Not going to church

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by monkeykat, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    I have slowly gotten ill over a number of years and have drifted away from going to church b/c going to church feels like a lot of pressure b/c I'm so fatigued. No one seems to understand that I'm ill and everyone wants something? I had to quit working and cannot do basic chores in my own life. I find that I'm isolating myself from people just so that I don't have to give to everyone.

    I would like to find a church but hate to go b/c of this? Do any of you have suggestions or am I the only one who has experienced this???
  2. Scoobsmom

    Scoobsmom New Member

    I am from Ohio also, would not recommend my church..sad but true, sorry. I will pray for all of us who struggle with making it to church, and having whispers or looks when we do make it or if we do not participate in the normal we are out of the "cliques"...
    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2004]
  3. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi scoobsmom,
    Thanks for the reply and prayers! I am the type of person who gives 120 percent in life and have always gone the extra mile at home, work, church, etc. It's hard to no longer be able to give to others as much. I'm having to learn the hard way that I really have to take care of myself before I can help others.

    I was speaking with my husband and suggested that maybe we could go visit the pastors at various churches and speak to them about my situation with illness before deciding to attend the church. I'm not really sure what denomination we want to attend b/c we have such an ecclectic view of things...LOL.

    I think overall, we need to make it clear up front that I may not be a regular attendee and that I just need to go to church to sustain my spiritual focus. If and when my health is better than I can talk about involvement. My previous church only had one 10am service which became too difficult to attend b/c I can't make it that early in the morning. The pastor and his wife were kind people but the church was small and the people were a bit dysfunctional. They would tend to ignore my illness and say things like, "You husband needs to tell you to get up off your dufus" or "You need to come to Wednesday evening bible study...that would help you" or "Don't tell me your sick!!!", etc. I think I'd like to find a larger church so that people aren't constantly wanting you to be involved and also a church with a Saturday evening service if possible.

    Being ill gives us the opportunity to be less judgemental of others in the future and treat people with more compassion than we've experienced ourselves. I hope that I can bring this into the church that I attend in the future. That's all i have to offer right now...but I think it's an important contribution:)

  4. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander New Member

    I am going through the same thing. I was once an active part of my church and no longer can contribute.

    there is also a lot of gossip that goes on there and I really feel like I don't belong.
    But we do, that is Gods house and we belong to him no matter what others might think.

    Its a sad thing to have your heart broken because of how Christians sometimes behave.

    I am alway asking the Lord to help me forgive those who have hurt me.

    I refuse to allow certain people to hinder my walk with Christ.

    However I do know how important fellowship is and I miss that a lot.

    stay close to the Lord and he will be your shelter.

    Love Lisa
  5. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi Debbie & Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It's nice to know that we are not the only ones experiencing this. I try to visit this site when I have the energy so it will be nice to get to know you both better.

    I guess one thing that I have to continue to learn more of is to set verbal limits with people when they say stupid things. Just this morning I decided to call my mother-in-law to let her know that a few comments she made were inappropriate and not appreciated. I always start by telling people the positive things that I appreciate about them and then I tell them what was said and how it made me feel so that they don't get defensive. I had to tell her that it was inappropriate to tell me that she knew the reason I wasn't healed, "because I don't attend her holiness pentecostal church" and that it was inappropriate to suggest that "if I was poor and could not afford to go to doctors then I would be praying harder and God would heal me". These were very judgmental, self-righteous and false statements. She asked for forgiveness and I do not hold these things against her as I feel she meant well but just has a very different outlook on life than I do.

    I guess I need to not worry about the opinions of others when they say stupid stuff when you arrive to church late or you aren't involved. I just need to learn to ignore the comments/looks/judgments, etc. However, it still seems to wear on me emotionally...I guess being ill makes us somewhat hypersensitive at times.

    I agree with many of the things that you said Lisa, "that is Gods house and we belong to him no matter what others might think. I am alway asking the Lord to help me forgive those who have hurt me. I refuse to allow certain people to hinder my walk with Christ. However I do know how important fellowship is and I miss that a lot."

    I will pray that we all can stay close to the Lord b/c he will be our shelter from all the difficulties of this life:) In the meantime, it would be nice to be able to go to a church that didn't put so much pressure on you...LOL!!!

    Love, Kathy

  6. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi Pookie,
    Thanks for the referral. I will forward your response to my husband and I think he'd be game to come check it out with me.

    I think my husband and I are both confused about our spirituallity right now. We haven't gone to church much in recent years but study theology and church history at home in order to come to a better understanding of our Christianity. We both have diverse religious backgrounds. Mine was originally Roman Catholic then nondenominational then evangelical presbyterian then plain old presbyterian then nothing...I don't judge any of these churches and actually like different aspects of each of them:) My husband's religious background is even different than mine:) LOL!!!

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond:)

    Have a great day!!!


  7. Montysmum

    Montysmum New Member

    I have been reading the posts & am in a similar situation as others who have posted.
    I live in a small country town where everyone knows everyone else, yet none acknowledge I have anything wrong with me.
    The church I attend (irregularly) is close by, it is a traditional Presbyterian/Combined parish with Anglican. Most of the congregation, which is very small, are elderly. So I feel frowned upon because of my lack of involvement as I am one of the younger ones. They desperately need Sunday school leaders etc...
    I have been going there several years now, but feel like a visitor most of the time ! But it is major effort to get to church, it is at 9.30 am, I work till 11pm the night before, so even harder to be up in time to attend! I go at least monthly for communion, but it is an effort.
    My parents attend there, which adds pressure on me as I feel I am letting them down by not going more often. They are very good & don't ever say anything when I tell them I won't be there. But I feel so guilty.
    I so miss having Christian input, I have felt myself slide for the past few years. I have no Christian friends near by, in fact no firends near at all. So not having the regular church attendance is hard.
    I do hope you find a church that fits you. I so understand & will be praying for you.
  8. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    First of all...I really like your screen name.

    As I was reading your post, my heart felt so sad for you. I realized that it must be even worse to live in a small country town b/c everyone knows everyone else's business. I live in a suburb of a large city (Cleveland, Ohio) so I can go to a movie or out to dinner and nobody knows my business. It must be hard to do anything fun for yourself b/c I would think everyone would talk??? Is this also the case???

    It's amazing how many of us there are who are facing the same suffering. I will pray that people begin to understand your illness better or that you are given greater ability to deal with their judgment. We need a lot of the "oil of the Holy Spirit" on us so that the judgments and rude opinions of others can roll off our backs. I'm sorry that you are also going through this.

    Have a great day:)

  9. Montysmum

    Montysmum New Member

    It is hard being in a small town, but also has it's good points.
    At church everyone knows I am a nurse, all know someone in the home I work in, so often ask questions about them. Also because I still hold down a full time job no one can believe I have any thing wrong, including my colleagues !

    I do hope you find a church that suits you, & the strength to attend. Fellowship is vital. The church Pookie suggests sounds good, wish I was able to go there !
    Best wishes.
  10. stagename

    stagename New Member

    help me have a little bit of church at home or on the car. also sermon tapes from my church.
  11. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for giving me more info. on Trinity Cathedral. I spoke to my husband and he thought it sounded great.

    This Sunday (May 2) I will not be able to attend b/c my husband and I are driving up to Flint, MI to see Dr. Conley. He wrote the book "America Exhausted". I'm hoping that he can get me on a more comprehensive treatment plan b/c my health has been rapidly deteriorating. He uses both conventional and alternative approaches to treatment.

    I will plan to attend the meeting on the 3rd Sunday of May. I'm really excited about the group.

    I really liked the idea of..."Using the word HEAL:
    (H)olistically journeying toward greater health,
    (E)xploring the meaning of health challenges within the context of the Christian life,
    (A)ctively seeking acceptance and love of ourselves and
    (L)iving fully in gratitude.

    My husband works 3rd shift on Sunday evening then 1st shift Mon morning so I don't know if we'll be able to make 4 pm services. We'll have to try for the 11:30am service (I think that was the time that you had written...I printed it out).

    The Thursday 12:10pm eucharist with a healing service sounds really great too. The eucharist is a powerful means of receiving healing.

    Thank you so much for all the time you took to give me info. It will be really nice to meet you.
  12. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi stagename,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I also listen to worship and praise CD's. They really help me to focus on eternal things rather than my current situation and problems.

    I need to try to listen to sermon tapes more often. That's a great suggestion. I have some around the house, I will pull them out.

    Have a great day!!!
  13. Scoobsmom

    Scoobsmom New Member

    I have not been on the board for a couple days...just wanted to say..I see you recieved many wonderful suggestions...and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers..continually.

    Gentle hugs...
  14. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Thank you Pookie & scoobsmom,
    Last night was prayer night and I went to bed around 9pm (prayer was supposed to be 11pm here in Ohio).

    I prayed early but felt such camaraderie with all those who would be praying last night. I felt such a sweet presence of the Lord and such strength for others and myself as I prayed. I hope you are both having a great day:)
  15. Kourysgranny

    Kourysgranny New Member

    My heart breaks when reading some of these posts! I attend a rather large church and was also very active until this illness knocked me down. I always sat down front in every service! I attend more now than I have been able to in the last couple of years but as I see it, this is between God and myself! If other members have an issue with me, or my "service" that is THEIR issue with God. I have to answer only for myself! I am blessed with a wonderful sunday school class that made sure I stayed in touch. Phone calls, cards, e-mails, always checking up.

    I now sit in the back, I never know when I may need to get up and leave! I told my pastor about my illness and he's very understanding. I'll keep you all in my prayers.
  16. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    To Kourysgranny: Thank you for you response & prayers. I do believe that God has each of us in the palm of his hand. I hope that going through these types of issues with churches that each of us will be able to make a difference in the future. Maybe we can bring this issues to light and help churches to be more understanding and less judgmental of people with "invisible illnesses" that aren't easily recognizable.

    To Pookie: I'm sorry your computer is down. I'm also sorry you're had such bad muscle spasms and pain. I put the group meeting on my calendar for the 3rd Sunday of May. So God-willing, I'll see you there. I'll tell you more about the doctor in person...I really liked him and I believe he can help some.

    It's also done me a lot of good to be on this spiritual board.

    prayers and hugs....kathy
  17. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I really struggle with getting up the energy to go. Its hard. I am a Sunday school teacher but I share the class with another lady so I only do half the year. We take turns every other month. If I didn`t have to go for this I know I wouldn`t be going much.

    Our church is small so they really need the teachers. I do find that there is more demands on your time in a smaller church. In a bigger church, their is more people to do things so you might be better off in a bigger church.

    If you can`t go you could watch a service on tv, read the bible or a good spiritual book, pray or meditate. God knows how sick we are and I really believe he understands that we can`t always make it to church. He knows what`s in our heart.

    Sending prayers up that he gives you his comfort and peace.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/05/2004]
  18. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi Sandy,
    You are so kind:) I have to remember that God knows how sick we are and that he truly does understand. I need to stop worrying about the opinions of others. I guess it's just that when others judge us they usually pull their support from us too b/c of that judgement:( I've been learning to look to the Lord for support and know that he will provide all that I need regardless of others.

    I've been working at reading the bible each day. I usually go to crosswalk-bible-in-a-year and try to read scriptures each day. I also try to pray and meditate. This really keeps me hopeful for a good outcome:)

    Thanks for the prayers for his comfort and peace...I will pray the same for you as well!!! We all need comfort and peace...that's for sure:)


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