Friday, May 10, 2019

4 reasons I hate going to church {fmf}

I feel like I never get anything out of it, or put anything into it.
Plus it throws off my kids sleep so we all get extra tired and grumpy on Sundays.
The practical side of taking 2 kids to church is hard.

But while all this is going on- the getting there, and finally being there, but not involved in the main meeting, there is a fourth reason I hate going to church. I'm also dealing with a broken brain. Whenever my husband has to miss church due to his chronic illnesss, my brain tricks me into re-living the feeling I had when he was first sick. It was a long time ago but it was traumatic.

So with all this as the norm, it makes it really hard to get there each Sunday. Why do we do this? What is the point of the practice of going to church if  I can't hear a Bible talk or pray with people? If I'm never going to be able to sign myself up on any rosters? (Our church fellowship is run by others like me, we don't have a pastor.)

With feelings of exhaustion and without answers, but still feeling like I need to be at church (am I just being graceless, legalistic?), Sunday just feels like an insurmountable mountain.

I was particularly overwhelmed this Sunday just gone. It was potluck week. Eating dinner together is such a great practice for a group of Christians. But getting food for myself and 2 little people after playing in the hot sun for two hours? Not so great. The table of food looked inviting, but the people chaos was too much, I stepped out of the line with my 3 plates and 2 kids.

Why hadn't I gone home earlier as planned? I knew this was going to be too hard. The tears that had been trying to escape for the last couple of hours were almost having success.

But then two kind people grabbed a plate each and started getting food for the kids.

Suddenly things felt much easier, and I had an answer to my question. Why do I go to church when I end up exhausted with nothing to show for it?

Community. I'm part of the church.

Maybe for now all I need to be doing is being there.

Turn up and hand the plate over.

(End of 5 minutes.)

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: PRACTICE

I'm sharing my story with you for the same reason as Fruitful Today

"My prayer is that your church relationships will be strengthened through this series (of interviews), whether you’re living with an invisible illness, or seeking to better support those in your church family who live with ongoing health conditions." 

"I hope you enjoy these glimpses inside the minds of your chronically ill brothers and sisters in Christ!" 

While brutal at the time, the issues with kids feels a bit easier than the chronic illness one for me. Many other people have done it, or a doing it. Plus its a temporary situation. In 5 years time the kids will be 5 years older!  
For more on going to church with kids The Gospel Coalition has this : 5 reasons to keep going to church with baby brain.

Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash


Stacey Nalean-Carlson said...

Thank you so much for this honest reflection! The gift of life in community is difficult to see and appreciate sometimes. You've done such a beautiful job portraying it here. Hand the plate over indeed!

Susan said...

I am so glad someone stepped up and helped. THAT IS CHURCH. Not the building, the message, the classes and the sign-up sheets. The CH--CH U R.

Katherine said...

Thanks Stacey and Susan, I've been struggling with this for years, only just finding words for it now.

Rebekah Beene said...


Lisa Wenninger said...

Was the single mom at church with four kids. I know the struggle and fatigue. I attended where they made it easy to be present and international in joining. If I had to do this today, I'm not sure I could. The layout of the way services are done these days doesn't leave much for depth. Hang in there!!

Katherine said...

Thanks for your comment Lisa. It would be interesting to know more about the layout changes you mention.

Anita Ojeda said...

I've gone through periods of hating church, too. I need to practice enjoying it, instead. I can understand the negative feelings attached to a spouse's illness all wrapped up in church attendance. Blessings to you as you work through your feelings and emotions!

Katherine said...

Thanks for your comment Anita, I'm excited to have identified that its the post trauma weirdness contributing to my Sunday struggles. It took quite a few years before I realised.