Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Does This Ever Happen To You?

I can be going about my day and then all of a sudden a thought will pop into my head. It's like the aftershock of an earthquake. An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after the main earthquake and it is always smaller in strength, but it still "shakes things up." The main quake happened when I left my former church, but I still have these thoughts (aftershocks) that sometimes catch me off guard and kind of shake up the moment.

I know these may seem silly, but they are sometimes sparatic thoughts I have and I wanted to know - does this ever happen to you?

*When you are driving down the road and all of a sudden you think of how much money you gave to your former church, do you get upset and wish that somehow you could get it all back and give it to a worthy cause?

*When someone in your new church asks you where you used to go to church, do you freeze up - not wanting to answer for fear that if you tell, they will wonder if you are normal?

*When you hear a certain song, where the words are something like, "Do what you want, but you're never gonna own me..." or "I never saw it coming, I should have started running a long, long time ago..." do you automatically think of your former situation, sing loudly, and make all the people in the cars around you wonder what your deal is?

I know these things are temporal, and just as the aftershocks stop after an earthquake, I'm sure these things will go away....at least I hope they do....surely they will. No, I know they will because Jesus said that He came to heal the brokenhearted and set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18).

11 comments :

Barb said...

set free, Yes, this is common. Still after a year and a half I experience these 'after shocks.' Good word for it. They don't come as close together now as then. But there are still days when I wonder if they will eventually go away. What I do know is that this experience has changed something deep and fundamental inside of me. I talked to someone the other day that left our church almost 15 years ago. He said that he still filters everything through those lenses...it is impossible for him not to. You will never be able to just flow in the same what that those who have not been hurt do.

That was hard to hear because while I don't want to go back to the lack of thinking I once did, I don't want to remain cynical the rest of my days either.

Anonymous said...

The other day I saw someone that was so on fire for God that it seemed completely uncontainable. With tears running down my face I thought... that used to be me. I find myself wondering when I will get back to the person I once was.

Anonymous said...

I think of the faces of people I love dearly and sometimes all of a sudden the things that have been done to them and the way they were treated comes in like a flood. I know that one day I will get past that but I don't know when that day will be.

Set Free said...

To anonymous 3:04,
You are not going to believe this, but I almost typed that exact thing as one of the points. That thought is really what got me to thinking this morning. I was driving home from taking my child to school and I thought about how people had been hurt and I almost cried.

Yesterday I had the thought about the money and I had to call my husband for consolation.

Anonymous said...

Regarding my old church, it's been a year and I still see money bags with wings flying away that have my name on them. I also see time I could have spent with my wife and kids instead of all this so-called 'serving.' I am constantly aware of how I was bringing my money, time and effort to Eli and sons rather than a faithful minister. -Chris

Anonymous said...

I see how well my church is prospering with no sermonette prior to the offering. The giving is a privilege and an act of worship to God. I happened to find and read over the comments we read (confessed) aloud together at the former church and was disappointed in myself for having said them so freely.
(Did you ever think that if a relative died and you got an inheritance how bad you'd feel?)

When thoughts come just thank God for being "set free"!

Set Free said...

YES! I thought the same thing about the inheritance!

Susan said...

I witnessed something I thought was neat at a Women's Conference at my church last weekend. Hundreds of us were given index cards and were told to write down any question for the pastor and his wife. The cards were retrieved and taken to them and they answered as many as time allowed during a session. Mine happened to be read!

This event reminded me that a pastor can be sincere, open, touchable and not put on a false appearance.
However, the whole thing made me think back...but, then again I rejoice in being where I am now. I am so thankful for God's love.

Anonymous said...

I by no means am defending the former church, but I have to look at the money like this - I gave it to God and he knows my heart. The ones I gave it to (here on earth) will have to answer for how they handled that money (God's money). This is what helps me the most.

Anonymous said...

I have experienced the same things since leaving a controling church. I have also been gone for a year and even though I feel like I have come so far in my healing, I still have random thoughts and flashbacks from time to time...and they are "shocking". For instance:
*why did I think it was o.k. for a "pastor" to be given royal treatment when leaving a meeting (car warmed up and pulled up,etc) while single moms struggled to get their small children into their cars?
*why did I stand by and let the "pastor" blame grieving loved ones for their "lack of faith" when my friend died of cancer?
*how does a man treat his staff so badly and yet they remain so loyal and defend him?
*where is "dancing the money in" in the Bible?
*what did the visitors think when we spent hours talking about what God was doing for US and never even mentioned what WE could do for others?

It's good to have my focus on Jesus and the HARVEST! All I can say to encourage you, Set Free, is when I have those thoughts, I just thank God that I am in a better place spiritually and that I still have time to do things for the kingdom. One day we will stand before God and answer for what we have done...and I feel like I've been given a second chance to fulfill the call God has on my life. You do too!

Susan said...

I am glad Anon. 6:55 shared this comment. This has always been our thought as God knew our hearts were toward Him when we gave. We were just following "bring all the tithes into the storehouse" (Mal. 3:10). People will indeed be held accountable for the way the money was handled.
Regarding Set Free's question about the former church - it has been my experience if it comes up, people don't seem to know of it. My reason for departure is just that "there was a reason". (I consider myself normal for having left.)
Consider "...let us lay aside every weight...and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus...Heb. 12: 1,2.