I have been to Mass every Sunday since I left my house, but I haven't been back to my church home. I do things with people from my church, but I don't go there for anything. It hurts, it really does. I miss my church and the people who go there. I miss the choirs and the priests and the beautiful celebration of the Mass we had there. I watched the building go up and I even wrote on a rock that is under the altar from when they were building it. I raised money to build that church and I used to lector there. It is hard.
But, I have many reasons for avoiding my church home and family. One of them is the person I am separating from, but if that were the only reason I could avoid meeting that person. The main reason is that I feel like I am scandal. I will turn people's heads. Some of them will judge me as I walk up to Communion. Some people will avoid me and some will want to be overly friendly and know the scoop. I can't tell them. I would have to use the politest form of "It's none of your business." I can't give my reasons because they involve talking about behavior of another church member. I couldn't and wouldn't want to tell them the whole truth. The story would get out there and be turned around and exaggerated and who knows what. I could damage the other person in my attempt to defend myself.
And I am scandal, a bad example, a person who is leaving a marriage. Many people thought we were such a great couple, we appeared to be what we were not. So, for the past few months I have been "praying around." That is my term for visiting other churches. It is fun in it's own way. Sometimes I almost think, I should volunteer for that or sign up for this. I haven't, I am not sure where I will end up when all is said and done.
I am looking forward to a fresh start, a new beginning. I am looking forward to being part of a parish that just sees me as me and not as the baggage of things from the past. For me, this is the best answer, what I need to feel whole and loved and part of the body of Christ. But, I won't lie, it isn't easy.