Author's Note: This post will be a bit more personal and not as many direct jabs at The Crossing Church (though there will be some). I'm fully carb loaded, with wine in hand, and ready for the comments about how I'm so "bitter" and have "hardened my heart".
My last Christmas as The Crossing Church was December of 2010. It was a Christmas Eve service, candlelight I believe, and I was stressed as always.
Going to church The Crossing Church as a family was difficult. First, there are people directing you in the parking lot. This is nice and fine if you have a small vehicle. My husband drives a large truck, and without fail there was some 15 year old forcibly directing my husband into a spot that would never fit the truck. My husband would be mad, would ignore the direction (you are supposed to submit to their authority, even if they are idiots, so my nerves would go to high), and park where he wanted. I would be praying the entire time for God, Jesus, someone to please give us a truck-sized spot so we could obey and not get in trouble. Never. Not once.
Next came the seating Nazis. In accordance with Crossing policy (or rather copying what Elevation Church does), people would be seated front to back with no spaces in between. This was to give a feeling of high energy and excitement. Well fuck...my husband has a bad knee and needs to be on an end to straighten his leg. He would ask the seating person kindly to seat him on an end, up front, in back, any end as long as he wasn't cramped in the middle. They would begrudgingly do it but not without a shit ton of shame. But then inevitably they would need to fill more seats and try to force us to the middle. It was a fight every single week and this time was no exception.
I didn't want to obey them, I fully saw my husband's point, but I felt The Crossing was my last hope in trying to do the Christian thing, and felt compliance was the only way I could make it to the other side. As we sat down I was arranging my coat, gloves and purse, and looked down to see the diamond had fallen out of my wedding ring. My eyes welled with tears. In any other place or situation I would have asked for help in looking for it. I would have asked for the lights to be turned on, or asked that people search for it after the service. But I didn't feel I could do that here. We were supposed to be depopulating hell and not worried about material things. I felt I'd be shamed to ask.
Now my diamond wasn't some massive full carat or anything special. It was a chip at best. My husband had proposed on Christmas Eve. We were poor and he used all he had to buy me that ring. It was my chip. Now here we were on Christmas Eve again and it was gone forever. I prayed, "Why? Why?! Am I really not allowed anything? WHY!?!" The silence permeated me.
That was to be the last Christmas Eve in a church for me. I don't miss it. I don't miss a thing.