Are You Doing Church?


It definitely felt like an over share. You know those times you feel exposed, raw and regret what you said and wish you could take it back? Brene Brown calls it a “vulnerability hangover!”

I think my over share was a part of me that I had tried to ignore  that was screaming to be heard, so I wouldn’t squeeze myself in one more time “to play nice and make friends.” 

So I blurted out that going to church made me feel like a prostitute. There was a trade off for a service, show up, act appropriately and receive the non-relational pat on the head and group acceptance for performing adequately.

I further explained about the deep pain I felt when I opened myself up intimately and deeply during worship to have no contact with others, or real connection. Then I'd have to pick myself up, clean myself off and go home with the lingering affects that remained throughout the week until I did it again the following Sunday. 

Once I mentioned this concern about lack of relationship in church to a woman whose response was, "I've learned to accept it and move on years ago." I thought to myself, "Why do I have to accept this? I can't accept it. Its killing me!"

I feel life deeply. I see life in pictures and allegories, so often something as simple as a tragic movie plot can take me weeks to rebound from. I am empathic. I've always been this way though I’ve tried to bury, shelve and disassociate with this part of myself. The truth is this tendency is tender, beautiful and perceptive. Why would I reject this to merely fit in?

Although this intense sensory knack has existed from childhood, it wasn't until my early twenties that I first became aware of it. My husband Bill and I stopped to pick up a friend of Bill’s I’d I never met.  As soon as he got in the car my heart started breaking. I’d never felt such deep and sudden pain. I knew it wasn’t my pain, so I blurted out, “My heart is breaking and I don’t know why!" The passenger immediately yelled out, “It’s me! It’s me! I just bought a pound of pot and I shouldn’t have! You’re heart is breaking because of me!”

I've often wished that I came with an operating manual, but that would eliminate the very thing I am set up for: RELATIONSHIP! You and I are made for relationship, relationship with God and each other. Its a life long journey of learning how to understand our inner world and relationships beyond textbook theology and "how to's."

So when I over shared it was as if my insides where screaming, “Listen to me! It’s killing me to be in another setting where the focus is about  an agenda and not relationship, about doing and not being. You are spreading your legs one more time for a payoff, to be loved and liked. You shouldn’t have to work to be loved!”

It hit me square in the face. I was a working girl and my own John at the same time! I continued to send myself out looking for love, pulling up my skirt and coming home alone.

Sad. Humiliating. Embarrassing. Nevertheless, what happened was this:

  • I began to own it and I began to get free.
  • I began to stop working and started loving myself whole.
  • I began to stop busying myself to avoid feeling (like so many do.)
  • I began to comprehend that there was no separation from the love of God, period!
  • I began to let go of space holders, not chasing after anyone's love, but leaving space for the real thing.
  • I began to value myself even if others couldn’t.
  • I began to set boundaries and not let others trudge through my heart.
  • I began to have relationships where I didn't have to perform and I wasn't harmed.
  • I began to define church differently: relationally; a meal; lives shared; conversation and trust.
  • I began to comprehend being the church and not doing the church!

Are you giving yourself permission to love yourself and be well-loved in return?

If this resonated with you and you'd like help creating a healthier life, contact me for a complementary coaching session via teleconferencing to discover what coaching could do for you. Only those seriously interested in coaching apply. Email me at: