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Critized for not attending church
7 Replies
agingjoy - February 26

I am a senior citizen. Dx'd w/fibro 17 yrs ago. I've gone through lots of discrimination which usually consists of ppl accepting me as a hypochondriac. Maybe I am, maybe we all are. Even if I imagine the pain & other symptoms - they are still there and I still don't feel well or able to do lots that other people do.

My husband is a minister and we have been at many churches over the years.I've experienced remarks about my lack church activity. Recently, I have been not doing so well. It's been cold and snowing and maybe that's why. I have missed quite a few services in recent months. Attending evening activities is ususally not such a problem. Last week a woman says to me "were you at church this morning, or were you behind me and I just didn't see you?" I said I wasnt there but as usual I was listening to service on the raido. She shakes her head in a tsk, tsk way and says "we need the people there, we need the numbers." I have been growing and growing in resentment.

Of course this is a religious, church issue, but it is an issue of I don't look like anything is wrong with me. If I say I feel this way or that way, I hear Oh sometimes I don't feel like getting up either but I do and just get going. I have suffered through years of making myself keep up with things and as years go on, I'm just tired. With again arthritis, etc. it is just much harder. I just want the right to feel bad and it not be anyone elses business.
Thanks for giving me a place to vent - obviously I am not free to talk about this with anyone else!!

 

Canada17 - February 26

I always find it interesting when members of a congregation judge someone for not attending church. What one person can bear is different from what you and I can bear. And, I thought God was the only one who should judge.

You are not a hypochondriac. God knows that. And, I am sure God understands why you are not there. And, in my opinion, anyone who goes to church and actually believes what is taught there should be more understanding and compassionate.

 

ptalana - February 26

Hi agingjoy and welcome to our lil fibro family. I can understand the resentment, after all this is church we are talking about we're not supposed to judge others, right??? I just don't get this self righteousness that some people possess. I believe that God cares more about how we live each and everyday, how we treat others.... Before I developed fms I went to church every Sunday, after mass we would get in our cars and start to exit parking lot. Well you would never know that these people just attended mass, honking horns, cutting people off, and what I had coined as the Sunday one finger salute. It got so bad that our priest did an entire sermon on this disgraceful behaviour.
Is your hubby supportive? You are not a hypo and should not accept others view point in this. What you are going through is very real, you deserve to be understood and supported. I would discuss how you're feeling with your hubby. Maybe enlightening these parishioners to what fms truly is, perhaps having some pamphlets available. Perhaps your hubby could/should do a sermon on compassion, empathy, sympathy, understanding.
I'm so sorry you're having to go through this:(
Feel free to vent anytime, we're here for you.
Sending you gentle hugs, Patty

 

kvc33 - February 27

I see this as an opportunity for you to start a church support meeting for people with chronic illness. I'm sure there are many in your church who are suffering as well. You could make it in the evening when it suits you better. Of course I don't agree with the critism you are receiving. The next time someone says that the church needs greater attendance you could ask them what they intend to do to improve it. You could say something like, "When was the last time you invited a friend or co-worker to come to church?" Or, "How do you think we can make this church a more welcoming place?" How about, "I wasn't able to attend last week due to my fibromyalgia, I'm sure you'll pray for me, thank you." For the record I don't go to church, mornings are my worst time but to be honest I've never found prayer to be of benefit to me. Lots of people have prayed for me and I'm still as sick as ever. I'm sure you can find a way to use your faith and beliefs in this situation.

 

Fantod - February 27

I think it is between you and God an no one else's business. I certainly understand being tired. That is my new middle name. The folks that are critizing should find more constructive things to do with their time. There is no reason for you to feel bad about not attending church. I believe how you conduct your life matters more than showing up once a week for a service. Take care.

 

jrzgirl - February 27

Dear angingjoy. I am not a Pastors wife but I have not been to church since Dec.09. I have many symptoms of fibro and raynauds but No diagnosis yet, I have had them for over a year. I have attended the same church for 13 1/2 years, since Jan. no one from my church has called to see how I am, they know what I am trying to deal with, and our new Pastor just bought a house 4 houses up from my house across the street, not even a vist from him or his wife, maybe they are waiting for me to call, I do not know but it hurts me, I know that there are many other people in church in worse shape than me but I hurt too! am I being selfish??? Please pray for me as I will pray for you. I hope to find out what the problem is next Friday when I finally get to see the DR and not her assistant, Phil:4-13

 

jrzgirl - February 27

I pray that God understands and forgives me. I am not judging anyone, that is up to God.

 

solanadelfina - February 28

It's sad when people get a 'holier than thou' attitude about church attendance and that public demonstrations and memorization of quotes make a better Christian than someone who lives it. Just remind her about the Pharisee and the tax collector if she gives you any more trouble.

People are limited in perception, but I believe that God looks to see what's in our hearts and accepts what forms of service that we can give to Him. He knows what we're going through and He understands.

I like to think of the saint the Little Flower. She served in the little ways for those around her. Maybe we can't always make mass or do things like help build houses for the poor, but we can support each other here with love or prayers or good wishes. We can smile and do things for those we love, we can make donations or give time to good causes, we can be a strong shoulder and good listeners. Are those worth any less than making every single mass? I don't think so.

 

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