It has been my intention to spend less time here talking about personal matters; being less "transparent" if you will. However, this has been on my mind.
A number of years ago, my husband and I spent some time helping out at a Christian camp. It was in the final week of the official season, and we were there for the last staff meeting. The camp director had a word for those young people who had spent their entire summer serving there. He cautioned them about the letdown which would ensue after having spent an intense six weeks with the same people. We often come away from a time of service fo God on a high note, and when life goes back inevitably to the normal routine, it can make one feel a little down. I have a little bit of that feeling already, knowing that yesterday was my last trip home from school until September. I drove home in a cold, driving rain, feeling a little flat.
Since September, I have spent a lot of time with the same people. Some of those in my Systematic Theology class are also in my Moral Theology class, so there was always a lot to talk about week by week. I love to talk theology, and having a room full of others who share that love was a great experience. I will miss those conversations. I don't have a lot of people in my life who like to do that.
I find that among most Christian women of my acquaintance, there is not a similar love. I have a couple of friends who like to do so, but most of them don't. Spiritual conversations mostly revolve around personal issues of sanctification, daily life, and more practical matters. And we need those conversations. But most of the female friends I have don't want to spend time talking about the reasons for or against a pretribulational return of Christ. And if I suggested that I had any desire to do so, I may be labelled as one who does not take Scripture seriously. Nor is there a desire to understand the fine points of justification, what it actually means to say that something is a means of grace, or what Lutherans mean when they say Christ is "under" the sacraments. I find those things fascinating. I found the notion of that an evangelical believes in purgatory fascinating. And it was so enjoyable to have others around me who felt the same.
Having a community to talk about such things was something I realized I was missing. While I do have online friends, there is nothing online like the community I experienced this past school year. One thing has become glaringly apparent to me over the past four months: I don't fit in with the little pockets of female Christian fellowship I see on my social media feeds. I don't always agree with everything the female leaders say, and that earns me an automatic place outside of the circle.
I have a busy summer ahead. I wanted to take a summer course, and there were some good ones available, but my son is getting married, and I have home projects to tackle. I have a healthy reading list waiting for me, and I hope to get my puppy walking on a leash with a lot more manners than he currently has. But I will miss that community. I don't expect to find it online anymore. At one time, I did, but not any longer. That is a letdown, too. Things change; it is the normal course of life. One thing doesn't change, though: God wants me to know more about him, and I will keep on learning even if it is in a more solitary venue. God is good, and the letdown will pass.