So often through the years, I have found I really get frustrated with my pastor. Yes you read that correctly, but I do. Recently, no different. Apparently, he gets frustrated with the congregation, and me being one. While I understand him and know he is trying to help me and each one of us, I feel he is hollering at me. I don’t know what others think or feel, I don’t dare ask. He probably is frustrated and that is how he wants it to come across but it really makes me cringe and feel less than of a Christian. While that may motivate others, it causes me to stop dead in my tracks, doubt and be cautious.
As I have pondered this over the years, I still come up with this no-good-for-nothing person, Christian that I claim I am. It makes me sink into a state of unworthiness. I hate this feeling. Questioning if this is condemnation he is placing on us (me) and if so, that is wrong. Or is it condemnation that I am throwing on myself? Does this trigger a part of my childhood I wonder and no doubt it does.
I know he preaches his heart out and is anointed but in this area, I think to myself, here he goes again. Knowing full well that I will have to fight my thoughts of being less than and I will go down the rabbit hole yet again. Whether I sit in the congregation or now as we listen online due to the distancing required.
I know to pray, I know that the Lord hears my prayers whether in my thoughts, silently or verbally. Had it not been, I would not be here, right now. At times, all I could muster up was, Lord help me. My heart being in such despair and nobody to turn to or trust, He was all that I had. He was all that I needed. Even though I felt alone in the thick of it all, and even felt at times He was nowhere to be found. Although, I know now that my faith grew in those dark, lonely periods, it had to in order to survive.
I did not have to yell from the rooftops, make a big, elaborate prayer of words that was not me for the Lord to hear my prayers. I am just plain and simple.
We are to praise and worship the Lord and I know that but that also gets heaped into his rants along with prayer. The comment of us sitting like a lump on a log, usually makes my mouth twist and jaws clinch, now in total frustration. I am not him, will never be him and I do not want to fake my prayer, praise and worship.
As I was cleaning, still pondering this in my mind, realizing that this is a childhood issue that I need to come to terms with. The boldness from his voice at the podium, finger pointing and to say lump on a log, smacks me. To bring it home to understand and to grasp, I feel he is mad and hollering at me, his finger pointing confirms I am unworthy, to say sitting like a lump on the log is that I am also lazy. End result, convinced I am a good-for-nothing person on the face of the earth or in my family, now church family as a Christian.
In a church service or in our private time, we worship and praise the Lord to usher in His Presence. His Presence is precious and I am fully aware of Him during such times. I do not have to put on a full production of waving my hands, shouting praises and being something I am not. If I do all of that and I have tried but that is my time between me and the Lord. I can stand or sit quietly and feel His presence all over me with tears flowing down my face, dropping from my chin in my worship, praise and prayer. This is my personal time with Him. I don’t need to care what others think or expect of me, although at times I do and accustomed to, which has always held me back.
At times, wanting to speak up and say stop making me feel unworthy and that I will never measure up. I have had that all my life. Is this the rebelliousness within me of my hesitancy, perhaps fear, too. Probably as I dig my heels in and protest as a child saying, you can’t make me and don’t tell me what to do.
Do I know it could be pride on my part? Yes, and intimidation but please don’t add to it and plop on more fear, as I will freeze in my tracks. I have had to wonder if this was conviction, but it is not the same.
So as I toss this back and forth the past few weeks due to the COVID19 situation and the seriousness of it all, the finger pointing and preaching returns, of saying do this, do that. Again, I get it, I really do, but each time, I still get that unworthy feeling. I know, too, that the enemy wants me, us all to feel the unworthiness and to remain stuck. Am I going to act and put on a show just to please the preacher? No. Will I still get frustrated with him when he pushes this down our throat once again? Yes. I do understand he is trying to help us grow in the Lord but it is a big turn off for me. I love my church, my pastor and the anointing. I have considered finding another church at times, which may or may not be any better. I know that the enemy antagonizes me and I realize this could be a ploy to separate me from the church. So with that, something is about to break, a battle within. I have been at this church since 1985 so change is hard, too. This is when I need to be rebellious and stubborn, not with the Pastor or even with myself but the enemy wanting to halt my praise, worship and prayer.
I learned while in counseling, it was when I wanted to quit, throw up my hands and many times when leaving and once in my car, saying that I am not doing this anymore. The next week I would return. Thank God I did return because it was in those sessions we broke through some areas that changed me. I saw the pattern as I do now so I will dig my heels in and protest.
Could this all be the shame I have had dumped on me throughout my life? Absolutely, it falls right in line.
Up until the Fall of 2014 and for years later in counseling, I really never knew of shame. Never gave it any thought but as each session occurred, it was obvious that shame had hindered me in life, all of my life, which is sad. Since I now have a word and an understanding, changes and healing can occur as I have gone and go forward.
As I write, I tend to believe all of this frustration with the preacher to make me feel less than, unworthy, etc., is all but shame that I have carried. My issue, not his.
Knowing and understanding this, perhaps praying, praise and worship will come easier for me. Still, I know the Lord meets us where we are and He is the one to direct us and help us in areas to get us to where we need to be. To be a willing vessel, He will do just that. I do not need to put on an air to appease the preacher or anyone around me. The Lord is all that matters and my relationship with Him. To acknowledge how this has affected me, I do not need to accept the feelings of unworthiness. I am worthy!