September 16, 2012
Good Morning! I was going to just jump right into this blog without explanation of my absence from blogging for two months, but I feel I do at least owe you (me, the reader) an explanation... here goes: I have been going through some changes, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually & financially and I just have not been bloggin' about them for one reason because I don't think I "have" any readers, and for another reason it has been a challenge just to get thru the day. I have a lot on my mind, and putting it all down in a blog may be a bit overwhelming for a reader... and besides who cares anyway?
Well, I decided that I started this blog as my own personal online journal, and journaling is good for my soul. With that said, my soul has been getting beaten up lately and overwhelmed by my thoughts. I decided to even the odds in all fairness to my soul and shed some light on my very dark thoughts. These thoughts are not dark in that I would like to hurt anyone, just dark and foreign to me... I don't understand them, so I thought I would blog about them. When I journal (or blog) it helps me. It is like vomiting out the poison after drinking too much... I feel like I am having a spiritual hangover... BLAH~ZAY! So in an effort toward healing I will blog all about it!
Today I would like to share with you some changes that I am beginning to be aware of, things that have occured within me over time... changes that I am not quite sure if I understand or even if I like (or dislike for that matter!). I am a little confused about my own feelings of complacency toward church, and corporate worship.
You see, today is Sunday, and I am feeling spiritually Bi-polar! On the one end I am so grateful that I no longer feel the need to keep up with the crowd and head to church on Sunday morning, and on the other end, I am certainly feeling left behind.
I have a lot of friends who attend church, and many who do not! I know a lot of people who take Sunday morning to go fishing or hunting or to the mall...whatever... they just don't do church.
My personal experiences on past Sunday mornings have been spent trying to beat the clock, and playing the role of Drill Sargent, and this has finally taken its toll on my spirit, and it has left me feeling less than "in the mood" for church. Isn't it interesting how contaagious a bad attitude is??? Historically, my kids and I would most often show up at church feeling frazzled and frustrated (yeah, I admit it was usually because of me & my bad attitude!). I was always disappointed in my self for my unrestrained outbursts of anger all the way to church toward my non-compliant children and my left behind husband, who is to this day shamelessly & regularly not attending church! I don't believe that shame is from GOD so I am actually happy for my husband that he does not feel bad for not attending church... I mean I don't want him to be ashamed, I just want him to show up, pay attention to the sermon, participate in worship & grow spiritually! I will let you in on another conclusion that I have recently come to... even though I am married to a wonderful man, I have believed for many years that I was spiritually single, and I did't like it one bit! Now? Now I really don't judge my husband's actions (or lack thereof) and I have come to the conslusion that on Sunday mornings, if I can't beat him, I'll join him. I don't want to jump through hoops and try anymore (physically). Spiritually is totally different story though. I pray, I read my BIBLE and I believe that GOD has us in the palm of HIS hand... wherever we may be.
Like I already mentioned, I am married to a wonderful man who does not attend church, never really regularly has and has no desire at this point to change. I have been praying, pleading and expecting this to change for 20 years, but so far I've got a husband who claims he is "saved" and yet he has no desire to go to church. In all of these years I have had my own opinion about his salvation, and yes, I have already asked GOD to forgive me for judging him! I have formed my opinion of my husband's salvation experience simply because he does not attend church, or read his Bible or seem to want to grow at all spiritually. I realize now that it is not my job to manipulate or coerce or even try to change him... that's GOD's job. My job is simply to be an example of GOD's LOVE... PATIENTLY BE AN EXAMPLE OF GOD'S LOVE...which ironicly I find difficult at times as it causes me to constantly run to GOD to ask HIM to change me, to forgive me when I get frustrated with my husband or kids, and to keep ME in line and on the right spiritual path leading me to a right relationship between GOD and me!!! I love my husband and would like to see him as the spiritual leader of this home, but that is between him and GOD... and right now I am not really sure where I fit in to that relationship (other than to pray and talk to GOD openly and honestly and quietly so as not to ignite a conflict between my husband and I). I realize that when I take it to GOD in prayer, then HE "talks" to my husband, and I don't need to fuss or worry... I can simply trust GOD that He's got this... and I do TRUST GOD! (Hence my little picture on the side bar of my blog... "KEEP CALM & TRUST GOD") It is the "KEEP CALM" part that I find trying, not the "TRUST GOD" part, since GOD has never let me down!
In the past on Sunday mornings I would arrive at church extremely rushed and angry, only to have to switch gears immediately so that I could even muster up the strength to WORSHIP my Creator... Don't get me wrong... I love to worship GOD, I love JESUS and I am truly and sincerely a worshipper. I am grateful for HIS Mercy, HIS Love and HIS incredible compassion for me. But lately I have been having a hard time with the whole corporate worship thing. I have a wonderful pastor and worship team at the church I attend so that is not the problem... and sometimes I will "attend" the church online... since it goes live online. There are times when my body aches, and I don't feel like getting dressed and being around people and that is why I choose to stay home.
I'll be honest, here too...there are some people in particular that I just don't like to be around at church, (hey, we are not going to get along with all the people all the time, right?) ... and I have truely tried to get along with some people, but I confess I do recognize that some people are ummmm... difficult.
One lady I ran into recently in the parking lot of Wal-Mart came up to me and said, "Oh, I was waiting to see if you were going to speak to me--- YOU STUCK UP THANG!" (really, her words exactly!!!) hmm, now I am not stuck up, I honestly did not see her, because I had a lot on my mind and I don't see distance without my glasses. (I am near sighted!) It is just people like her that make me want to crawl back into the bed and give up on going out into public and getting accused of being "a stuck up thang!" So... add another prayer request of "Forgive me, GOD & help me not hate people like her" to my list of prayers along with "help me LORD to love the unlovable" ~~~ Hmm, maybe I should just stop praying that little prayer, 'cause GOD's going to respond to that prayer by giving me opportunities to mix with the unlovable and get my feelings hurt, right?!
I have had some pain in my body and sickness off and on for the past few months and staying home in bed on Sunday morning (TO REST MY EXTREMELY BATTLE WEARY BODY ON THE DAY OF REST) has been winning out over the whole fighting with my family, putting on a fake smile and pretending that whole "I'm O'kay/ You're O'kay" act. For the record, I'm not really O'kay, and I am pretty sure you're not either, so why fake it? Why pretend? Maybe I just need a break, huh?
Not lookin' for any sympathy here or any fixes... This is just me being raw and open... and hoping not to offend anyone, but I am finally willing to risk offense for the sake of honesty...REALLY, I am! I know that my church family is good about admitting that they don't have it all together. They are a really down to earth group of people, we share and we have had some ladies Bible studies that been real eye openers. I have some really good relationships with some of the women at my church.
For the record, something is changing and it is me!!! ME! I feel like a fake, like a poser, like a fraud and that is becoming extrememly hard for me to ignore while I am up there on the front row, praising GOD like nobody's business and being broken over and over again. I am not an extremely needy person. In fact I prefer to spend time alone with GOD, so I totally understand my husband's lack of interest in church as a whole. But protecting that time alone with GOD (my personal BIBLE study and prayer time) takes all the energy I've got lately.
Every Sunday morning I felt it was my duty as the spiritual leader of my home to wake up the resistant (my kids who did not "feel" like going to church, the same ones who would resent me all week for making them go with me). I confess, most Sunday mornings my bad attitude and frustrations were very hard to mask. I would drive my family to church feeling anxious trying to get to church on time... their reluctance in going to church would more often than not show up in their slower than molasses movements in getting ready and getting out the door. My husband was no help, since he himself was still asleep! As the years went by his lack of concern for the spiritual welfare of our family gave the kids ammunition to use against me in the fight I now understand to be spiritual warfare, and honestly I have battle fatigue. I have spent the past 20 years of my life on the front lines of this spiritual warfare and I am shell shocked and battle weary... Instead of screaming and shouting out orders like the drill sargent, now I have decided to become the silent partner in this relationship between GOD, my family and I. I have become a prayer warrior Princess!
If you could see her, my spiritual self is covered with war paint! My spiritual muscles are strong, and I have a spiritual six pack (instead of a muffin top with a flabby belly!) My spiritual self sparkles and shines and she is a joy to be around!
I imagine my spiritual WARRIOR PRINCESS self speaking to GOD standing before HIM (spiritually) in front of HIS throne and I know HE hears me. I know that I don't have to shout, beg or plead... I simply speak and because of my relationship with JESUS CHRIST (HE is my Saviour) my voice is heard. I am met with compassion, for my frustrations... Instead of manipulation and trying to convince GOD to help me, HE shows me MERCY and GRACE and LOVE! HE loves my husband and our children more than I do, I know this to be a fact... because HE loves me so much more than my own parents love me, and I have been blessed with the most loving parents on the planet!!!
I am not jaded, not feeling like I want to give up... I am just "going through" a season right now that I don't really understand. It is really, really weird for me to not "want" to go to church on Sunday morning... but I admit... I don't want to go to church. I don't want to feel like I am missing out, either, but that is not what is going to get me back in the doors. I want to be on fire... I want to want to go. I will be back I am sure, I know that verse that says not to forsake the gathering of the saints, and I do still gather with the saints... just not on Sunday mornings. I pray that GOD would ignite a fire within my soul. A burning desire to be HIS witness, HIS minister of TRUTH, HIS minister of LOVE and COMPASSION and HEALING... HIS minister of JOY & PEACE & PATIENCE & KINDNESS & GOODNESS & GENTLENESS & FAITHFULNESS & I thank GOD for SELF CONTROL.