Sunday, January 9, 2011

Should I force it?

I feel like digging my feet into the ground, crossing my arms and screaming.

I don't want to go to church.

It starts in just over 2 hours.

I keep telling myself that I need to go. Once I stop, I won't go back....

But what's the point?

I don't want to see anyone. (I'm such a horrible person these days....)

I DON'T want to worship.

I don't want to put on my happy face and pretend that I'm alright.

I don't want to draw attention to myself as I sob through the entire worship time.

I don't want the awkward conversations.

I don't want to be reminded that everyone else around me is happy...that I'm the negative energy in the room.

I just don't want to go. I don't have a joyful heart- so what's the point?

I know this is just a giant list of "I's." I know that church and worship isn't about me. But welcome to my world lately...this selfish, negative, awful place.

As of right now, I am going to force myself to go...but I may just go in my sweats and sweatshirt. I may just sit in the back and try to avoid all contact. But that may all change. I may not end up going....if I don't go, that will begin a very slippery slope.

What to do?!


Krista Phillips said...

You go. I think the times when I feel REALLY guilty about not going are the times I really need my buttocks in that pew or chair or bench or whatever y'all have.

Now, I say this and I haven't gone to church since July (I go to the hospital chapel sometimes... sit here and read my bible and listen to worhsip songs other times.)

I'm thinking, if God wanted you to stay home and rest and have quiet time with him, he would give you a peace about that.

But it doesn't seem like you have that, so I'm voting that you go to church. God just might surprise you. Feel free to go in sweats. Feel free to have a grumpy face the whole time. Feel free to cry as much as you want. Personally, I think church is the one place you she be able to be yourself. If you have to put on airs or if anyone doesn't understand... find a new church:-)

beth said...

It is a tough call, because you may feel better after going. But, I would stick with your gut and not go if you don't want to. I understand not wanting to talk to anyone. Follow your heart.

Seams Inspired said...

While I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of pain and grief you are experiencing, I can tell you that the times when I haven't had any ounce of desire to go to church and worship are exactly the times I most needed to be there. You are under attack of a spiritual nature. Go in your sweats, but go. There is something God wants you to hear today.

love-n-hugs, my sweet bloggy friend

praying for you

TheLotionQueen said...

Could you listen online, and talk to someone (pastor, priest) afterward if you struggle with the msg?

baby foot fluff said...

GO, forget about talking, dressing up, smiling and social niceties. Sit in the back and slip out the minute it's over if you can't bear to see anyone. I think you have a conflict in your heart for a reason and you NEED to go. Try not to worry that you are bringing other people down. It's God's house, not theirs and he will not mind. He will lift you up. ((hugs)) tara

Anonymous said...

Do what works for grandmother avidly went to church every Sunday until my grandfather died. She would get up and get ready to go and grab her key's and coat and then decide she didnt want to go. This went on for 6+ months (even still does this in the winter). You'll do what's right for you:)

Lisa said...

I second 958 anon "Do what works for you".
I've never believed that I needed to be in a specific place at a specific time on a specific day to have a middleman help me talk to or have a relationship with God.

Carrie Ann said...

Personally I don't think that you have to put your butt in a pew to worship. If worshiping in a church is hard for you right now then don't. Go for a walk, or just sit outside, or take a drive, or do anything spend some time by yourself worshiping just you and God. One day you'll probably find yourself back in church, but if you force it you might resent it.

Deanna said...

You can worship at home, or if your church has a live stream feed, you could watch that. However, I think it would be good for you if you went. So often, the enemy tries to separate us from our fellow believers when we need each other the most. Praying for you!

Mommafo said...

Ugh. I wish I could go with you. I haven't been in about 2 months.

Danielle said...

I don't think you should go. Yes, you can and will go back if you miss one week. Many blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

I didn't go to church for two years after my sister died. I wasn't mad at God, I didn't blame God, I just didn't know how to really worship. Life was different. I even stopped praying for a LONG time because I didn't know what to pray for, then I was afraid that because I didn't pray for a long time that God wouldn't listen to my prayers when I started up again. Eventually, I made my way back. When I was ready. When I was comfortable. And I found that God was really with me the whole time, even when I didn't respond. He's with you, Jill. Whether you're in church or not. He's with you. He will never abandon you. If you can't do church, I say don't. It will be there when you're ready. <3

~Amy (Amy H-g)

Peach said...

"I don't want to put on my happy face and pretend that I'm alright."

Then don't. Church is about the companionship between believers and God. God knows your pain and doesn't expect you to act as though it doesn't exist.

"I don't want to draw attention to myself as I sob through the entire worship time."

I used to be really self conscious about bawling during worship, even fully committing myself to worship because I didn't want people to think I was weird. Until I realized, once again, church isn't about how other people see me loving God, it's just about me loving Him.

"I don't want the awkward conversations."

Don't have them. Excuse yourself and go somewhere quiet and secluded, or just leave.

"I don't want to be reminded that everyone else around me is happy...that I'm the negative energy in the room."

You will never be the only negative energy in the room. There is always going to be at least one other person who has the same feelings about going to church as you are right now. There will be someone in the church who is angry because their spouse upset them, who is battling addiction, etc and feels just as much the outcast and thinks they stick out like a sore thumb as you think you do.

If you go to church, enjoy God, heal with God, grow in God. Ignore everyone else around you. If you don't go make sure you spend the time loving and praising Him in your own way, because ditching to do whatever is a slippery slope into not going to church ever.

Prayers and Hugs,
Peach and Drummer

Mandie Hamrick said...

"Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed but alive in Your hands
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by Your love
In the beauty of Your Majesty"

-Majesty by Hillsong United

God knows your heart, He knows your hurts, your pains, your sorrows. He's not there to push you into something you're not willing do to. Take your time, as He understands you more then anyone else does.

kay said...

God knows your heart and will not give oyu more than you can handle at the service this morning but stay home or go but find some quiet time with the Lord!
Luke 12:8 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels"

Lisa said...

The more we don't WANT to go, the more we NEED to go! I have to tell myself that all the time.

Anonymous said...

Worshipping is private and no one says you have to do it in a church full of people. The Lord knows you and your heart and your needs. Don't let societal rules dictate your life or your passion for the Lord during this trying time.

Annie said...

Jill, the list you made are the reasons you need to go.
I hope you did, but if you took a week off, then don't do it in vain. Spend the next 7 days preparing for worship. Get the kids clothes, shoes, etc out, diaper bags ready, and get a good nights sleep next Sat. No excuses.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss. My best friend lost her son this June (he was 2). Their family is not religious. Many people have talked to me about them (asking how they're doing, trying to help, etc) and one family in particular came to mind as I read this. They are close to God, so not much help to my friends but wonderful people to talk to.

What they tried to explain to me is that the suffering they go through (they lost their newborn son) has brought them closer to God and Jesus. The mother now knows what Mary went through watching her son die. The mother also told me that she did not want to go to church but kept going because she knew that once she stopped she would never go back.

None of us can tell you what to do, or what is right for you. Grief is so individual as is your faith.

Keep hanging in there.


Beth W. said...

"The world says to folow your heart, but if you are not leading it, then someone or something else is. The Bible says that 'the heart is more deceitful than all else'(Jeremiah 17:9), and it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment."

This quote is from The Love Dare, a Year of Daily Reminders to Lead Your Heart. Sometimes we do things that we don't want to because we know it is the right thing to do. As a friend of mine told me once, growing our relationship with God can be similar to exercising. It's hard work and we know we should do it, yet we don't always want to. In the end, if we follow through, perservere, we will be stronger and healthier. God knows where you are at. He also knows that removing yourself from fellowship with other believers is not healthy. Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes 4: 9- 12. So whether you go to church or have a group of Christians to meet with regularly, do not give up fellowship with other believers. It is when you isolate yourself from the family of God that you will be putting yourself in a dangerous position. Remember fellowship with believers does not have to look like church. Just make sure the people you surround yourself with are built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Jill, I love you and have been praying for you non-stop lately. Hang in there. God's not finished with you yet.

Heather said...

((HUGS Jill)) I'm sorry this war is happening inside of your heart. I am thinking about you today.

Jaymie said...

God will meet you where you are. I hope you continue going to church, and fighting through the spiritual warfare, but regardless, God is not going to let his precious daughter go. Sometimes, it's not even that I don't want to worship, but that I can't. I clap because I can't sing, and I just cry. Silently, but I'm sure everyone still sees. But God meets me there. It's in the moments when we are completely real with him, that the miraculous happens. The transformation on the mountain, if you will. Stand, sit, or fall before God, and he will meet you there. Church or not, he will meet you there. There is a war going on, a war for you... and God is fighting for you there.

Kari said...

Oh honey. I wish blogs had like many others said exactly what I wanted to say. I hope you went too. XO

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