OK I don't know if this belongs moreso here or in counseling, but I think I need some comforting and encouragement moreso than counseling.
I've had a hectic 2010. I left two churches this year, and when I left my 1st church in May, I quickly found out who my real friends were from that church, as the others dropped me from their lives (would not respond to my individual emails, etc.) My old SG (small group) leader who used to disciple me a bit, and I thought we were genuinely good friends regardless, once I left the church he stopped talking to me. It hurt for a while, and that's when I realized Christians aren't perfect, either. We're just like any other human beings, we're still messed up, we still mess up but we have God in our lives.
Still, to be perfectly honest with you, I expected more from Christians. It made me think did he disciple me out of pure love and for my well-being and growth, OR did he disciple me moreso because I happened to be in his SG (i.e. obligation)?
So, in early January I left my 2nd church (really late December though). I thought I handled it in the classiest and most courteous manner possible. I simply felt the Spirit calling me elsewhere and so I informed my SG members (I was actually the leader of the SG) and pastor and invited the pastor to the night where I was making the official announcement. Of course, I made sure to inform the core members 1-on-1 either over phone or in person the week prior.
Well, since I left that church, a couple "friends" I would consider true caring friends, have been rather slow to respond to my emails. Last night I was trying to chat with a sister I was pretty close with (she used to INITIATE phone calls with me which would last up to an hour)... she didn't even respond to me like I mattered! Her one or two word replies came 5-10 minutes after my messaging, and eventually she said sorry gotta go talk later? see ya.
It was just very cold, and unlike her because she is the sweetest sister I've ever met, and in the past she always made sure to respond to me right away.
And then there's a couple who mentored us. They always replied to my emails within 24 hours. I sent them both an update email, just checking in, 3 days ago and no reply yet. I am baffled.
Is it me? Is it them? What's going on here? I understand the "take care of your own first" mentality, as in your family and local church body first, but really we're all one big family under God. Why do so many people have church allegiances and why is it when you leave a church 90% of the people don't reply back to you the way they did when you were going to the church?
Personally, if a brother or sister reaches out to me via email, I'll take a minute to respond and check back in with him or her. Even if we're not good friends. It's common courtesy and wow, they thought enough of me to email me. How precious, and so, I'd reply with my 2 cents back. But I guess maybe that's just the way I am...
Another thing that annoys me is whenever you post a status update on FaceBook, no one from my first church "likes" it or comments. However, when I was going to that church, I'd always get several likes and comments from that church body. Once I left, they stopped liking and commenting on my status. Sorry, but I think that's just silly and childish!
I'm writing similar things -- praising God, sharing verses, Christian music vidoes from youtube etc. But now they no longer "support" me.
Anyone else have similar stories or experiences? I don't get how Christians can be so quick to forget and toss you aside if you change churches. We're still in the same family! Any words of comfort or encouragement? It's times like this when I get the feeling there IS a "social in-circle" and a "cliche-y" mentality within any given church. Sad... because I believe spirit-filled believers should be WAY ABOVE that "high school-level" drivel. I even had my former pastor email me to ask me to stop emailing my prayer requests to the members of her congregation -- that I should get that support from my current church. While I understand looking at it from her point of view, I still found it more than mildly appalling "Do not send us your prayer requests ever again." (I'd write them like once every 3-4 months, just keeping them posted on the milestones in my Christian walk). I guess this is why Christ is perfect and why we all fall short of the glory of God.