Am I Backslidden?

I have just gotten over what I consider a major illness.  It was very difficult and draining.  And it has left a scar on me in more ways than one.  During the illness, I couldn’t go to church.  So for about a month, I didn’t go.  But I continued to pray and commune with my Lord.  I asked Him for guidance and strength.  I asked Him to take away the dis-ease I was feeling.  I cried out to Him.  I read my Bible and I watched my favorite TV preachers.  I read my books and blogged and lived my life as well as I could as I was suffering.  Blogging really allowed me to take my mind off of the pain.

God did answer my cries and He healed me of the distress.  I still have the disease but I know how to manage it much better.  The pain I felt was because I had mismanaged it and it got out of control.  I was so sure about the way I was managing it before, only to finally realize that I was absolutely wrong.  But that’s another post.  So now I’m on the road to recovery.  I’m feeling strong and clear minded now.  And that’s part of my new issue.

It’s been two months since I’ve been to church–about seven weeks.  I was able to go back after the fourth week.  Now I have no “sickness” excuse.  But I’m caught between wanting to go, and not wanting to see anyone.  No one has done me wrong at my church.  I was not in any kind of mix-up that would cause me to not want to go.  My church is not dead, the Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of the people.  My pastor is not some kind of perfect pimp-type, he readily admits his weaknesses and proclaims God’s power, as he fights to inspire us to live the life Jesus wants–he teaches us to help to poor, visit the prisoner and to love.

The reason is not any of those standard reasons.  But it’s me.  I have realized that I was going to church to fulfill some insignificance that I have felt for many years.  I thought in the back of my subconscious that if I go to church, I would become “blessed and highly favored of the Lord”!  How did I define this?  I would learn so much about the Bible and then be able to use that to impact lives!  I would be like a very small version (I would be satisfied with very small) of Joyce Meyer, or Paula White or a female TD Jakes.  I would be very influential and very well loved for my influence.  Of course, I’d never mislead.  I had this desire burning in me very deep and buried in my heart.  I felt good because I have never desired to be rich, or materialistic.  I wasn’t like THAT!

Sunday after Sunday, I’d sit among the people and burn for some kind of connection.  But I have recently realized that I wasn’t willing to BE that kind of connection.  I wasn’t that much willing to dig into the difficulties of ministry.  I wasn’t thinking about the deep sacrifices of doing what I didn’t want to do.  I truly, truly hate doing stuff that I don’t want to do.  I don’t mean cleaning and washing dishes but for instance, having to speak in front of people, or teach children.  (Yes I know having a fear of speaking in front of people is crazy when I desire to be influential).  I don’t feel that teaching or even dealing with children is my calling at all.  So what I want is very specific.  Or what I think I want.

Sunday after Sunday, I’d watch people who have been members of my church for many years interact with each other, talk about their ministries, help each other, set up different ways to collect money for this person in need or that person in need, and just be “family” together in Christ.  As a new member of the church,  (this past January was the start of my fourth year there) I just do not have this type of history and I felt some kind of way about it.  Like I was missing out.  I felt envious.

So I realize that my whole relationship to the church is so wrong.  I guess I wanted something from the church without having the full desire to sacrifice something to the church.  I could blame this mentality on the fact that my way back to the Lord was through TV ministries.  Some of them have a way of fueling carnal desires in a person.  But that wouldn’t be quite fair because those desires were there in me before I watched the TV ministries. But for right now, I feel like I just don’t want to go to church.  I have some stuff to deal with.  I feel that I want to be alone with Jesus right now.  Is that wrong?

13 Comments Add yours

  1. First off: I'm so sorry that you've been sick, my Sista. You've handled your situation with much grace, without complaining, stressing or seeking sympathy in a public way, and I know, when an illness takes hold of us, all we really want is some understanding, some communion, and maybe some prayers on our behalf. Consider the latter done. I hope you will continue to recover and be back to yourself very soon.As for the church thing: I DO feel you… because you've chosen to deal in a way that feels right for YOU and your soul. I could ramble on and on about this particular subject, but to keep it short, I'll leave you with the very wise words of Billy Joel, who once sang:"And I believe there is a time for meditation in cathedrals of our own."That lyric speaks to the need for a personal relationship with The Creator… one that has absolutely nothing to do with any building, a congregation, a pastor, the right clothes, or any organized religion.DO You!HEEEEEEEAL!Snatch JOY!One Love.Lin

  2. Anna Renee says:

    Thanks so much, Lin! I love that! I'm snatching that quote and planting it in my heart right now!Thank you for your prayers.Blessings to you and yours!

  3. I sure hope you get better soon and although I'm probably not the one who should be giving advice…I feel that church is in your heart… you know God.. and God knows your heart…. you aren't backsliding at all… I think you're at a time of revelation and transformation… the beginning of a process… Take some time and think about things and I'm sure you'll return to your church… but when you do it'll be for all the right reasons:)

  4. Anna Renee says:

    Thanks Determination, and welcome! I'm going to take your advice and not feel guilty about things.

  5. "I feel that I want to be alone with Jesus right now."No way would I give you advice, but that sentence there moves me emotionally in ways that I can't quite put words to. I understand it and I feel it.Hope you continue to a speedy recovery. You're in my prayers too.

  6. Anna Renee says:

    @Kit 😀

  7. Not only do what they like, but do the right thing.Invitation: a new blog for women and girls!Princesas de Deus (Princess of God)Click in the flag of the EUA/UE. Read in your language. Join!

  8. You are in the best place possible right now, you are right where He wants and needs you to be! There is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone with Jesus right now.I am very much where you are right now and for me it is a dying process. I just finished a post on dying to live.Can I share this with you: only the true disciples get to that place. During His time on earth wherever Jesus went He drew a crowd but only a few were willing to drop everything to come close, to be alone in His presence. So I say to you press in Sis, press in!The church is going to be there but right now it sounds like He is bidding you to come higher.

  9. Anna Renee says:

    @WWW–and I definitely want to go closer and higher! Bless you sister!

  10. Hebrews 10:25.My opinion, is just that, my opinion. Church has specific times for meeting, and you can be alone with Jesus whenever you want. It is good to be in the House of the Lord.I understand not wanting to go, because I often feel like that, more often that I want to admit.I think you have some wrestling to do, and for that, you need to feed your spirit (and weaken the flesh) with God's Word, with prayer, with koinonia (pardon my bad Greek), with fellowship. And your going will be good for you and good for the brethren.I would have rather told you to stay home and nurture your spirit in private, but that is not what I read in Scripture. Finally, dear one of the Lord,Psalm 133 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! In Spanish, it says "Behold how good and DELICIOUS…"The Lord often went apart to pray, but He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. If you are able to go, then go. If you are unable to go, then stay. Now be a good girl.

  11. Anna Renee says:

    Thank You River! I will try to be very good!

  12. Nicole says:

    I understand where you are coming from. I have been there myself. Trust God and stay close to Him and He will lead you! God bless you. I will be praying for you and I am glad that you are feeling better!

  13. Anna Renee says:

    Thanks so much sister Nicole!

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