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Please Help! How Do I Know if God Wants Me in THIS Church?

Discussion in 'Looking for a Church' started by melodybeams, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. melodybeams

    melodybeams Newbie

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    Hello, I'm a Christian of one year. I grew up Catholic and was lost for several years. I felt God calling me and was seeking a church. I finally found one about a year ago in my commuity due to a street fair. I felt like it was God's will. However the feeling that I have been getting from this church for the past 6 months or so has been increasingly negative. I feel stuck, like the enemy is playing tricks on me. And I'm stuck with the question, should I stay or go? It's been plaguing me for over 6 months and has prevented me from getting more involved in my church. Below is an excerpt from my blog, that describes my situaion. Any advice would be so deeply appreciated. :hug:

    ------------

    Frustration. It’s one of the hardest human emotions to deal with. I’ve dealt with heartbreak, betrayal, sadness, shame. But frustration takes the grand prize. I’m so frustrated I’m having a hard time expressing or even understanding my frustration. I’ve been trying to walk with God, and I’ve been at the same church for about a year. But I’ve had such a strong desire to leave this particular church and I don’t know why. Part of me thinks I need to ‘be strong’ and stay, while another part of me yearns for a church where I really feel at home. As a result of these mixed emotions, I’ve drifted in and out for over six months.

    I ‘feel’ like God wants me there but then I ‘feel’ a strong desire to leave. Most of the people who attend come across to me as genuinely interested in a sense of community and God. Others are arrogant, highly judgmental, and hypocritical. Who am I to judge them? But I cant help but feel like I’m walking up a steep hill with bricks attached to my arms and legs for no good reason.

    For example, I had an incident with a woman and so called believer. Let’s call her Jessica. A few months ago, I was in a place in my lfie where I needed some guidance. I was having issues at home, constant fighting, and needed someone to talk to. Recently I’ve been learning about how to ‘walk in love’. A few months back, however, I was seeking justice for myself and felt very angry and confused. The devil was attacking many areas of my life.

    I approached Jessica and mentioned my situation. My mother and I had gotten into a fight, she has been cold and verbally abusive to me for years. As a result of the depression and frustration I was harboring in my heart, I lashed out verbally. My situation felt hopeless, so much fighting and not a way out since I was two semesters away from graduation. She offered to take me to her house and speak with me.

    As I entered her house, she was very harsh and criticized me for ‘making excuses’ for continuing to fight with her. She explained to me in a very child-like manner that relationships are like forming gardens, we have to carefully tend to each part at a time. I explained to her that I understood but that this is an ongoing issue and my mother has no consideration for my feelings. She insited to drive her point and belittled me. Because she was Christian, and she had accepted me into her home, I replied respecfully, “I understand… but-” She responded, “No I don’t think you understand.” Was this really a way for a Christian woman to encourage someone to love?

    When I explained to her that I felt stuck because I’m not working and in college, she told me that I could get a job and move out. She mocked me for thinking my life was hard, that I was taking 15 credits, doing an internship, and travelling from East Harlem to Brooklyn. Perhaps she was right, I am privileged to be in school without having to pay rent and many people work full time and go to college. But to me it seemed like she did so out of spite and almost jealousy. I felt so overcome with rage that I had to leave. I didn’t speak to her for two weeks. Finally she apologized and I accepted.

    I continue to see her at church and feel her negativity. I invited my 9 year old sister to church and Jessica runs the children’s club. Within 15 minutes my siter was crying because a boy cursed at her. It wasn’t until I went to Jessica that she repremaided the young boy. There was a twinkle in her eye and a slight smirk. Was this woman really enjoying this?

    Today was the last straw. I volunteered at a 3 day day camp for children. Yesterday I managed the registration table. it’s been a while since I’ve had a job and it felt good to help out and talk to people. I handled all the paperwork, and surprised Jessica with my competence. After the day was done she thanked everyone but refused to look at me. The next day I brought my sister. Jessica purposely waited 15 minutes before givign me an assignment/ Finallys he told me this time I’d be in the feild helping out the counselors. When she had a circle meeting, she exculded me. I had to follow her and ask her 4 times what my group was.

    My spirit wanted to leave but I didn’t want to be rude. I also wanted to set a good example and subdue my ‘non-Christian’ emotions. I stayed and just hung around and watched the kids. I made some younger kid friends and sat with them when they were eating lunch. Jessica purposely sent someone to ask us to move. Toward the end I left early because my spirit was bursting with an overwhelming feeling to leave. I was disgusted and overwhelmed. I’m pretty sensitive, but I haven’t felt this way before. I felt like the holy spirit was guiding me out of there.

    On my way out I spoke to another believer and mentor, let’s call him Michael. Michael is an academic and social worker. He began to ask me about my career an I told him that I wanted to go to The New School for Media Studies to study media. He mocked me, joking at how ‘liberal’ that school was. He began to ask me about my major, what I was working on, etc and began to compare himself to me. It seemed like he was trying to size up my intelligence and potential. I hate that feeling because i’m a creative and talented individual, but am at a crossroads in my life where I’m switching gears. I’m sensitive about talking about my aspirations.

    He then asked me if I would be there tomorrow. I said most likely. He laughed and criticized me for being ficke in the church.. He asked me if I was going to attend other events, I said maybe. (I was being honest.) I exclaimed jokingly it’s the summer! He responded in jest, so you’re going to stop being a Christian?

    I found that extremely distasteful. Being a Christian isn’t solely dependent on what meetings you go to, it’s your belief in Christ. I do admit, I’ve been fickle but it’s because of the energy I’ve been feeling in the church. Negativity, hypocritical. When I stop going, my guilt kicks in. I can’t make out what God wants me to do. Today my overwhelming desire to leave felt divinely guided. Perhaps I should seek out a new church. It pains me to go because I’ve established myself there and people know me there. However it seems like every time I’ve tried to get involved in these examples, and in other instances, I become disgusted and disheartened with people’s attitudes.

    Jesus didn’t concern himself with others’ opinions, neither did Paul. But I can’t shake this negative influence in my life. I move from rage to guilt to submission to rage. The only thing that’s kept me there is the fear and guilt that I’m letting my sinful nature get in the way of being a good Christian and having fellowship with others.

    Lately I’ve been eliminating people and situations in my life that haven’t been in integrity, or feel like they are draining me spiritually and emotionally. Is it time for me to move on once and for all and trust that God will lead me somewhere new?
     
  2. Redheadedstepchild

    Redheadedstepchild Child of God Supporter

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    First, have you spoken to the Pastor about all of this? Or asked "Jessica" directly? This is just my opinion, but if you do that honestly, without coming across as being confrontational (which may be difficult), and you are not satisfied with the outcome then it may be time to move on. Hopefully though you will get some kind of resolution.

    When I first went back to church a few years ago I found myself at a church that had many wonderful qualities, however it ended up not being the church for me. I felt very strongly that God brought be there for a reason, and the experience did play a big part in my growth. But in the end it was not where God was ultimately leading me. Maybe that's how it is for you?
     
  3. princesspumpkin

    princesspumpkin Love covers a multitude of sin

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    hi there, i think maybe you could just look to your own heart , what does it tell you......and ask Jesus what to do,keep your eyes on HIM not the people, and guilt is usually from Satan, i think there are always up and downs with people in churches LOL they are full of people and that means flawed beings, all of us. The tare and wheat will grow together remember............... you are already a member of the body of christ, if you wish to share in fellowship somewhere else or even return to where you are again or what ever decision you make, it is YOUR choice you have free will, dont let anyone make you feel quilty......religion is from Man, Love is from Jesus. Follow the LOVE where ever it may take you...........ask the holy spirit to guide you and if Jesus is in your heart then follow it xxoo huggs
     
  4. melodybeams

    melodybeams Newbie

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    Thank you so much for all of your responses. :wave: I prayed about it and made up my mind to leave the church I was at. While logically it felt so right, there was this nagging feeling in the back of my mind, like God had put me there for a reason. I kept wondering, why? Why am I here?

    The night before, I swore off going to the church 'forever', I prayed and looked in my bible to guidance. I felt guided to Isaiah 54:4-5: "Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband--the LORD Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth."

    I felt this sense of comforting and relief. It was exactly what I needed to hear, an invitation to step forward and get on with m life, and whatever God had planned for me. That night, I prayed. I told God, okay, you've told me not to worry. You've absolved me from my past shame. You're leading me to the next step. So I took that as a confirmation to go to a new church. But just in case, I told God, please let me know I'm making the right decision by giving me a sign tonight or tomorrow morning. Please help me to do what YOU want me to do, not follow my own agenda. That was Saturday night.

    That night I dreamed I was in my former church. I had the desire to leave. I informed my pastor that I was leaving and he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "No, you can't leave. Not without your bread and butter." I woke up dumbfounded, knowing that God had instructed me to stay.

    The very next day, I went to church, pushing past the awkwardness and pride and somehow ended up sitting where the Evangelism meeting was taking place. I ended up joining the team. Today I went out for my first real Evangelism trip. I was so unsure and felt so out of place but kept asking God to help me release my pride and thoughts of my sinful nature. The second person we spoke to, God just kept nagging me telling me to share my Isaish scripture, so I chimed in and did what he asked.

    I ended up ministering to the man, and found out he was deeply troubled and wanted to connect to Christ. He was in tears, I did NOT expect that reaction and knew that it was God that had sent me there to talk to that man. That experience touched my heart SO much. That was today. I now have a nice tan from standing out in the sun all day, but am even more touched by Jesus, the son of God. So unbelievably blessed. I realized this church is planning to branch out to save souls in my neighborhood, which is very troubled and in need of the living God. My "bread and butter" is this ministry, it was what God had planned for me, it's part of my calling.

    Being such a young and new Christian I found it amazed that God would want to use me, when I have SO many problems of my own... but now I see why he has kept here for so long. Glory be to God. :clap:

    I may not understand where His steps are leading, but He knows and is showing me one step at a time. I'm just so, so grateful that He gave me the strength to be obedient and not take matters into my own hands.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  5. Redheadedstepchild

    Redheadedstepchild Child of God Supporter

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    Awesome! Good for you for taking God's lead. :)
     
  6. wesleychapel

    wesleychapel Newbie

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    hi and praise the lord. in life we get so in a rush. take a moment to think about your church home. how do you really feel, while in church? is this church feeding you spiritually. you must be feed. and ask god to move you if needed, and if not then help you to get involved with the work in the church. as for satan you aready know he wants you to fail... dont entain him. he only can to kill, steal and destroy your every dream. as for you and your mother. i know sometimes things of this vineyard maynot be easy. let the lord work through you. its hard I know. press to give more love, and underdstanding to your mother. love covers all....and for sister jessica. keep her in prayer:) take 10 minutes everyday to pray.. let god guild you...and look up.. its going to be a good day ...
     
  7. nicedream

    nicedream Senior Veteran

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    melodybeams, this is such an encouraging, endearing story of the triumph of personal faith. you have a gift with writing. thank you for sharing this story about a God who really is Abba Father...reading your story, i can say "that is the God i know and love."
     
  8. Finch09

    Finch09 Newbie

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    If it were me, I think I'd feel like it was time to start looking at other churches. If guilt and the need for fellowship is the only thing keeping you there, then you are there for the wrong reason. First, a relationship with Christ is not about guilt. Second, you really aren't recieving the fellowship you need there. There is no harm in checking out other churches. See, if it doesn't work out at another place or you decide that something has changed at this church that might make it better, you can always go back. Remember, the church isn't one tiny group of people meeting on a Sunday, the Church is the universal group of believers. This means that no matter what building you walk into on a Sunday, you are participating in the church. Something I've found interesting since becoming a believer, is that a lot of Christians have a notion of "cheating" on the church they normally go to if they decide to leave or to visit other churches every few weeks. That's a lie from Satan. You cannot cheat on the church by visiting it...no matter what building or what group of people from the church that may be. If you are feeling unhappy, negative and criticized where you are, why not see if there is something better around? If not, you can always go back. If so, you will be much happier and maybe find good fellowship. I hope you find a wonderful church you love. :)
     
  9. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran

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    The biggest indication that you are in the right church is that you become immersed in the love of Jesus when you mix with the people there. They love and accept you for who you are, not what you wear, or your status in life. They have a passion for souls and winning them to Christ is their mission and the reason why the church exists. Their main message is Christ and Him crucified.

    Also, your gifts are recognised and room is made for you to use them and to serve Christ there. Among the mentors that you come across, you will encounter mothers and fathers in Christ who will gladly and willingly encourage you to rise to your full potential in Christ.
     
  10. NathanBai

    NathanBai Newbie

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    if the can feel the spirit of God...and the everything is in line....
    But let God consult you and trust in him...
    stay blessed
     
  11. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Guest

    I spent sixteen years in a sick and dying church before I finally left it. I had the same sort of pull and tug to stay or leave for the last fourteen years of my time there. I will not say that my time in the church was completely wasted because God did teach me a lot of things. However, I believe that things would have been much better if I had not been there. As it turned out, I moved to another city and connected with a very healthy church where I have been for the past six years.

    What made my decision to finally leave was clear and undeniable sin on the part of one of the leaders of the church. My advice is to determined where you will go if you do leave the church. Find a good, solid, healthy church and don't just leave and drift around from church to church.
     
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