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    Church & Chronic Illness..
    missist posted:
    Just wondering how those who are inolved in churches handle fibro. Do you go religiously to church inspite of being very tired and in pain or do you go hit & miss. Do you feel like you aren't helping enough?

    I was in a very small church of mostly old folks before moving here in December. It was the first place I went where I felt 'ok' about being me-- a person who may not show up for a couple weeks and doesn't volunteer for too much.

    Years ago I was in a big church where the pastor kept an eagle eye on who showed up and did what.

    I had 2 experiences there that just made it impossible for me.

    these were the years my pain was the worst--

    I was homeschooling as I felt at the time it was 'easier' than trying to be involved in the public school that was nearest us --which at the time--was a not good school. Also with 4 little ones under 6 I couldn't really afford private school, or daycare so I was home and we lived on one not great income.

    By the end of each week I was absolutely done in. Thus we sometimes totally missed church. Hubby would entertain kids and I'd sleep in.

    One Sunday the pastor scolded from the pulpit-- those people where one person is ill and the whole family stays home and doesn't worship.

    My cheeks were hot and I felt like slinking out.

    Then I got a call from the Sunday School Supervisor--he said that he felt God was telling him that I should be a Sunday School teacher! LOL.. I was stunned. I thought-- Well I'm sure God would have given me a head's up on that Idea. I don't know.. maybe I 'missed God' as they say.. but I knew I couldn't do that.

    Not long after we quit going, and I began to go to another church sporadically and eventually we moved so it was behind us. Since then I have had a a really hard time with churches.

    I believe fully in God and would love to go to church, but it is hard for me to get started as I am so leery of it. I want to do 'something' for a church--but I was thinking maybe something in the way of spontaneous gifts of my artwork or something--not 'scheduled' service. I never know if I'll be up to it.

    Church, in my mind can't come before husband and family and home--and nowadays hubby has no interest in church & neither do the kids--but they are grown. I continue to pray for them all and love them--as I think that is my 'job' as a Christian more than anything else to just love & pray.

    So-- I was wondering what is 'church' like in your fibromyagia world?

    I'm probably going to be going somewhere soon, and thought it would be an interesting topic.

    Anon_2912 responded:
    Personally, how and when you worship God is your doing. There is no right or wrong place.

    My mother taught me that...I speak to God & Jesus every morning and trust me when I say through out the day on a daily basis...When I am having good or bad days I always speak to him, maybe not out loud but God is always on my mind.

    I would not be here if he didn't love me just the same as the one who goes to church everyday.
    missist replied to Anon_2912's response:
    good point. Im just wondering if folks have a strategy or what they do about regular commitment when they may be too tired, etc.
    dollbug replied to missist's response:
    Hello Mary......MiMi in NC....I just wanted to say that I can no longer commitment to anything, period. In the beginning, I continued to push myself to do whatever I had said I would do.....well that soon caught up with me. So I now do not say that I am going to do anything.....IF I am able then I do whatever I can. Court date are the only exception that I make.....regardless.....and I only did this because I did NOT have a choice.

    As for church, I can no longer sit on anything hard. At home I sit on pillows of one kind or another. (some are gel...others not)....I have problems getting stiff, even when we go out to eat. I no longer sit at tables....I have to sit in a booth with the cushion. (I do not lean back against it either-just sit up).

    I think we, FMers, must do whatever it takes to make things easier for us. I do worship GOD at home and I know HE understands what I am dealing with. The only thing I can do is to pray for those who have any sort of issues and send cards to those who need some sort of encouragement.

    Take care and good luck.


    missist replied to dollbug's response:
    thank you Mimi.. I think what you said really makes a lot of sense to me. I have felt that way too-- that I can't commit to things-- I have my etsy shop but most of what I have been doing is custom work that I always give myself a lot of extra time to finish--I'm finding it more difficult as time goes by. I've been looking to see if I can make prints of artwork to sell in the future-- so its not 'more work'.

    As for church-- there are so many stressors involved, I want to go--but I need a quiet small church if I do-- where I can 'do what I am able' and not feel guilty.

    sometimes I feel I am making excuses. I just don't know. Mary
    Ambersmom97 responded:
    Hi! Shelly in freezing NW Indiana,

    I too think that if you read your bible, pray and live with kindness and a loving heart just as you are doing no one but God has the right to judge you.

    If you miss the church and want to worship with others you can always watch a sermon on TV or the internet.

    I'm so sorry that you haven't found a good and loving church. Church members are there to support one another, and from what you described I don't blame you one bit for being leery.

    Keep doing what you are doing and you will be just fine.

    With love and compassion~~~~~Shelly
    It's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln
    missist replied to Ambersmom97's response:
    Hi Shelly, I'm sorry its freezing up there. We have just had rain almost all the time this spring/summer. Again today it is all clouded up & I guess we'll be getting more as there is a tropical storm supposed to be headed this direction.

    What you say makes sense, I feel like it may be my solution--but not quite 'right' but then a lot isn't quite right with me. LOL.
    1wareaglefan responded:
    Mary, it's just not right that you had a guilt trip heaped on you! I believe that pastor was totally wrong. I've been a Christian all my life (I'm 60), but I have been really walking closely with the Lord for 32 years.

    I used to feel guilty when I didn't feel up to going, but not anymore, b/c God knows my heart. And He knows yours, too. He knows what you're capable of doing on a day to day and even minute to minute basis. He doesn't bring the guilt....the enemy brings guilt and condemnation.

    I also don't volunteer much, b/c like you said, I never know how I'll be feeling. I feel like God understands that, too. I am a prayer warrior, so I'm always praying for my family and others I hear about. I believe that's a ministry in itself.

    I believe if you find the right church for you, you'll feel freedom in worshiping God when and how you're able, without feeling guilty when you can't be there.

    I hope this helps....great topic, btw!

    Take care,
    missist replied to 1wareaglefan's response:
    Thanks Elizabeth.
    I think this topic is a good one for archives, I'm sure I"m not the only one who has pondered this question.

    thanks again! Mary
    debrabrooks1960 responded:
    Dear Mary,
    I am so glad you brought up this subject. I have been fighting against my own self about not feeling up to going to church. When I lived in Indiana ( 50 miles south of Indy) I would go to church all the time. I was a Sunday school teacher. Then I think the Fibro hit me (even tho I was not diagnosis for years later). I would find myself so tired I would fight sleep the whole time. The seat would would hurt my bottom that I could hardly sit still. When I did miss church the pastor was nice but would always make me feel bad for missing. When I moved to Florida I tried finding a church, but by that time I had a hard time going eeach week. Now I do not go at all. I still read the Bible, listen to my audio version of the Bible on my way to work, and I pray many times a day. I agree with so many that God would not be mad at us for being ill. I still live the Christain life and I try to help anyone that needs it if I am able. How can that be bad? So please do not feel bad. Just rejoice in God and Jesus's love. In the end that is all that counts.

    Your not over the hill until you are under the hill.
    missist replied to debrabrooks1960's response:
    Thanks Debbie,Lets pray for each other on this issue. Maybe God will show us a way.

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