Hi new to this board and have question

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by jole, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. jole

    jole Member

    I have read on this board before, but never posted. This is my problem. I have FM along with anxiety/panic attacks and depression. Before all this, I never, ever missed going to Church on Sunday. Now, I have a terribly guilty conscience about not going, and tried again this weekend.

    But when I go, I do not get anything out of it. It seems as though the lights bother me, all the people bother me, my pain bothers me, etc. etc. and I just can't wait to get out of there.

    Does anyone else have this problem, and what do (did) you do about it? I know God understands if I can't go, but I sometimes wonder if it is the particular Church and maybe I should try going elsewhere? I do try to sit in the very back so the anxiety isn't so bad, but it doesn't seem to help, and if I get nothing of value from it, is it worth going?

    I also spend the rest of the day in bed with terrible pain and fatigue, and cannot seem to do anything else. Yet, there is this guilt. I really need help with this. Thanks!
  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Fluorscent lights, loud organ music, odd smells of new carpeting, etc. I need space around me so I set on the END of the row. I also put the hymnals and my sweater on the pew next to me so I don't have people sitting in that seat. My hubby sits on the other side of my sweater and hymnal.

    I'm suggesting that you try a different church. It could be the volume of the organ music at your present church. I just tense up when they play the music too loudly. I put kleenex in my ears because otherwise, my joints hurt so badly. Sounds whacky, but I think you produce stress chemicals when your body is subjected to very loud sounds. Anyway, that is how it is for me.

    I also get nothing out of the old pastor's sermons. I couldn't tell you what was the topic after his sermons. I would just zone out; then, I would feel a bit guilty afterwards. We have an interm pastor at the moment, and I can actually stay focused when he talks. We are getting a new pastor shortly. I need someone who puts some life into his sermons. I zone out if the sermons are stodgy ( is that a word???).

    I deliberately go to the early service because there are fewer members at that service. I have to go up to the altar for communion with my scooter. When there are alot of people at the service, it makes getting back to my pew more difficult. The people at the first service know to make me a path back down the center aisle. the people at the second service seem to be a bit "clueless" about clearing a path so I can back up.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/08/2008]
  3. jole

    jole Member

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, that's how it is for me. I like the suggestion of putting something between hubby and me to have a little more space. That might help a little. It is all just so overwhelming for me. I am really housebound, going out just for doc appointments, and even that is a challenge sometimes.

    My grandchildren ask me to go to their ballgames, and if it's summertime outdoor games I can occasionally go; but indoor games are really out of the question for me.

    I do have a problem with Sundays and no church, though. Feel like if I can go to a doctor I should be able to go spend some time for God. That's what upsets me. If it weren't for Him I couldn't have made it through everything, yet I don't feel like I am giving back.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/09/2008]
  4. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I think it has to do with lack of control when you are in church. EVERYTHING about the service is structured. You don't feel as if you have choices. If you are trying to cope with loud music, overly fragrant perfume from the woman who sits in front of you right before the service starts, allergic reaction to the altar flowers, feeling cramped in and unable to escape from your pew, etc. THIS can just give you a hard time to cope with it all.

    I think we feel more comfortable when we have options. I also don't like going to the dentist because I don't have control over what is happening during procedures.

    I get through the draining and injections of joints at my rheumy's office because I feel as if I have some "say" into what is going on. I tell him how I want it done. I even verbally help direct the needles into the joint. Since they put numbing medication in with the steroids, I can tell the doctor when he has hit the right spot because the pain suddenly stops when he is injecting.

    If you feel overwhelmed, just pretend to sing during the service. Or don't even pretend, just sit there and enjoy the singing around you.

    I used to attend a church that had Saturday night services in addition to the Sunday Services. It was much more relaxed on Saturday night.
  5. jole

    jole Member

    Actually, I go to the Catholic Church, and do attend the Sat. evening Mass because I cannot go in the morning because of the pain severity. I have tried everything else mentioned...even sat in the cry room once!

    Maybe having been raised Catholic makes my guilt so much worse....and was having a problem with not knowing if I even wanted to stay, or change denominations all together. I know other religions have a less structured service, and maybe that would help. It's just all this darn guilt!!

    I honestly don't believe God judges us by the church we attend, as long as we are faithful to Him and His commandments, but after so many years of being Catholic it is a hard decision to switch.

    There are bible study groups I would like to attend also, but my hubby isn't wanting to go and I can't drive anymore, so living out so far in the country is sometimes a detriment. I am trying to read the bible daily yet it's always good to have another person's input.

    How can loving the Lord be so confusing???
  6. jole

    jole Member

    You're right! I too get more out of it from home. Besides, there are a lot of different denominations on and I sometimes watch more than one. It is much easier, does not ruin my day as badly, and I can concentrate better.

    No, the socializing is pretty much a thing of the past for me anymore other than on this board and with family, so that is hard, but I have accepted it for now, and hope to improve so I can get back to it someday.

    It's just the guilt of not being there with everyone else, I guess. Which isn't, when I think of it, the important thing. It's giving honor to God, and if I need to do that from here, it's better than not at all. Think I just need to sit and think on it awhile....and I'll come to understand that this is not all bad!

    Thanks, everyone. Sometimes it only takes someone else to put things into a little perspective. You guys are great.
  7. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    I'm fairly new to this board also. I've been reading posts and yours caught my attention because I suffer from anxiety also. I understand completely what it's like trying sit through church services with extreme anxiety. I've had many panic attacks in church services.

    I wanted to say there are Bible studies online. Some of them are free. I don't have a website for you, but I will look and see if I can find one and post it if I do. It's very late at night now and my meds. are making me groggy. I'll look for one tomorrow.

    The guilt you are feeling is false guilt. It's not your fault that you suffer so much anxiety and cannot attend church. It's an affliction. And God understands. He knows everything about you. I don't think He expects you to feel guilty for this. It's not your fault.

    Love, doloresf1
  8. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    Hi Again!

    I just found a website for Free Bible Study Courses by mail or internet. Three levels of Studies to choose from: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. Over 20 Subjects to choose from. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting this information. Here is the website:


    Love, doloresf1
  9. jole

    jole Member

    Thanks so much! This is exactly what I need. You don't know how much you helped by relieving some of my guilt and giving me a place to go for more info. As you all know, Catholics are known for not having much bible study time, and I have read the entire bible, but never belonged to a study group. This will be very interesting and a great learning experience for me that I have needed for a long, long time.

    Patti, maybe I'll see you over there! Who knows??

    Love you guys, and all others who responded so lovingly to my post!

    Friends - Jole
  10. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    I've found that God supplies all our needs. So, if this online study meets your need, all the glory goes to God our Father. Love, doloresf1
  11. jole

    jole Member

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, you are right, I need to remember that the Lord does know what is in my heart and that I love Him no matter where I am. Sometimes I forget that.....just that upbringing of you Have to go to church on Sunday getting the best of me, I guess. And no, the stress does not help.

    I have some inspirational books I read each day, but have not pulled the Bible off the shelf yet. Will do that tonight. Thank you for the gentle push and kind words! You, and others on this board, sure do know how to put a person's head back on straight. Should have posted a long time ago and gotten myself out of my misery sooner..lol:)

    Again, thanks to you and all my new friends~
  12. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I can't attend chuch anymore either. I listen to the morning services on tv.

    One that is very good is John Hagee, he comes on at 3pm in La., it is an hour service, and you can relax in your home without all the structure, perfume, and the pain and loud perfumes.

    I am So. Baptist, so our church is not so structured as Catholic. But since Katrina they stopped evening services in my area, so that left me out completely. I am not able to function in the mornings with the FM.

    Always keep in mind that a chuch is only a building, its the members that make it a 'church'. So wherever you worship God He is with you! The most important thing is to ask Christ into your heart, and to give your life to Him, you will lose all the guilt then.

    God bless, and the guilt is of your own making, so stop feeling guilty!

    I spent more time at church than I did at home before I got this bad, so I do know the difference.

    Shalom, Shirl

  13. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    I did not attempt to find another online Bible study website. I think, because of the many denominations and beliefs involved, everyone should choose their own website. I don't want to mislead anyone by choosing for them.

    I'm posting to suggest something else. If you are new at reading the Bible and if you'd really like to read it thru, you may like to pick up a small devotional book from your local Christian Bookstore. Some of these little daily devotional guides are designed to help you to read thru the Bible in one year. If you are unsure what I'm referring to, you might ask the clerk in the bookstore to help you find one of these. Simply tell the clerk you'd like a guide to reading thru the Bible in one year.

    Usually these guides list a chapter from the New Testament, a chapter from the Old Testament, and then in addition, a Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs. If you follow the guide, you will have finished reading the Scriptures in one year! This is a tremendous accomplishment!

    Best Wishes on you Spiritual journey. God will bless you richly for the passion you have for learning to know Him more.

    Jesus loves you and so do I, doloresf1