Note: I’m using the first few days of this journey to define “exile” in a variety of ways.
As a follow up to my last post listing five exiles I’ve walked through, let me give you five words that described how I felt in exile:
I was afraid that the few good experiences I had were gone forever and I would never enter a true move of God again.
- displaced – or uprooted. It was the feeling of being ripped from where I felt at home. This was especially true when I left the small church. They were “my people.” My family. To no longer have that group of friends was painful.
- disconnected – or isolated. This is an extension of feeling displaced. Once displaced I was then all alone with no connection to any people. No peers. No one who spoke my language. Tim Allen (comedian) said that when his father died no one seemed to understand his pain. It was like he was adrift, all alone.
- disillusioned – church left me confused for many years. Biblically, I was a believer. Experientially, it disappointed me. Part of that was being a new believer and not understanding the breadth of church experience available. But what I was told was the “right” church wasn’t working, and every thing I did to fix that (small church, community) didn’t work any better. I was desperate to find a model that worked.
- depressed – the lie of loss is that life will never be good again. That’s how I felt about church and ministry. I was afraid that the few good experiences I had were gone forever and I would never enter a true move of God again.
- full of doubt – a big part of my experience at the traditional church was the lack of people who saw what I saw. My ideas were continually shot down and told they’d never work. This happens to young innovators all the time. It filled me with doubt. I wondered if they were right…that I didn’t know what I was talking about. It made me want to quit many times. Thankfully, God sent people my way to encourage me (more on that in another post) so I didn’t give up.
What are some of the emotions that have accompanied your exiles? Leave your comment below.
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