This is today's post in the Sunday Assembly Newcastle gratitude group.
Normally I've been collecting them for a week and then blogging them - for my benefit though I know there are people appreciating seeing them too.
But this is a biggie. Not a big gratitude thing. But a big decision.
And if I post it here, now, publicly, then it becomes more of a reality than if it just stays in my own thoughts.
I could write rather a lot about what's going on in my head. This time, just for once, I'm not going to.
People will react in a variety of ways to this. Or they might not react at all.
Gratitude Diary - 8th February
Apologies. This is a lot of text. And you now have a church photo in a godless group!
Today I am grateful for a decision I made, half in jest last night and in all seriousness today.
MCC has been my church pretty much since I came out as transgender, got banned from preaching in one place I had joined and got called an abomination by the pastor of the other place I'd been going to. But I've been having faith issues (for much longer than I care to admit) and what Church and Christianity used to give me (the centre of my life and reason to keep living) it doesn't give me now. It's a long story.
Anyway. Decision. Since Lent begins on Wednesday I've decided to do the done thing for once and give something up:
I have decided to give up church services for Lent.
This break should give me some space to find out what life might be without the reassurance of church, without the habit and safety of it. And without some chosen break that's not something I was ever going to allow myself to discover.
So today I've booked up to do something else next Sunday night. It's still crazy spiritual stuff. But it's very different. A lot more free. And it's the kind of thing that doesn't impose a story that has to be believed.
Making this decision and booking to do something different feels good, liberating. But after (very nearly) 25 years of church and Christianity being central to me it's pretty scary too. Hey ho. Others at SA have taken similar steps. And some will look at my decision and would say Hallelujah, if they had a Jah to say Hallel to.
I think at some point soon I need to find some very wise neutral person and have a serious talk about my life. That person will need to be carefully chosen or just turn out to be a completely obvious choice.