I have started reading a book, Witness, by Whittaker Chambers, and in it he talks about how at times he enjoyed and preferred being alone.
“If I had really wanted the fellowship that lay on the other side of the wall, I would have battered my way or scrambled over. The real wall was my own indifference and my liking for solitude.”Witness, p.115
It hit me that I am like that, too. Most of my memories of childhood, I am playing alone. My siblings must have been around, and I am sure I played with them plenty, but I remember spending so much time alone, and not minding. I’m social enough when circumstances require it, but if I had my choice, I would prefer to be alone most of the time. The circumstances of life with a husband and large family do require me to be in a crowd :). So I have to figure out how to make my personality (ah, solitude) blend with the needs of my family (Mommy, help!). I can give and give, but sooner or later there has to be some down time for me or I and everyone else will suffer for it. Sometimes when things seem to be getting really crazy around me, the reason is that I haven’t gotten alone much lately, and especially I have not gotten alone with God, who made me this way, with a need for solitude.
An article I read today was talking about the benefits of waking early and going to bed late, because in those hours a person has time be alone, to reflect on things and to do meaningful Bible study. It occured to me that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have time to myself; the problem is when I choose to take it. In fact, I would have plenty of that time in the mornings and nights if I stay disciplined. If I am sleeping in until the kids awaken and going to bed right after the children do, my days feel so crowded and unpleasant. There is such wisdom in Proverbs 31.
She gets up while it is still dark…her lamp does not go out at night. from verses 15 and 18
Something I realized anew after reading Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, by Anne Ortlund, is this. At at the end of time, when I stand before the Lord, I won’t have the job descriptions of mother, wife, or daughter to hide behind and make excuses. I will just be the person God created standing there, and He’ll want to know what I did with the life He gave me. I hope that I have something good to show for it and make Him happy.
Tomorrow the very few of us that consider ourselves members of Hope Community Church will gather together to officially disband, over grilled hot dogs. This seems a very appropriate way to close up shop, too- it really isn’t that sad. We are celebrating the friends we have made and the things we have learned. Back when we lived in Plain City and attended a big church, I thought of a church being more where you meet rather than who meets there. Now I am so much more aware that God’s beautiful body of Christ is people, and just because this plant didn’t work out doesn’t mean there aren’t many vibrant possibilities in us for growth somewhere else. Still, I really thought this would work. There isn’t another church like ours in the area; we loved what made us unique and thought that many others would be drawn to that, as well. It is almost as if God prevented people from coming; as if He did not want it to succeed. As my mother-in-law has said, “Even the strangest cults would get a visitor once in a while!”
We are not sure what God wants us to do next. It is very scary and exciting.