feel like im lost and wandering

Bec - posted on 03/10/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am not sure why i am writing this. My husband and I worshiped and served in a church for ten years. We were, and have been, really devoted to God and the church over that time. We have led groups in Youth, children, home cells and music ministry. I say this not not to tell you who we have been but to merely point out that it was our life and everything that made us who we are. Our dreams and desires were based on God being the centre of our life, serving in his church and bringing up our 3 boys to be great Godly men.



However - our life has turned upside down and now we are lost. So lost. I am writing in the hope that someone will just hold us up in prayer or encourage or something - i dont even know what i am really looking for. Here is our story...



As mentioned above, my husband and i have been part of our church for 10 years and were very active members. Towards the last couple of years, we began to feel very burnt out, as well as having babies and still trying to manage it all. On top of that, we began to be the topic of gossip and having people talking behind our backs to the point where it pulled our leadership and our credibility down and it became impossible to lead. We stood down and continued to worship there, then our pastors left and new pastors took over, at which time we were asked to help out again. So we did, but unfortunately all the jealousies and nasty behaviour came back even stronger, and threaded its way to the top and we felt our new pastors had pre-judgments of us as they were asking us to be "the bigger people" and apologise for the sake of these people not leaving the church. This was all too much for us, and we contemplated leaving for a long time. As you can imagine, leaving a church you have been actively part of was a difficult decision, in a way it felt like we were driven out. And besides that, we had no where else to go. We decided that leaving was the better option as in the end, all the politics was taking our eyes off God and causing us to not focus on him - thats not what our life and desires were about so we took a hard turn and left. We have now been wandering for over 12 mths - its killing us!!!



We have looked for other churches here but just keep getting the feeling its time to move on - but how and where? We are hungry for a spirit-led and alive church.



If God told us to pick up and go somewhere - we would!! We just dont seem to be hearing anything and now we have no one around us of any influence or leadership - we are so alone and just not hearing anything.



IWe so deperatley want to be part of a church, somewhere we can set oursleves apart to live for God and be around people with a strong faith - also some great friendships. Please, please, if you read this, pray for us as a family - ask for direction and that we are able to hear from Him. Also, we both feel very low and discouraged and are having trouble seeing that our time has been worth it. We are ready to go anywhere, just need a vision and a direction or even a dream for a location.



We are so lost, so desperate, please pray..

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Melinda - posted on 03/12/2009

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I think sometimes our church families can be very hurtful. Especially to young families. They want the youth in their church but they don't want them to have any leadership roles. Sometimes I think some members (not all) feel threatened that we are taking over. With that said I know what you are going through. I had a similar experience myself and I changed churches and you know what something similar happened in this one. You are going to face situations no matter where you go. If you are on fire for God the devil will throw stumbling blocks in your way. We have to learn to leap over these hurdles. IT makes a HUGE difference when you have new Pastors who do not know the situation or how much hurt is being thrown at people. It probably could have been dealt with a little better.



 



Let God lead you now to where He wants you to be. Don't push your talents and gifts on a new church. That's something else I learned. We have to wait for God to allow us to grow in ourselves as well as our church so that when He is ready for us to take leadership roles we are ready as well as the congregation. Sometimes it takes the members of the Church longer than us.  I don't know your situation so I don't know if this has been a problem for you or not. I know that some people get threatened very easily by new talents being brought into a church.



Just let God use you as He sees fit. Pray, fast and throw out a fleece as Gideon did in Judges 6:36-40. You don't have to throw out a literal fleece but ask God to give you a sign. Say Lord if you want me to do a ceratin thing, then let _________ happen. God will answer you. Use scripture references when you pray. Claim His love and guidance for your lives and He will listen.

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I wll be praying that the Holy Spirit open your hearts and minds to where the Lord wants you to be, even if it's back at your home church.  Stand firm in your faith and know that Gods promises are His guarantee!  He promised to never leave nor forsake you.  If God is not in the plan, the plan is bound to fail.  Pray without ceasing and really cry out to the Lord.  He will hear and answer.  God bless.

Bec - posted on 03/12/2009

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Quoting Stephanie:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Hi Bec,
I truly understand your desire to be a part of a fellowship of believers. It is so important to be "fed" by other Christians. After having children it feels especially important. Really quickly though I felt led to tell you that I was reading the story in Matthew 14 to my 4 year old today and it said that "Jesus withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place" and later "he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray." It just struck me that maybe God is using this experience you and your family are going through to bring you down to your knees for whatever reason and to be in relationship with Him and Him alone. "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord. He will bring all in your life to His glory. Cry out to Him if you need. He will hear you and never leave you. I will praying for you.


First of all, thank you to everyone for your encouragement and prayers.



Stephanie, you confirmed in my heart what i have been questioning about using this experience to draw us to Him. I know with a certainty that we were meant to leave our old church - it wasnt just a flash decision to leave, it took 2 years of convincing myself and we had visiting ministry and i asked God to confirm our decision to go - which he did. I also got a picture of an umbilical cord and felt God was telling me it was time to cut the cord, our dependencies on the church that had been our family, our ministry etc. That has made me really question who i am in God all over again, like he is realigning my sight and relationship with Him. Of course it is a scarey time, but i do with a faith, believe that God does have a plan for us (the very same verse on my heart!!).l



I guess I am frustrated and alone at the moment and wish God would make it clearer to us what that future may be.



I really appreciate ur encouragement :)

Lisa - posted on 03/11/2009

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Bec,



       Don't be discouraged.  Trials come our way to make us strong.  Some of the things you've described, my husband and our children went through also.  (The girls are grown now and one has a child of her own.)  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  He will show you and your husband the way.  But, always teach your children the ways of the Lord.  That was always our utmost priority as parents.  One thing that we came to realize years ago and helped our children realize is that there is not a "perfect church" and there is no such thing as a perfect Christian.  (That day will come when we are face to face with our Savior.)  There are great churches out there.  But, they all have their flaws.  Perfection will come when we worship our Savior in heaven.  We try to focus on keeping our eyes on HIM, knowing that there will be imprefections.  We too, still, sometimes struggle as you do with the way churches can be....how political and cruel we can be to eachother.  I will keep you and your family in prayer, that God may show you the church where you should worship and serve whether it be your former church or one that HE has for you.  God Bless you and may He show you the direction to take.

Stephanie - posted on 03/11/2009

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"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11



Hi Bec,

I truly understand your desire to be a part of a fellowship of believers. It is so important to be "fed" by other Christians. After having children it feels especially important. Really quickly though I felt led to tell you that I was reading the story in Matthew 14 to my 4 year old today and it said that "Jesus withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place" and later "he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray." It just struck me that maybe God is using this experience you and your family are going through to bring you down to your knees for whatever reason and to be in relationship with Him and Him alone. "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord. He will bring all in your life to His glory. Cry out to Him if you need. He will hear you and never leave you. I will praying for you.

Elisha - posted on 03/11/2009

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I know a great way to hear from God, it may seem really simple and you may even be doing it already.... just read the bible and pray everyday... and relax!!



Over the years i've walked away from churches, compeltely discourged that there was none, that i'd seen, that actually were teaching the word of God straight, that got on with serving God, and was full of real. PRASIE GOD, that now I've found an awesome church, I'm in Melbourne Australia, they are planting new ones all the time, but the key to the realness, direction and freedom that God has is every leader and every person being discipled, MUST read and pray everyday, the aim is 1hr mininum of both.



As our apostle says "If you haven't read the Word for 2 days, check your heart... are you backsliding," What areas are you comprising in, that causes you to not crave the very Words of God.

That said, if you're not reading and praying everyday, try to make it a habit, your lives will be greatly blessed, you'll get direction!!



And if you are AWESOME... keep it up, relax and start trusting God in this area, it's by faith we recieve everything from God, get confident that he will lead your family to exactly where God wants you all to be.



I hope thats helped. Live for Jesus!

Elisha

Katie - posted on 03/11/2009

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I don't know where you are from, but I am from Wisconsin. My family knows all about church politics and it's sad. Sad that believers get caught up in all of that. But we are all sinners. The Bible tells us to turn the other cheek when other persecute you, and I do understand, that is hard to do. Challenge yourself to pray everyday for 30 days about where God wants you, what he wants you to do, and where he wants you to go. If it's to go back and hold you head up high knowing that the reason you are at church is to praise and worship and strengthen your relationship with God, then go back. Maybe it's where God needs you even if it's not your plan, it may be His. If at the end od the 30 days, you feel God leading elsewhere, then go. I went to a really awesome church about 40 minutes North of Chicago. Not sure what ya'll do or not, but this church is awesome! Amazing! The church is called Crossway Community Church located in Kenosha, WI. Their website is www.crosswayonline.org . The church as a whole is so humble in the Lord. The whole church serves in one way or another. The teens help in nursery, the younger middle school age kids help in the nursery. The pastors are amazing men. The worship is so real and not fake. Everything is Christ-centered always. While my  husband was deployed, I was able to be there while they were in the process of building their very own church building. How they went about it, it's just a building and nothing else. They don't have Sunday School, but they have care groups, which take the place of Sunday School. The head Pastor headed up the church back 9 years ago and it's already up to near 1000. Not like numbers matter, seriously. They just keep growing. I miss that church so much. You can go on their website and listen to the messages if you'd like too. :) We are currently in Korea and there aren't too many options here. So we are making the best of it. I'm glad that we can at least listen to Pastor Bullmore's messages. Like I said, the best word to describe the church is humble. Anyway, if you do pick up and go, it's an awesome church.



Again, I understand church politics. My family was driven out of a baptist church because one of my sisters didn't fit the mold. She had rocks thrown at her from the kids in the school the church held there. It was aweful. And I had to continue to go there until I graduated! She's 8 years older than me. That was fun to build up my own reputation. Anyway. it hurts. It's painful. But always know that God is still with you. I came across a passage that was nothing new to me. Matthew 4:1-11. It's when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. He fasted, he was hungry, tired, weak. Through all of Satan's temptations, he used God's word to defeat him, while still hungry and weak. But then as you read, and be careful, it's easy to skip over, verse 11 says that the devil left him and the angels came and attended to Jesus. How awesome! What an awesome reminder that God is with us and there at the end of our trials to send his angels to care for us. So we can just collapse in the arms of our Lord and Savior while he tells us, Well done, thy good and faithful servant. God is still there with you and for you. He will take care of us. He has gone before you and knows the way. I don't know you at all, but you will be in my prayers. I'm only 25, but I know what it's like to be away from God or feel lost. Take comfort in knowing that God is right there beside you helping you along the way. Be still and listen to what he's trying to tell you or where he's trying to lead you. Be encouraged my friend.   

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Well, its great that you have started something in your own home. I'm sure that helps, but I understand why it doesn't take place of a full blown church. This might be something that you have already tried, but maybe you and your husband (kids too!) could all sit down together and make a list of critiera that you want in a church. Look at your list and deside what things you could live without and what are things that are absolutely necessary. Once you have that list, start calling different pastors and set up an interview with them. That way you know what to look for and ask about. This way you can get up and close and know where he/she stands on matters that are important to you-this is important so you aren't suprised when issues concerning things like abortion, gay marriage, etc. come up. Then when you find several that you think you like, attend their service and see what you think.



I wish you the best of luck.

Shelly - posted on 03/11/2009

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Bec,



  Sounds to me like you need to start fasting and praying.  "Be still and know that I am the Lord your God"    My biggest questin to you is "was it the Lord that told you to leave the church or was it your familys decision?  If it was yours and not the Lords that could be the problem, that could be why your feeling the way your feeling.  The Lords not going to reward us for over stepping his plans because we know best.  Just be very faithful to listen for that oh so small voice the reason you think your not hearing it is b/c he's telling you something you don't want to hear.   Be faithful and listen to what he is trying to teach you.... I will keep you and your family in my prayers 

Bec - posted on 03/11/2009

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Quoting Max:



Have you thought about starting a ministry in your own home? This might be a good idea because it would be a small group of people that you could feel close to, plus you might be able to really reach out and spread the word. This way you wouldn't be dependant on an outside force and be bringing it home instead.






we actually have been running a small home group in our home for the last 2 months. The people who come are people who used to go to our church but left for various reasons. It is good for fellowhip, but not direction.. These people felt the same as us, so it has been great to get them gathered again, and its great for fellowhip, but its not so great for direction. We still dont have people who can support us or look out for us, who will lead us. And i know its only for a time - to keep fellowhip until we know where we are heading - its an inbetween stop really.

Bec - posted on 03/11/2009

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Quoting Max:



Have you thought about starting a ministry in your own home? This might be a good idea because it would be a small group of people that you could feel close to, plus you might be able to really reach out and spread the word. This way you wouldn't be dependant on an outside force and be bringing it home instead.






we actually have been running a small home group in our home for the last 2 months. The people who come are people who used to go to our church but left for various reasons. It is good for fellowhip, but not direction.. These people felt the same as us, so it has been great to get them gathered again, and its great for fellowhip, but its not so great for direction. We still dont have people who can support us or look out for us, who will lead us. And i know its only for a time - to keep fellowhip until we know where we are heading - its an inbetween stop really.

[deleted account]

Have you thought about starting a ministry in your own home? This might be a good idea because it would be a small group of people that you could feel close to, plus you might be able to really reach out and spread the word. This way you wouldn't be dependant on an outside force and be bringing it home instead.

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