Tonight I was on my way home from horse therapy and since I'm now living at my friend's house I decided to find a closer way home than I normally go, but I was not expecting where it would take me...
As I came off the exit ramp and started down the road I all of a sudden realized where I was...an area where I used to go hiking with an older lady from my last church...I didn't think much about it and kept following my GPS...and wouldn't you know it, it took me the same direction I once used to drive to another older lady's house from my last church...two ladies that once had been so special to me and that I had admired and looked up to...
And if that wasn't enough, I was listening to a Christian radio station which I rarely do because it is too triggering of past painful memories with religious people...as I was driving along trying to not think about those two ladies who once meant so much to me, the person on the radio said something about if your cup is empty take time to worship God and it will help fill your cup again...it made me want to vomit...not that there is something wrong with worshipping God but because too often it is used as a bandaid instead of dealing with the real issue...
It reminded me of those two ladies and how I had once made a very vulnerable post about how I'm just so exhausted and it makes me feel even worse when people tell me/imply to me that I should be doing more things/religious exercises. The one lady made a comment that I just need to worship God and then I'll feel better. The other lady amened her after I told the first lady that she didn't get what I was trying to say because she was telling me to do the very things I was too exhausted to do. After that incident both of those ladies basically ghosted/betrayed me and the one implied that I'm not a Christian because I don't go to church, and since I'm not coming to church we won't continue to be friends. The other one I never heard from again after I stopped attending that church.
As I continued driving I went past another place which if I remember correctly was our last hike together, and then the tears fell as the rain was falling on my car as I grieved a little bit more of the huge loss of those 2 friendships that had meant so much to me not so very long ago...
And then a question formed in my mind:
How many things did worshipping God fix?
How many relationships issues were taken care of?
How many losses were restored?
How many financial issues were taken care of?
How many bodies were healed by worshipping God?
How much cleaning, or maintenance, or food preparation got done by just worshipping God?
Sure, worshipping God can take one's mind off current circumstances and elevate one's mood. I'm not saying God isn't worthy of being worshipped. He is.
What I am saying is that worship is good in its place but it doesn't take care of most problems and issues in life.
It doesn't fix problems most of the time.
It doesn't heal relationships.
It doesn't grieve losses.
It doesn't earn money.
It doesn't heal.
It doesn't clean, or fix the car, or prepare the meals.
There is a lot of things that worshipping God doesn't fix.
It hasn't taken away my exhaustion.
It hasn't given me money when I needed it.
It hasn't healed the relationship with my family but rather it's gotten worse.
It doesn't make my evening meal when I'm too tired to cook.
It doesn't fix my car when it breaks but rather cost me more money.
It doesn't clean my house when I don't have the energy to.
It hasn't healed me when I was/am sick.
Worship has its place. A good place. But so does work, and rest, and trauma healing. Taking care of one's body and setting boundaries to create a healthy environment also have a place. A good place. All have a necessary place.
Looking at it in that light makes it appear rather foolish to tell someone to worship God when what they really need is rest or to grieve,etc.
I started by stating these things for those two ladies and their attempt to put a "bandaid" on me that I didn't accept. Their attempt to manipulate me into continuing to go to a church that is unhealthy and triggering for me and I didn't listen. But now...
I realize I am also stating these things against the holiness Pentecostal church I went to for several years till it burnt me out. Over and over and over it was encouraged to just worship God and he would give whatever was wanted or needed. To worship God till he answeres you whether that was an answer to prayer or you get "slain" or "dance" in the spirit, etc. To worship God till you are "baptized/filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues". I cannot begin to explain the torture it has been to me to be told repeatedly that I just need to worship God or pray more...if those things (worship and prayer) really did heal or fix things, they would have helped me so long ago. I can't tell you how many hours I prayed and fasted and worshipped but it was to the point of being very unhealthy. I basically starved myself and deprived myself in so many ways until I realized that being a good steward wasn't just intended for money but also our bodies and every other area of life as well.
So for those who are quick to tell someone to worship or pray or do any other religious activity, do you see how foolish and hurtful it could be when what that person really needs is rest or food or support?
They all have their place. A necessary place.
But to hold the spiritual activities higher than every other aspect of life, it may do more harm than you can imagine when you only intended it for good.
Our good intentions are not good when they cause harm or do damage to the individual we are trying to help.
One way to avoid causing harm or doing damage is to be very sensitive to how the other person reacts/responds to what you say or do with your good intentions.
Another way is to ask for feedback. I know how much harm and damage have been done to me by people's good intentions, and I do not want to continue the cycle of harm and damage.
Back to those two ladies, as much as I'd still love to see them and be friends and feel their hugs, it would take a lot of hard work on their part to gain my trust again.
I'm not sure I could even talk to them...because there's a part of me that remembers how kind and loving they once were. But...there's also the part that remembers how they treated her. It is a huge loss. A deep grief. Those parts of me deserve to be heard and validated and allowed to grieve. If they aren't given a voice I know theywill hinder relationships in the future.
Because the body and heart remember even if the brain forgets.
Remember that the next time something is a big deal to you, it could be a younger part of you trying to remind you of something in the past that is clamoring to be heard. Listen to it. Honor it. Validate it. Give it a voice. It can be very healing...