Coping

I have been having a hard time with church lately. There are tons of factors, but it has boiled down to a lot of bitterness that I’m not quite sure how to handle. Part of my frustrations are justified, but I know that I also overreact to a lot of things, so I basically repress everything at church, talk about it with Matt to try to sort out what if anything I should hold on to, and over all it’s a great big struggle.

Being emotionally and spiritually drained by church has meant focusing more on personal time with God, not as a substitute but as kind of an anchor for my faith in the midst of confusion and anger and hurt. Something I started this week which I LOVE is downloading sermons to my mp3 and listening to them at work while I process cheques. It’s great because I’m pretty ADD, so having something to do other than just sit and listen actually helps me stay more engaged and pay attention to what is being said. And for most of my morning, I’m just sitting and processing, so listening to mp3s doesn’t disrupt my work either. After the sermon ends, my music starts again and I have stuff to think about 🙂

Friday I was reading my Bible on the subway home and read a passage in Luke that didn’t make sense to me. Part of what I have been realizing in the last few months is that I don’t know Jesus very well. I know what church says about Jesus, but that is often cliches or political manipulation. I want to know Jesus better, so I am trying to read the gospels. I am trying to avoid glossing over all the stories I know and read with fresh eyes. Happily for me, Mars Hill church is going through a two-year sermon series on Luke, which is posted online, so if there are passages I want to hear teaching on, I can find a sermon on it!

I’m not sure what to think of myself for being someone who listens to sermons on my mp3 player (okay, I think its really geeky), but since it’s working for me for now I think I’m just gonna go for it. This week, listening to sermons has been such a motivation for me to get into the Bible for myself and learn and seek God, much much more than anything that has happened at church. Rather than label myself a nerd and try to avoid something that God is using in my life, I will be grateful for this provision of encouragement and help at the time when I really need it. (Oh, by the way, my mp3 player was lost for a year, and then when I found it I had misplaced my charger, so it is only in the last 10 days that I have had a functioning mp3 player. I see God in that.)

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Comments

Susan 27-09-2011, 23:46

It sounds like you're 'coping' productively and getting yourself into a good spot to be able to hear God if He wants to say anything to you… that's alot better than most people I know can think to do when they have to just cope.

As for Jesus, after spending January until October 1 in the Old Testament, I'm pretty excited to have a fresh read of the gospels too. I know what you mean about glossing over the familiar parts. I think that's one of the things I've enjoyed about "The Message." Same stories but unexpected words. That's good for me.

And good for you too, for just doing what works even if you may think it's geeky. Alot more people would be alot healthier psychologically and spiritually if they just did the healthy thing – no matter how it looks. Good for you! (Did I say that already?)

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