Author Topic: idk how to handle/process this  (Read 412 times)

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Offline drivenfuture

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idk how to handle/process this
« on: Wed Nov 13, 2019 - 14:51:53 »
I want to be careful here...because I don't want to make accusations against a leader...but I also don't know what to do or how to feel or what to think.
Let me preface this by saying I wound up in a Calvinist church that I love so far...and teaches the Bible as best as they can, and have an extreme focus on just Scripture...whereas previous churches usually centered around apostolic signs, a couple verses with personal interpretation, excess of love with no mention of wrath/justice, or extreme hate-group mentality (solely preaching anti-homosexuality with no regard for any other doctrine). Very rarely was there an intent focus on Scripture in any of these churches...a few verses here, a few there...but nothing like I experience now.

So, onto my story. I feel as though I should reconcile with my former pastor and his family, though they are an AofG church. I want to, but I feel like they don't...or at least it's very confusing. Perhaps I'm in the wrong. I really have no idea. I'm willing to own up to my mistakes, if indeed they are a mistake. When I first started going, after just a short time the youth pastor recruited me to be an assistant in the youth program...I didn't feel comfortable, didn't feel spiritually mature, didn't feel it wise...I told him this but he reassured me that God was "stretching my faith." Reluctantly, I agreed. Shortly after I came on board. the youth pastor stepped down, leaving me to teach the youth sunday morning on my own. They gave me resources to use...but I felt far from a reliable resource to the youth...I did the best I could. But what's important here is this is essentially how I got to know the youth, including the pastor's children, and in many regards felt like I was a friend of the family. Truth be told, this all did go fairly well for 4-5 years, and I hope that in some way the children heard the Gospel message, though at the time I would say it would have been more Arminian-focused than Calvinistic.

But one of the pastor's daughters messaged me on facebook, to talk about Sherlock, and books she would read. I didn't think anything of it...and we messaged back and forth for quite some time...never anything inappropriate...just random hobbies or theological topics. Perhaps it was inappropriate of me to continue messaging her...perhaps I thought if the topics were safe then it was ok..maybe I was mistaken. Anyways, much time had passed and fast forward to 2017, December...at this point all the pastor's children whom I had mentored were college age...the girl in question had turned 18 a few months before our fallout. So a few days before Christmas, this girl, and her sister ignored me completely, no hi or anything, and her brother approached me and said I was"barely tolerable." Apparently, this triggered some mental problem in me. I became depressed, went online trying to figure out what I did wrong...I vaguely remember reading an article about emotional abuse and became convinced that was what I had did...leading to being more depressed, which became an episode similar to schizophrenic bipolar (this is where you hallucinate while you are depressed...or sometimes have mania). In this state, because of believing I was emotionally abusive, I turned myself into the police for a crime I didn't commit. They took me to mental health, and this would lead to roughly a month of hospital visits, including a one week stay in the mental health ward, and months of seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. When I got out I saw that the girl I had been in contact with had essentially blocked me from messaging her, but I could still see her profile.

The assistant pastor visited me in mental health and again shortly after I got out...and discussed with him...and he said he knew very little about what was going on, but did say he doesn't think I did anything to offend the main pastor or his family. And said I should talk to the pastor, and that the pastor was more than willing to meet with me. I also asked the asst pastor how he felt about me going back to church...and he asked if I thought about other churches...idk if it was his intention but because of everything it felt like he was pushing me in the direction of somewhere else.

So I did. The pastor said it's "hard to love your neighbor when you don't love yourself." And that was there was no animosity, and they care about me, and that they were working on "boundaries," a concept they utilized from Henry Cloud's book. And that my actions have consequences. And that he did not view me as a threat. And that I could come back to church, but only large services, not smaller bible studies. And that the police talked to the girl in question, and then him. I asked if I hurt anybody, he said he didn't feel slighted in any way; and I told him about what his son said...and he said he didn't know about that but that he would have words with him. When I went back home, I saw that the girl had fully blocked me now on facebook and instagram (I had not contacted her at all since the comment was made); so to me, it still felt like I was getting mixed signals about the animosity. However, I understood the whole police thing probably made everyone really uncomfortable.

I ceased contact for months...and occasionally would get a like or a birthday comment on facebook from the remaining family members, I had also decided to move to Texas with my sister, thousands of miles away from the church...so I thought with a few months before I leave and having been distant for months, why not try reaching out to the pastor again. I explained how I felt, feeling like they didn't really want me there. He responded saying I am welcome to come and they will treat me with kindness and respect, but as far as the past they hope to grow forward and want to give me the space I need to move forward, and how we all grow at our own pace. I remember praying about reconciling, and listening to their sermon online the day before I left...it was about not judging other people for their sins...and I ran into the girl in question and her mom at the mall the same day...the mom said hello but the girl did not. I just waved and went on my way not knowing what to do. Following this the mom and other daughter also blocked me on instagram, though we still remain listed as friends on Facebook.

The pastor seemed really enthusiastic about me coming to church or meeting with me...but the other family members do things to confuse me and make it seem like I am not welcome. I so badly want to work this out in some way but perhaps I've done too much damage. I don't even know if I'm the one who did wrong, or if I was under false teaching, or what.

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idk how to handle/process this
« on: Wed Nov 13, 2019 - 14:51:53 »

Offline Dave_UK

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Re: idk how to handle/process this
« Reply #1 on: Thu Nov 14, 2019 - 02:29:46 »
  I read your post and ended up wondering what one could say about your situation that might help "straighten things out".  The  impression I get is that you have been hurt and confused, by the reaction of others, and uncertainties in your own mind.  Could it be that your personal relationship with the Lord (which ought to be of paramount concern to you) - has been pushed into second (or even a lower) place by worries about the reaction of others, and how you ought to deal with that?

   Is it time for you to (temporarily!?) "withdraw" from the cares you describe - forget about social media interactions - and take a "break".  Possibly something like a "retreat" for silent contemplation - without crying to any one else other than the Lord for guidance?  Await His guidance by listening to the "quiet still voice" of the Indwelling Spirit in you.  Take time over that and don't rush into decisions! Build up/seek a closer/deeper relationship with the Lord!

Remember "Christ in you, the hope of glory to come", let Him guide you in the way to go!  You must already know those Scriptures that speak about His Presence within us "Dwell in Me as I in you, the same bringeth forth much fruit - for without Me you can do nothing." - trust Him -  There's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!"  Has the "voice" of the Indwelling Spirit become faint to you? If so, there is "damage" that needs to be repaired by confession and repentance" : -


"To Thee O Lord I call. O My Rock, be not deaf to my cry,
 Lest if Thou answer me with silence, I become like those that go down to the Abyss.
Hear my cry for mercy when I call to Thee for help."
« Last Edit: Fri Nov 15, 2019 - 02:10:06 by Dave_UK »