wasn’t a great first meeting between me and Orthodoxy.

To try to make a LONG story shorter…in Denver Brian came with me to Watermark Church, but when we moved to Naples, we started going to different churches part of the time.  The kids and I would go with him to an Orthodox church, that just happens to be right down the road from our house, once a month, and he would come with us to Summit Church (non-denomination with Southern Baptist leanings that had a GREAT vision and mission) every other week.  I don’t think it bothered the kids, but it was a real struggle for both Brian and I, knowing that our family was divided, and going to different churches.

Partly due to my rather rude introduction (that I won’t mention again, nor mention how it came to be) and partly due to the fact that I was pregnant for most of the time and moving mutiple times, loosing jobs, living in a camper for over 4 months, etc., I wanted no part in learning about or even looking into the Orthodox Church.  My husband, who’s generally too intelligent for his own good (and certainly for my good) was very wise in not pushing or forcing me to go with him.  I’m sure that would have had very different consequences.

Again in an attempt to shorten the story (yeah I know, it’s long already…but trust me…these are only the barest details) for the past three months the kids and I have started going to the Orthodox church with Brian.  Before that I had done a lot of praying,  hoping that Brian would decide to come with me, but also asking God to show me where we really were suppose to go, and even more to be open to listening to Him.  When we went to St. Paul’s (the Eastern Orthodox Church) once a month with Brian, and the people seemed really nice, but I had a lot of doubts about what they believed.  At the same time, Summit had two messages, over the course of a couple months, about wives “submitting” (really being respectful, and trusting more – not rolling over and being walked on) to their husbands… Something that I’ve never been good at 😉

Anyway, my brain was waging war between being a better wife, and wanting to make sure the kids were brought up to know and worship God.  I’d taken the classes to join Summit, and even had started helping out with the kids (nursery) some.  But I started getting that nagging feeling that it really wasn’t where I belonged.  I tried to ignore that, thinking I just hadn’t gotten connected enough.  Meanwhile, whenever we went to St. Paul’s everyone was so nice to us, talking to us, and adoring Sarah, as smaller churches are apt to do, and just feeling more like a family.  Then something weird happened… I chose to go to St. Paul’s for Christmas Eve services.  I wanted to want to go to Summit, but really preferred to go to St. Paul’s, even though I didn’t want to want to go there. (Brian had left the decision completely up to me and thought we were going to Summit up until that night.)

Shortly after that when we were at St. Paul’s for another service I had this thought pop (for lack of a better word) into my head that said: “This is where you need to be and what (Orthodox) you are going to become.”  My next thought was “Oh, No!  Really?”  But at the same time I felt that all the questions I still had, would be resolved with reasonable answers that would in no way go against God.

Since that time I’ve done a lot of reading, and have found that all of my doubts and questions have good answers, and that in reality, all my doubts were misconceptions.  It’s funny how you can have misconceptions about something that you’ve never even heard of before.  An interesting tid-bit that I read:  Eastern Orthodoxy is not a denomination, it is pre–denominational.  That sums up a lot of it.  It is the Church that’s history dates back to the Disciples.  It’s still taken a lot of reading to even begin to understand what Orthodoxy is, and what I’ve learned is just the tip of the ice berg.   I guess with 2000+ years of history, there’s a lot there 🙂

So now, even though I know so little about Orthodoxy and the Church, I’m going to attempt  to post some of the things I’ve learned recently here, so those who know us don’t think we’ve gone completely nuts, and might have a better idea of what Orthodoxy is all about.  And so anyone who might have the same questions as I did can be encouraged.

A year and a half ago I called someone who was a good friend and is also a pastor and asked what in the world I was to do with this husband of mine.  His wise words were:  Talk to him about it, find out why he’s drawn to it, and check it out for yourself.  After all, they probably need people to work with kids there too!    I only half heartedly followed his advice, because it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  I suppose if I had this journey might have started (pro-actively) a little bit sooner…

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Responses

  1. I must say that the journey is way easier when you are watching from my distance. I love the fact that it is so love- and family-infused.

    Peace….

  2. […] re: A Different Kind of Journey I suppose I should fill in some detail on Shari’s post. […]

  3. Just a quick add on here, lest something I said get’s mis-taken… There are GREAT people at every church. The church I was going to, Summit, had wonderful people, some of whom I will always consider my friends. It wasn’t because of “people” that I started believing that the Orthodox Church was the right Church to go to. Nice people, anywhere, are a plus, but following God is the most important of all.

  4. Shari,
    We’re so glad to know that your family can now worship as a whole unit. Any church that preaches The Bible as truth, salvation through Jesus Christ alone, and loving God and your neighbor as the most important commands is alright with us. It was great to hear from you and we’ll look forward to future posts.

    The Penns

    P.S. Do as much as you can at Corkscrew now, lest ye become mosquito lunch

    P.S.S I love your title verse, rather apropos


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