where did the transcendence go?


Written by Mandy Thompson

She’s just a girl with a guitar. And, in a perfect world, Mandy would spend her days writing songs and soaking up the sun. But, life is life. And, while not perfect, her life is good. She serves as Director of Congregational Services at The Chapel, in Brunswick GA. If you asked her about her position, she’d say her main course involves developing worship experiences, with a side of creative design and social media for dessert. Tasty!

January 31, 2012


On Thursday nights, our core team gathers to eat and plan and pray and dream about launching a second campus of our congregation. It’s the one meeting of my week that I’m not responsible for—the one church meeting that I can just attend. And I get to attend as the Sunday morning worship leader for this campus. But, on Thursdays? I just have to show up.


My husband, the most handsome preacher this side of heaven, prepared a sacred space for us after our dinner. He called us to another side of the meeting room where he sectioned off a circle of seats with candles and tables.

I didn’t know he set up that space for us. And I didn’t know what was coming. He talked about us taking a moment to just reflect. Think. Breathe. He plugged his iPod into the system and played a song for us. He told us to just sit and think about the challenges we are facing right now. And we did. Then he read a passage of scripture to us and we listened. And he gave us a few minutes to share with the group. And we did.

The experience was magical. Invigorating. I felt like I was sitting in a moment that was bigger than myself.


I miss those moments, those experiences where I don’t know what’s next and I didn’t “plan” it and I’m just along for the ride and I’m as surprised as the person sitting next to me.

I miss the “not knowing.” Actually, I miss the Knowing that comes from not knowing. I want the Knowing that comes from transcendent awe and mystery and anticipation and surprise. I think I’ve lost some of my Knowing in all this planning and knowing. And it’s all messy in my head and I can’t even find the right words to explain it adequately. The best I can do is say I want to feel like I’m a part of something bigger than me.

Am I allowed to say that Sundays don’t feel bigger than me? I don’t mean it in a prideful sense. I just don’t have another way to say it. Am I allowed to say it that way?

Because, it’s true.

Ok. If I’m not allowed to say it that way, let me say it in an acceptable way: I want to feel a sense of transcendence on Sundays, and the familiarity of planning and facilitating has removed a bit of the magic of anticipation.

And, I miss that.

God? Wow me.

Readers? Tell me: How do you experience Transcendence in life and in church? Or, do you?


  1. Loxlia @ lovelycrumbs.com

    I know exactly what you mean… And I have found that focusing on one moment at a time, really soaking in Him, can make every decision, every breath Full. Holy. What a beautiful observation, thanks for sharing!
    He is there, always, “Wowing” us we just have to breathe Him in and notice…

    • Anonymous

      I love how you say that focusing can bring us to a place of Fullness. That’s so rich, Loxlia. Thanks for sharing that!

  2. Shanyn

    What an amazing post, and you have put the pin right on it. I miss the mystery and the transcendence that we could have in our faith, in our lives!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much Shanyn. I miss the mystery, too. Love how you say that.


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where did the transcendence go?

by Mandy Thompson time to read: 2 min