The Truth Is


The goal is to use the blog for the positive as well as the negative. Lately things have been really good, and it seems the need to blog has waned somewhat. I come this morning with a need to write.

The morning started out fine. I awoke on time, showered, and readied myself for church feeling a bit nervous but trying. My ride to church decided to go to a different church this morning. The people there are very nice. There are a lot of people there my age. That is good in that it presents an opportunity for conversation. The problem is that I don’t know how to approach these people, and many of them find it easier to ignore me than to deal with the awkwardness that is my existence. They also will have communion this morning. I would rather not partake at this moment. Here, if you don’t partake in communion, it is assumed that great sin must be in your life. They really look down on it. So that would have also been bad. The church is also very cramped. As of late, with the social anxiety being so strong, I have been sitting in the back of the church on the outside of the pew to ensure a fast get away if an anxiety attack comes on. That is not possible at that church.

The second choice would have been to have the driver drop me off at my church. This would have put me walking home. It is about a mile and physically doable. Right now though, walking outside to the back yard takes work and determination. Today is also market day in the village. This means everyone is out and about. We live in the center of the village, which is where the market is.

So you know what I did? I got ready, packed my purse, and freaked out. We are talking room spinning, sweat rolling, tears escaping kind of freaking out. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t do either one of those scary options. It wouldn’t be so bad for me to miss a service except the fact that I have missed a service almost every week for the last four or five weeks. I can’t handle it. Church is the most difficult place for me because there are so many expectations. People expect certain words and looks. They expect me to sit in a certain place. They want me to say hello to everybody and try to talk to people. They don’t understand that it takes everything in me to just sit in the service and not go nuts.

This is not who I wanted to be. We ask children all the time what they want to be when they grow up. Afraid, nervous, and struggling are never answers. You know people, I am here as a missionary. I do missions work. How bad is it that I cannot even make myself go to church. The word hypocrite quickly comes to mind. This post is not a request for someone to tell that I am not a hypocrite or that my actions are understandable. In other words, it is not a cry for attention. I don’t know what it is. Sometimes there is just a loss.

Somehow, I want to imagine that even though He may not be pleased with my actions, maybe God understands. Maybe He looks at me and my actions and just loves me. That doesn’t justify my works, but perhaps like a loving Father, He loves me in spite of my faults. Parents love their children when mistakes or wrong decisions are made. I am not perfect, but He isn’t asking for perfection. Maybe all is not lost.

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8 thoughts on “The Truth Is

  1. I have to believe that God loves you in spite of your faults – or maybe even more accurately, *because* of your faults.

    I understand that you feel like a hypocrite in being unable to go to church. But I think that view may be oversimplifying too much. Are you choosing not to go to church because you’re out late partying or because you think church is ridiculous? No. In my mind, those things would be in direct conflict with your work there as a missionary. You’re not dismissing the values that you believe in, and the values that you’re there to support. You’re struggling with very real problems of depression and anxiety. Those can be isolating even in the best of circumstances – I can’t even imagine being in a foreign country without anyone who really knows me.

    Also, you’re right that kids don’t say that they want to grow up to be afraid, nervous, etc. But kids have no idea what they’re answering – how many of them say they want to be a professional athlete? πŸ™‚ I don’t mean that like I’m making fun of your point – I’m not at all. Some kids might also say that they want to be brave and fight bad guys. And that’s exactly what you’re doing – each and every day that you fight through your anxiety, or write about your experiences, or reach out to your sister. So try to remember that. xx

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    • This is beautifully stated and thought out so well, and I cannot thank you enough for your kindness. Motives certainly change things. Not attending church is not an act of rebellion. My mind seems to think it is a survival tactic. Thank you for pointing out that there may be some validity to the existing thoughts and feelings.

      I literally laughed at myself and my example after you pointed out the lack of experience and knowledge behind the answers of children. Perhaps a different example would have been better. πŸ™‚ Your kindness in your response to the examples is much appreciated. Thanks for your encouragement. Sometimes a piece grabs the attention of the reader in such a way that the words demand to be read repeatedly and then believed. Your words did this. Your last statement offered some hope and the realization that success is happening all around us. Thank you again. May you be blessed for all your kindness!

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  2. God loves you just the way you are. Imposing expectations on people to perform a certain way comes from people, not God. I know many great Christians that do not attend “church” because of human-imposed rules are not comfortable for them.

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