Christ, Christian Living, Church, God, Grief, Grief Loss and Bereavement, Health, Mental health, religion, Spirituality
I have lost my heart for writing lately. An unexpected turn of events has left me feeling like I maybe should just not do this. Any of it. Someone I care about read my blog, and was hurt by it. So I have gone through each post and tried to clean it up, and delete things that could be taken personally, but well aware in the process that I am once again deleting myself. It’s difficult.
My Aunt went into the hospital on Thursday; she needs a pacemaker to regulate her heartbeat. I was thinking this morning that I wish I could have an emotional pacemaker for when things are overwhelming, and the world is scary. So that when a relationship ends, I could continue to function without being blindsided by grief. But that’s not how life works. Loss hurts.
I went to church Friday evening; the worst part (for me) is when the ushers try to seat you. A very severe lady told me to “follow her” and I thought, oh, sweetheart, that’s not how this works. I held back, and sat in the back row, as I always do, which visibly irritates them. Only I can manage my anxiety in church, and angry ushers do not help. She was not happy.
I had a client once who said that he had tried to go to church, and he really liked it, except that when it came time for the offering, the ushers closed and locked the doors into the hallway. And this particular client also suffers from severe anxiety. He was never able to go back; psychologically, he understood why they would do that (the church is in the city) but physiologically, he just couldn’t do it again. I felt so bad for him. Our church also has locked doors; ropes, and people who shut you out, or trap you in hallways when you only meant to go to the ladies room quickly and get back in your seat before the whole room was sitting down. I leave church exhausted. And sad. A lot of anxiety, and a lot of grief. I wonder what God thinks as He observes all of this, done in His name? To inspire worship of Him? To help us to see Him reflected in the lives of those who serve Him? Because I don’t see it, not much, anyway. I see organizational chaos. A lot of Very Important People running around with their headsets, and beepers, and pagers, very impressed with their roles and titles, but not really having a clue what they’re doing. Or what they’re doing to people. Does God care?
Grief is a horrible, horrible feeling. I am overwhelmed with it this week, and can’t write much. A pacemaker would help. My heart also beats too slowly sometimes, like my aunt. My emotional heart also beats slowly, and sometimes bottoms out completely. I have a meeting at church in an hour. There was a wonderful gentleman who took my application for the Life Teams; when he asked why I have not been involved in church, I accidentally blurted out “Because they do not want me.” And he threw his head back and laughed. No, really; that was the message left on my answering machine. But I laughed too. And said I want to be involved, and I do, my nerves don’t, and is there a place for me where nobody can see me? I just want to help people; to love those who hurt like I do, and tell them it’s okay. It is all going to be okay. They will be okay. Time does not heal everything. All healing takes time. Some things will not heal, not in this lifetime. Grief does not get better; gone is, well, gone. No therapy technique can fix a broken relationship, or heal a loss. Only God can.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness….” ~II Corinthians 12:9
Set Free and Free Indeed said:
Some relationships were not meant to be healed, but to be walked away from – severed. There are only 2 kinds of grief that I can see that should go on in a church service – one is for loss during a funeral or going-home celebration; and the other is the kind of grief that causes one to beat his breast in repentance, because they are grieved that they have offended God. The Body of Christ should love and edify one another. The Body of Christ should treat and speak to one another in LOVE. What good would the knee be, if it felt ostracized and outcast by the thigh? What the thigh doesn’t realize, is that it needs the knee – the structure will eventually fall down, especially if the thigh keeps on thinking that it doesn’t need the knee.
Dear one, you need to keep writing. And maybe you need to change where you go to worship the Lord. Church is not a building, or organized chaos in any form. It is suppose to be a healthy, vital, living organism, and it should be beating in tandem to the sound of the Master’s Heart, because it is Christ living in us, pouring love into us so that we can pour that love out onto others. Stirring and encouraging each other, that we can become all that we are to be in Christ, individually and corporately. Holding each other in high esteem – servants of the Most High God, serving Him, serving each other, in love and humility.
You must continue to write the truth, and do not change who you are. Because then, you would have to be disobedient to the call God has upon your life.
My Dear friend:
(Oh dear, I don’t like this font!!) I love you. And I hear your concern. While the particular building I worship in is indeed ‘organizational chaos’ at times, the quality of the teaching is unsurpassed. Excellent teaching is one of my passions; I also have friends from work and school who attend there, and I love them dearly. Clients, past and present know where to find me. I have sought the Lord about this many times over the years, but the one thing I am clear of is that He has told me to “watch carefully, and when it is my turn, to do differently.” If everyone who has been hurt leaves the building, who is left? I believe some of us are called to stay and make a difference in the sphere of influence God entrusts to us. It doesn’t hurt any less, but we are not called to represent the leaders, or the building, as nice as it is. Some of us are called to represent the people, and to represent the heart of God to the people. If I were accepted or valued by leadership, I never would have known the joy of serving the people of the community. And I would have stayed safely in the building, and never ventured out into the world. As much as my desire and calling is and always will be for full-time ministry, I have learned that it is not necessarily confined to, or dependent on, the building. I go there for the quality of the teaching, and because I truly do believe that for this season of my life, this is my Pastor. The accurate teaching of the Word of God means more to me than the validation of those who, in the totality of their humanity, sometimes fail to represent Him as the Loving Father that He is. It also does not absolve me of my own responsibility to be loving and kind towards those who are not. Forgive them? Yes. Act like them? No. I am me, and I am sometimes short with people, grumpy, tired, rude, or indifferent. No matter which building I go to, there I’ll be. With all of my fears and phobias and failings. Changing buildings will not change who I am. Nor does it really change what I am called to do.
I love you, My friend.
Kelli Edson said:
It’s ok to feel the way you do. It’s easy to get lost when trying to navigate the unknown in search of the best possible outcome. Not everyone is going to be easy to please, and the process of attempting will become very tiring. I’ve encountered many of the same road blocks as you and actually have chosen to harden my shell instead of fighting. I really have nothing left except to proceed the best I can and save my energy before this world makes me anymore sick. My prayers are with you.
Just don’t harden your heart, my friend. Remember, God is faithful, even when people aren’t. Turn to God when you’re tired and discouraged; He loves you more than you realize, and will walk with you through all of the difficulties. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9) He will strengthen and steady you, which is far better than having to harden your heart so you don’t get discouraged and let down by others. Guard your heart, by all means, but love freely, deeply, and wisely and you will have a good life in spite of your troubles. Love you!