I have been disillusioned with many things, people, the church, life, etc. One of which is hearing the voice of God as I was taught to do in my religious circles. What I have learned is that in what we call the body of Christ or the church, people have many diverse beliefs. The core belief we share is that we need a Savior, Jesus to save us from our sins. I agree and concur.
My other beliefs about things within the church have changed. I really appreciate authors like Elizabeth Esther who shared her story of growing up in a fundamentalist cult and the fall out and personal growth from that. Her story showed me that I was confused or abused in similar ways though perhaps not as extreme. See “Girl at the end of the World” by Elizabeth Esther. And her new book that I have on pre-order “Spiritual Sobriety…”
I keep searching for the right sentence to encapsulate all the pain I have felt as a person and as a believer within the body of Christ. Searching for where the fault lies and who is to blame. And not wanting to blame because then that means I am a victim and stuck. I am a recovering codependent.
The truth is I am frustrated with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ as they haven’t said the most helpful things to me. And I didn’t feel like I had the right to make my own choices. So many crazy-making scenarios with my church experience so many negative experiences. Is it any wonder why I am gun-shy about joining a fellowship?
I am not trying to be hurtful to anyone, but I can only hold in the pain for so long. I need to share it. To express it…althought I am not sure how. I was groom to be so afraid to make a mistake…so afraid to sin. And at times God seems far away. Which some will point to with accusing fingers as evidence of my backsliding.
I have often felt more love outside of the church.
It is also very difficult when you don’t feel supported within your marriage. When spouses have differing beliefs also. This makes me feel more alienated and alone. And not allowed to voice my concerns or opinions. But I guess faith is a personal thing. I thought it would be different.
I use to go to church waiting for God to “speak” to me to tell me what to do with my life. It has been very frustrating. My life has been very passive. I thought I had to be passive for many reasons. But it’s more frustrating to discover I always had the power to take control of my life and make decisions. Only to find I wasted much of my life.
You are here. I am here. I am learning the pitfalls of listening to people who claim to speak for God. You see I was one of those people. Now, I don’t think that is a good idea…to claim to speak for God. I actually went to church for prayer to see if I could participate in some group. I left the prayer dumbfounded as I was told that I shouldn’t do what I wanted to do. It wasn’t sinful. Maybe it was my codependency. But it really angers me that people would be so controlling and manipulative to a person seeking prayer. But I wonder if it was partly my fault for being so codependent.
It seemed like I got disapproval from other when I was on the verge of taking “self-initiative”. Almost as if they wanted me to be dependent on them and continuously seek them for answers.
I am not interested in doing that anymore. Though I don’t claim that God speaks to me that much I am seeking Him for myself. And trying to take my own initiative and decide what to do for myself.
It’s hard to be a christian and yet speak out about the things that other christians do that are annoying. It’s a fine line. Maybe it’s something that shouldn’t be done? It’s just that I feel absolutely no sense of community within the churches I have attended. But then one doesn’t want to belong so badly that they give-up themselves to the group. Fear of being sucked in and controlled.
Then I go back to the basic definition of what it means to be a christian. Isn’t it following Christ? Do I need to belong to a group in order to follow Christ? I don’t think so. I digress.
I am often looking for validation that I am okay. Am I? Am I okay? I think I need to validate myself. Or at least that is what I have learned to do. This is the fall out for how I was raised. It seems as if you can’t blame anyone or else you are a victim. But doesn’t anyone bear responsibility for teaching things to children that just aren’t true?
Doesn’t anyone bear responsibility within the church for people getting the wrong impression of God? That being that He seems to want us to be perfect or else. That He’s waiting to pounce or punish. That we must cross all our t’s and dot all our i’s. That we must hold our breath and try very hard to be holy.
One of the cliches that I can’t stand is: God doesn’t want you to be happy; He wants you to be holy. This like many other christians cliches grate on me. They don’t care how you feel.
I would argue that it is God who makes me holy and not something that I do.
“You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?” Psalms 56:8 NAS