How many have stopped going to church?

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Lolalee, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Hi all, I don't post here too often. I'm mostly on the FMS/CFS board for health info. But, today is Sunday and again I'm not feeling well enough to go to church. I have FMS and CFIDS. Lately the fatigue from CFIDS has really gotten bad. I think it's from years and years of pushing myself and not listening to my body's signals telling me to rest. My body just won't be pushed anymore.

    I attended a small church and sang with our small Praise and Worship group. It was such a blessing and pretty much that's all I did in life. Now my husband goes to church alone. Slowly I had to let go of other activities, but I kept pushing to go to church and to Tuesday women's bible study group. Now that I don't do either, I am trying to feel peace because I know that I don't have a choice, but it's difficult. Life goes on and people forget about you. I have one friend from church who calls me every week...she's an angel. The other women I thought I was close to in my group don't call at all.

    I just edited to add this....my Pastor feels that I should not bond with this illness and that I should not read about it or talk about it. He never asks me how I'm feeling. He has prayed over me countless times. I have done inner healing work with him alone and with some of the other women. He really feels that God has healed me and that I just need to focus on that and claim my healing. I guess I feel like a failure and then sometimes I feel hurt by his attitude. I have asked God to help me to forgive him. Of course, I don't look sick, so it's hard for people to understand just how badly I feel. And, those who have done inner healing work with me feel it is a spiritual battle.

    I was wondering if anyone could relate and what you do to keep from getting depressed.

    Blessings,

    Lolalee
    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  2. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    Lolalee, I totally understand. I have not attended church in a couple of years now for many reasons. I can't sit here much longer right now but will get back on and post more on this topic later if that's OK.

    I'm glad you brought this up because I would love some responses to this as well.

    Nancy
  3. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Nancy, thanks for replying. I look forward to hearing from you and others.

    Lolalee

  4. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    A part of me really wants to return to a church but then I remember how bad I've been burned and hurt by them that I just can't bring myself to go. Most believers I've met truly feel that I'm not a christian because I won't go to church anymore and gladly spew that verse about not forsaking the gathering together of the saints like it was some kind of montra for the wayward.

    I grew up going to church every Sunday because my mother used it like a daycare. I'm grateful because it was my only time of peace, church + school. I was physically, mentally and sexually abused for 13 years and some members of the church knew it and said/did NOTHING to help me. By the time I left home at 17 I left church too. In my mid 20s a dear sweet friend I worked with led me to know Christ and I worshipped him and loved him and worked for him and still never step foot in a church. After the death of my husband and birth of my son just 4 months later I returned to my hometown and the same church where I was welcomed with open arms and tons of love (much to my surprise)

    I became very active in church and worked as hard for the church as I did in my job. I was a single mom with no support network. The more I did and got involved in, the more they wanted. It was the typical situation you see everyday in most churches. The people who will do something they put everything on. Ours was a female dominated church and although we had men there were no boys or younger men to help with boys, as such there were no programs for my son to participate in. I would actually have to hire a babysitter so that I could go to the church and do a mission study program because they couldn't get anyone to open the nursery or watch him for me. Anyway, late one night while I was in prayer God got my attention and started telling me what I was really worshipping and it wasn't him. I was worshipping**going to church**, **the sense of family I felt**, **the sense of belonging**. I argued with him and really didn't see what the problem was in any of that. Then he started telling me what he wanted me to stop one-by-one. I stepped down as the women on mission director, then when it was time to do VBS he told me not to do this either (I really started fight it now)but I listened. One-by-one he had me giving up positions in the church even SS teacher. I was heartbroken and didn't understand why any of this could be so bad. Funny thing was, the more I gave up, even though I still went to church every Sunday, the more friends I lost. My phone used to ring off the hook with people inviting me to stuff, wanting to talk, wanting me to pray with them, etc. Now, the phone never rang, people who called me sister wouldn't even speak to me AT CHURCH. It was like I had the plagued or something. Just before it got totally bad I told God that I would believe him if I was nominated as a deaconess. I had been praying that I NOT be nominated because I felt that I did not qualify under the guidelines given in the Bible for such a leader. I also knew it would be proof positive what the church really was because we all had a joke about new members being fresh meat for deacons because we would run out of people to nominate. The same people were always cycled around to be deacon over and over again. Sure enough!! the NEXT day the head deacon knocked on my door and told me that I had been nominated and would I accept the nomination. I politely said no and that was my demise at the church. Serving the Lord there meant that you do what the church needed to be done as THEY saw it. I learned really quick that the church is not interested in you following the Lord in what he's leading you to do if it doesn't coincide with what they want you to do. I was devastated with the reality of it. I did continue in a prayer group who actually listened to God and understood what was going on and had gone through the same type of thing. Funny thing there was that the pastor's wife was a member of our prayer group, knew everything, said nothing and was a powerful quiet servant of the Lord. This was the sweetest woman I have ever met in my life and the church hated her. Her husband (the pastor) was a jerk and thought he could manage the church like you would manage employees at a store or something. He continuously got low scores on his performance evaluations every year but the congregation would vote him enormous raises anyway.

    OK, nuff of that part. I move to TN and decide to start back going to church. I'm in a small rural county and very quickly realized that if they don't know your family tree from the roots up, you might as well have been spit straight out of the mouth of Satan himself. Without asking they always assume that since I'm a single Mom my child was born out-of-wedlock. They look us up and down like they can't decide whether to speak or tar-n-feather us. I told someone at work that I really don't think God ever intended that going to a new church be the scariest thing on earth to do, but it has become that for me, so I don't go. We did attend one church for a short time that was non-denominational but I started getting really uncomfortable when they started teaching how you're going to hell if you don't speak in tongues and God does not test us. They need to read what Paul said about tongues and Job and then we might go back.

    Oh, and this one's even better. My brother was a very severe diabetic on dialysis, waiting for a kidney transplant, struggling for many years trying to afford all the expensive medications and pay his bills on his meager SS income, after having worked several jobs at a time all his life to provide for his family. There was not a lazy bone in that boy's body. When he just could not go anymore and they started to lose everything some wonderful women from his church of 15 years decided to throw this wonderful benefit fundraiser for him. He& his wife were very active in the church and were so excited to get the help so that they wouldn't lose their home and he could maybe get some of the medicine he needed to stay alive. The benefit was wonderful; 5 gospel groups donated their time to perform, there was a silent auction and a dinner. It was held in a high school auditorium because so many people knew and loved him and around 400 people attended the benefit and they raised about $10,000.00. Funny thing was, after the benefit was over and the money was counted the preacher (who didn't want to have the benefit to start off with) and the head deacon decided to change the rules on whether or not he "qualified" for this money! It was his picture on the posters and in the paper, his name and medical condition and situation the reason they had the fundraiser to help him. Yet once the money was in the hands of the preacher it was never seen again. My brother never received one dime of the money raised and passed away 14 months later.

    I often wonder if I'm so depressed because I don't go to church or because I ever did. I guess I'm content to pursue my belief that it's a person's relationship with God that's important, not his religion. We're called to pray for those who hurt us which means I spend a lot of time on my knees.

    I'm sorry to make this post so long. I can't believe I'm even telling someone else about all of this because I never have before. I pray you find peace about whatever decision you make. I think that God knows exactly what draws each of us to him and he knows it may be different for each and every person so there is no right or wrong way to worship. You can make your own way to worship and it will still be as pleasing to God as anyone in a church because you're showing him that you love him enough to worship and talk with him.

    Ok, sorry, I'll shut up now.
    Take Care
    Nancy
    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  5. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Oh, Nancy, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. I know that you shared all of this because on some level I needed to hear it. When my husband and I moved to Alabama 4 years ago we searched and searched for a church that "fit". One day a neighbor stopped by to say hi and welcome us to the neighborhood and the next thing we knew we were attending his church. I won't go into all the details, but it really felt like God had led us to this church. For instance, a group from this church had visited our church in Texas the year before we moved and led a conference. We thought "what are the chances of that happening". These neighbors here in AL knew people from our church in TX.

    The church here was a bit of a distance and it became difficult for me because of my health. A new church of the same denomination opened their doors a couple of miles from our home. We thought "perfect!! thank you Jesus!!". I jumped in and took over a couple of ministries. Meanwhile, we were the "new kids" and none of the other members who had been meeting in someone's home prior to moving to the new location volunteered for these ministries. After 2 years, my health really started to deteriorate and I had to give up my duties. (that was 1 year ago and no one has stepped up to replace me).

    You know, just talking about this Nancy, is therapeutic. Everyone was happy for me to do all the work when it came to arranging the monthly potlucks and food for those who were struggling. Nobody wants to do it now.

    After I posted this morning, I read another post here where someone had recommended to another member the book "Where is God When It Hurts" by Philip Yancy. I remembered that I have the book. I've had is since last November,but I had never read it. I started to read it this morning and I am devouring it. It now speaks to me like never before.

    I think we expect too much of Christians. We are all just people, struggling to make sense of this life. Even though people are important, I need to start looking to God and God alone for the answers.

    I'm tired. I hope this all makes sense. Bless you and thank you for taking the time to tell me your story. It breaks my heart to think of what was done to your brother. Oh what greed will do to a person!!

    Bless you, Nancy,

    Lolalee

    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  6. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Been there. Done that. Heard all that. I know exactly where you are coming from. I know your pain, anger and frustration.
    I haven't been to church for several years. I could use all those excuses but mine is more physical than the others.
    1. The hardest thing I had to do was stop looking at people and expect them to understand where I am at. They aren't walking where we are walking so it is an unreal expectation. I used to put the face on ( smile) and say everything is fine. Rather than deal with the rejection. I am not saying it is totally right but that was my way of coping.
    2. I also had to realize that I am going to church to worship God and if you read in the gospels how many sick people were healed in the temple.
    3. Healing is such a contoversial subject. Everybody has an opinion be it right or wrong. I believe that there is a checklist ( for lack of a better word that we should go through we will get sick). It sounds like you have done that. So when all is done you just have to stand and trust God that He knows what He is doing and healing will come when He says now.
    4. Don't feel guilty for not being able to go to church. You can't make your body do what it won't do. Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is curl up with a cup of tea, our Bible and our favorite cd. If I really want to go to church, I will go for part of the service, either praise and worship or come in at offering time and just hear the message and leave just before the service is over. (If you are in a small church where they know you, I would tell the ushers so that they don't fuss and cause a distraction). Just last week we went out and we had to leave before it was over. I felt bad but my girlfriend told me to stop it.
    Hang in there and do what you feel in your heart is right between you and God and leave all the other people and junk in His hands. Getting frustrated with them just causes you to flare and it isn't worth it. God will deal with them in His way and in His time. God loves you so very much exactly where you are at. So my sister peace be still and just rest in Him, knowing He loves you so much and He isn't condemning you or putting unrealistic expectations on you. He says in the Bible I think it is Galations that His commands are not burdensome. You are doing ok.
    Cath
  7. Gly

    Gly New Member

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! It reads like a novel.

    I am another one who does not go to church anymore. I was always very active in every church I've been a member of as an adult. Now, I just don't want the burden of having to teach people about Christians with chronic illness. I also don't like feeling scrutinized since I don't look sick. I have a lot of pain when sitting for more than about 20 minutes. Standing hurts, too. And my pain level is unpredictable so I don't like to make plans.

    People say things that they mean to be comforting but they come across as admonishment, such as "God can heal you, y'know." How do I answer that? Especially when that person and her spouse have chronic health problems, too. It seems that if your disability shows on an x-ray or blood test, that is fine. Otherwise many people think you have a lesson to learn (I must be really dense because God has been trying to get my attention since 1997 with this!) or maybe it's all in your head, even if the pain feels real... to you.

    I have been anointed with oil and prayed for twice by a group of pastors. My pastor said he doesn't believe God will afflict a person with anything that would prevent them from serving in a church. My "service" to the church had dwindled down to attending each Sunday to be an example to others, as I lay on a cot that was set up for me at the back of the church. People said things to me that revealed their frustration with me for not being healed. One deacon said "there must be something we can do!" and wanted to proclaim a fast. I asked him not to, because the pressure was too much for me.

    (The pastor in the above paragraph turned out to be abusive and was basically fired from the Southern Baptist Convention sometime after we left the church, BTW.)

    I practice forgiveness and try to focus on the good things that are in my life to help ward off depression. I keep a blog but do not feel safe enough there to really write anything as transparent as what I've just written. I know that all of you understand.


  8. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    I think this subject has come up before, but it is good to hear opinions from others.

    I have not been to church in three years. As a child I attended weekly. I worked for churches doing music for 40 years, I did volunteer a couple years, then I became a paid employee.


    If I had to sum up I would say that a church is a building , a place for people to learn. But a building can't change people. Only God can.

    I do not believe I have to be in or affiliated with a church to believe, and to pray.

    It took me nearly two years to stop feeling guilt over my physical presence of being in church every week. On Sunday mornings I would keep looking at the clock and thinking what I would have been doing had I still been employed.

    When I quit the female pastor did not even phone me. I had been in that particular church 14 years, as opposed to her 4. She had a quiet, and gentle man phone me from the personnel committee. Knowing he would somehow be hurt, I simply thanked him for calling me. He added how sorry he was to lose me, and how much he had always enjoyed my music.

    God knows my heart. He knows the quiet things I did for people there. I never became a member, but I did many things behind the scenes. Most of the people never knew, or some I quietly called to offer support.

    Carol sang in the choir, three small daughters. Ken was diagnosed with pancreas trouble. I knew he would die, which he did. But for one solid year, each Sunday I left a gift for him in the narthex. Sometimes a tape of hymns, sometimes something silly like a jar of bubbles. I never put my name on. I didn't need a pat on the back from any human, God knew what I did and that I was pure in heart.

    One week the pastor told me that I should prepare myself for a funeral, that Ken had only days left. I cried and said how much I enjoyed leaving those anonymous gifts each week. The pastor didn't know, nobody ever figured it out. But, who else was there early with a key?

    The pastor asked me to please write Ken a note and tell him I was the one. I had to play his funeral . I watched the congregation pour out their love.

    AND........ within three years, he was forgotten. Carol was only contacted by church for her pledge. No support for a widow with children. Ken gave of his time, his money and his talents. Gone, and then forgotten. Nobody asking her why she wasn't there. But I did. I don't need validation from a building , or the people in it.
  9. sixtyslady

    sixtyslady Member

    Hi girl,
    I think you where one of the first ones I posted to when I found this board.
    I haven"t been to church in over a year.
    I just don"t have the strenght to get ready and go.
    and on days I could go,people wonder why you don"t come every week and be a active member.
    I"ve made peace with this by watching on T.V.
    and we are members of a couple tv ministry.
    I know God still loves me and knows that I"m trying to be a good servant.
    and I have a more personal relationship with Jesus, than when I went to church,I don"t have any distraction.
    I don"t have to feel bad that I can"t commit to working on the church groups commities.

    I"d rather try to help people, that are sick or down on their luck, by praying with them or just talking to them.
    so many times people just need someone to listen.
    And sometimes I just pray for people without telling them.
    the other day my husband and I encountered a women in the busness world who was very rude, and after I thought about it I knew she had to be hurting in some way so I just prayed for her, without telling anyone .
    that makes me feel better than trying to sit in church in pain and just wishing it was time to go home.
    sometimes I think church just becomes to much of a social event then being closer to God. I send cheerful e-mails to people. and I send prayers that I find to people.
    I know I"m doing Gods work in a small way.and I"m o.k. with that. hugs Sixtyslady
  10. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I somehow knew that God would speak to me through all of you when I posted this morning. I guess I was feeling badly not only for myself, but also for my husband going to church again without me by his side. Also, this afternoon there was a birthday gathering at our church for a friend who was 90 years old. He is such a neat and funny man. When asked what his secret was to reaching the age of 90 my husband told me that he said, "you just keep on breathing"...hilarious!!! Again my husband had to go alone and answer the question "How's your wife?". I told him that he should tell them.."you can call her anytime". When he did say that to one of the women who I considered to be my friend..(we exchanged birthday gifts, went out to lunch when I was feeling welll), my husband told me that she gave him a strange look and widened her eyes. My husband said "oh, that's right you're working now". She said "yes, that's right". I guess you do find out who your friends are.

    I suppose this is a time of growth for my husband as well. I can't make myself well for him, so he is going to have to go to God to help him deal with this situation.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to go on and on about this. I really wanted to thank you all for your wonderful words that blessed me more than you know.

    Caffey, you really helped me with my feelings of guilt. I could identify with every word you said.

    gly, you were wise to tell the Deacon not to fast for you. I've had people pray so hard over me and then say "Are you better?". I've said yes, just so they won't feel bad.

    asatrump, you certainly have had opportunities to forgive people. It is sad when the people at church just forget about the sick, and the widows and orphans. My pastor came by to bring me communion and said "oh you look great..you look so healthy" and as he left he said "when people ask about you I tell them you are doing great". I was speechless. If people think I'm doing great, then why am I not in church?

    Bless you all. You gals are great!!!

    Lolalee[This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  11. Pottersclay

    Pottersclay New Member

    There are many critical people in the world who just don't understand. I think they start judging others before they even realize they are. Don't punish yourself or your relationship to God because of another human being.

    If you still want to hear a good message but can't sit long enough through one in church then have you all considered listening to sermons on the television, radio or the internet? I live in New york State and there is a radio station that airs sermons on the internet. It is called: www.fln.org
  12. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    I'm up late waiting for laundry to finish. I was called into work today to take a resident to the hospital, so I am a little late getting things done here at home. I haven't been responding much because I am so tired lately, and trying to work (just part time). But I do come here and check in with you all and pray.

    I have read all of these responses. I can relate to most of them if not all of them. One thing that I want to point out is that we have become a church here on this board. I see so many of you offering love, support, encouragement, wisdom, and prayer. You all just amaze me. When one of us is down, always someone else steps up to offer love. This is God's love reaching out thru each one of you. You are so precious (sp? sorry), and God loves each one of you so very, very much! Your reward will surely be in heaven with a crown of glory!

    I hope that I am making sence, you know what happens to the mind when the fatigue is overrunning it. lol.

    To finish, I just want to say....I am sorry that we all have to be sick, but everyday I thank our Lord Jesus for each one of you! Please just know that God is using you right where you are at. The really amazing thing is that you are answering his call even while you are in pain and fatigue! Love, Love, Love to you all, Tam

    I feel that it was no accident that I found this board just when I was ready to give up on this sick body, and the life I was reduced to live with because of it. You all are ministering everyday, and with poor health yourselves.
  13. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    LittleBluestem and Pottersclay, thanks for the info regarding Christian radio broadcasts and the websites. I will look into it.

    I laughed out loud when I read what LittleBluestem said about my pastor having rocks in his head. Thank you very much. You know, once during a women's bible study I asked for prayer because I was thinking of going to a Fibro and Fatigue Center. My pastor immediately said that he didn't think that it would help me. He said I should keep seeking the Lord and do my inner healing work.....that most illness is unresolved anger, etc. I said to him "would you say that to someone who has cancer?" and he said yes. I don't believe he would. I think he just said that because otherwise he would have been telling me straight out that he wasn't validating my illness.

    From reading everyone's posts here and talking this through with all of you I am realizing that I have some issues with my pastor.

    I've asked God to help me to forgive him. He is teaching a class on counseling and my husband attended the first class last week. He said that when you counsel the first thing you should do is validate the person. My husband came home angry because he realized that the pastor was preaching something that he wasn't practicing with me. It really makes me sad.

    Aren't we all walking wounded? Except some of us are not walking much.

    Bless you all for being here for me. Tlayne, you are so right about this being a church. This is a place where we can support one another in our sickness and worship the Lord as well. Praise God!!

    Lolalee

  14. dejovu

    dejovu New Member

    Define church: 1. the whole body of Christ's beleivers
    2. a place of public worship
    3. a body worshiping in a particular place

    Yes I think we qualify for this blessing! De
  15. pepper

    pepper New Member

    when I have the energy to read through all the replies! I am really interested in hearing all your stories.

    Problems for me and other sick people attending services are:
    - hard pews (seats and backs) so I bring 2 cushions
    - hard kneelers (push one of the cushions onto the kneeler when needed)
    - shaking hands (I use an alcohol wipe afterwards if I remember to bring them)
    - no gluten-free hosts (I have to find a way to get them)
    - the smells!! Why does everyone who comes to church think they have to smell like a perfume factory. So we have to breathe in 7 or 8 different perfumes all around us. That makes me so sick!

    I wish they would make churches for people like us - nice soft seats and kneelers, no hand-shaking and no scents allowed!

    Okay, I have gone on long enough and will read this thread after my nap to hear what others have to say.
    (((HUGS)))Pepper
  16. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I'm so glad to hear someone else say that, especially about the perfume. Is it the FM that's making me more sensitive to perfume? I quit smoking almost 2 years ago and at first thought it was because of that. Then I realized how actually allergic and asthmatic I was becoming to perfume/cologne's and cigarette smoke. I did read one time somewhere that people with polymyalgia rheumatica have a hypersensitivity to smells, sounds and light and I have PMR so guess they may be right. It's really starting to get on my nerves at work also because no one has any respect for anyone else in my office when it comes to this.

    All the years I did smoke I never smoked around non-smokers and I did everything possible to NOT smell like smoke so that I would NOT bother others. Seems quite the opposite opinion now, I have co-workers who literally make me throw up they smell so strong of smoke and perfume. We can't control the clients that come in (although I think we should be able to post some kind of sign) but you would think they would do something to control the employees. I've seen clients come in carrying their O2 tanks and have an asthma attack in our office because our secretary wears perfume so strong it makes your eyes burn.

    I've learned that they turn on you like a pack of wolves if you say anything about it too. So sad isn't it!!
  17. Pottersclay

    Pottersclay New Member

    The four churches I have been to in the last 40 years have accommodated people by getting cushions for the pews or going as far as buying pews with the cushions glued to it or something like that. More and more places have signs asking people to not use or ease up on the perfume for the sake of others.

    No matter where you go though, there will be some people who don't give a hoot and use it (perfume) anyways. I use little or none at all. Most wouldn't know I had some on unless they gave me a hug. Unfortunately there are some you can smell as soon as they walk into the building. (choke..caugh...caugh..)

    As for people who give sermons on the television...when I can't go to church I like to listen to Charles Stanley on "In Touch". My husband likes Robert Shuler and the "Hour of Power." The times and stations differ with each area of the country. There are also Christian radio stations all over the country. I guess the easiest way would be to station surf to find them.

    I have learned that you will never find the perfect church as long as there are people in it. Since everyone has sin in their life except Jesus Christ..faults we will find.

    Makes me think of a quote from our 16th President:
    "If you look for the bad in others you will find it every time."~ Abraham Lincoln

    Don't be discouraged because you found a apple in with a bunch of oranges. Just pray for that person. They may not realize they are hurting the cause for Christ by unintentionally hurting others with a poor choice of words or actions. I have seen some Christians hurt other Christians. Yes, I was one that has been burned too. I won't let them hurt my relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Hugs....
    PC
  18. Harmony

    Harmony New Member

    Hi Lolalee and everyone else!

    One of the hardest things for me to accept with this illness is not being able to go to church like I use to.
    I am a Pastor's wife and was a very active Pastor's wife, involved in everything in the church. I enjoyed teaching Sunday school to the kids especially.

    Mornings are way too hard for me to go now, but I go when I feel like I can go (if I sleep ok) which isn't very often and my husband has to push me in a wheelchair in order for me to go. And then I sit there feeling half dead (LOL) and can't sing or talk much because I'm too weak. I use to sing in the choir and special music with him but no longer can even sing in the congregation.

    I go when I can because I enjoy it so much. I suffer after though for the rest of the day and days after. My brother is the pastor so he understands which is nice. My husband is currently not pastoring a church but just recently started applying for one. I am hoping they accept my husband knowing his wife cannot attend. I would not be able to go at all to this church since it starts a lot earlier. I can go to things sometimes in the evening as that is not as hard for me but even then I am limited.

    My husband is very understanding so I am thankful for that.I have come to accept the fact I can't go, knowing God knows my heart and yours too. God has shown me that there are other ways I can worship Him and serve Him and that for this season in my life, I have to step back and know it's ok to stay home. I use to wonder why God would allow me to have this disability if it's keeping me from church and teaching S.S., but all I know is that God has a reason for everything in our life; he is in control, and he is teaching me through this.

    I know what you all are going through. Don't feel bad what other people think as they should not judge. We can only do what we can as we know our limitations. A couple of years ago, I posted a post on here similar to this on a Sunday morning. It said "can't go to church this morning, anyone else? I had a lot of response and we prayed and shared together that Sunday morning and it was a sweet time. I also met a good friend through it that day who lives in my same town (from this Board)from that post! :)

    Sorry this is so long! LOL I got carried away! :)

    Hugs!

    Harmony
    [This Message was Edited on 09/27/2006]
  19. Heirloom

    Heirloom New Member

    Hi, Harmony. I read your message and just had to respond. I, too, am a pastor's wife. Although I'm not in a wheelchair, I do have fibro, along with several other comorbid conditions, and I also cannot attend church as regularly as I used to.

    My husband is also very understanding and helpful. Without him, and without the Lord in my life, things would be insurmountable. But thank God for His strength and purpose in all things.

    My husband does pastor, and the church we now serve seems to be understanding of my illnesses. Yet I am concerned that if we go to another church, I may not find that same concern. I go to church once or twice each week. I feel so terribly guilty when I miss a service. For example, I have had a bad day today and therefore can't go tonight, and I consequently feel like I've failed. My husband reassures me and tells me not to push myself, but I was brought up to be a perfectionist and to please others.

    I'm so glad for this message board and for others who understand. Thanks for listening, and God bless.
  20. Harmony

    Harmony New Member

    Hi Heirloom!

    Thanks for your reply to me! I'm glad to meet you! That's interesting you're a Pastor's wife also. :) I'm glad your husband is also understanding and your current church is too.

    Do you have church everyday? We don't, so that limits how many times I can go. The former church we were at for many years would have been very understanding also, but now that he has been gone from there for a couple of years and is looking for another one, I am concerned about this. I did not have this condition at the other church. I also need a spinal fusion so that adds to the reason I need a wheelchair.

    I am also am a "perfectionist" and want to please others. I can totally relate to you. I have always felt like my husband and I were a "team" in ministry even though he is the one who is the Pastor. It's just expected in most churches for the Pastor's wife to be "visible".

    If he is called to this church it will be a new experience for me staying home. I can go to the evening Bible Study and any functions in the evenings but not in the mornings.

    I would also feel guilty if this is a hindrance to my husband not being called to the church. I am trying to trust that if it's God's will, the members will be very understanding. I hope you can get to the point of not feeling guilty as that is also something I have to work on and know it's not easy. God bless you too and thanks for being here for me!

    Harmony (Gail)