I do not like to complain, but I did promise myself in writing this blog that I would be perfectly honest, in case it were to help someone else in a similar situation, so here goes.
I cried this morning. A lot. Most Sunday mornings are like this, in fact, but today was worse for some reason.
I want very badly, even need, to get back into church with my family. Being out is so isolating, and leaves spiritual needs (and requirements) unfulfilled. I get frustrated that I cannot simply push through with will power and just get there. I get even more frustrated when the words ring through my mind "Go anyway... God will honor that."
Let me be very clear; I am not frustrated at God. I am not frustrated at the pastor who preaches that God will honor us serving Him through the difficulties and pains. I am frustrated with the reality.
Let me put it this way. There have been many times that I have gone to church in excruciating pain. I tried my hardest not to gasp and make other pain-related noises in those unforgiving pews (once my best friend) so I did not distract others. (It never works, by the way. People nearest look over at me, or jump slightly when they hear me suck in a little air.) I cannot seem to go longer than ten or at best, fifteen, minutes without getting that feeling up and down my spine I can only describe as 'shattering glass'.
The walk back to the car includes me grasping onto Chris' arm for dear life and biting my lip to repress the impending tears. (Walking has a different pain, especially if we are parked any distance... it feels like my low spine is being crumpled in one of those car-smashing machines. A literal grinding down feeling.)
By the time we hit the car I lean heavily on the door while I wait for it to unlock, fall inside without any grace or dignity, gasp as quietly as I can before finally dissolving into sobs behind my sunglasses as we pull down the driveway for the wracking ride home.
I apologize for the detail of that, but that is the reality. What really gets me, though, is that for up to two weeks after I can barely move to make it anywhere around my own home. I cannot teach Becka at a desk, so I teach from the couch. I cannot make dinners b/c I'm still too pain-wracked to stand over a stove or sink so the dishes and cooking fall to Chris or worse, Becka brings whatever is within reach in the pantry so I can put together her cereal bowl or sandwich from the couch.
I could go into even more detail, but am already disgusted with myself for allowing this much out. This all brings us back around to Sunday mornings, evenings and Wednesdays. That time when I try so hard to will myself in, but then weighing the two things, choose to be a slightly better functioning parent than to get that church interaction I desperately need, only to be useless for long after.
I have been out of church longer this last time than normal. I usually can work up the will power and bite through the pain every couple or few months, but this year there has been packing, moving, unpacking... a long process that has completely wiped me out. Still, I wanted SO badly for today to be the day. I am missing so much; the sermons (a breath of fresh air to my very soul), the singing - and being able to sing (I do not sing as much around the house). Even the awkward looks I get from all the faces; faces that by now should be those of dear friends, if I had been there (or able to stick around afterward) to get to know them.
Two nights ago I sat on a wooden chair in my garage to direct the unloading of boxes. It was only 20 minutes, nowhere near the two hours I'd need to be able to tolerate a hard seat, and I have been only half-able to move since then. Even at that, I still spent all night last night telling myself today will be the day... today I can go. This morning I will grit my teeth and go.
That lands us on this morning. Right now. I almost cannot make it between my little master bathroom and my bed. The back is decidedly NOT done punishing me yet for the other night. So, instead of getting to answer my sweet baby with a "Yes, Mommy gets to come today!" I ended up instead hugging her tight in my arms and dripping my sorrows and regrets all over her pretty blond head.
I do not know what to tell myself, or you, at this point, really. I want so much to be that lady who one day says "It was all a bad dream." and picks up living where I was six years ago before my body fell apart. I want to tell you that God does honor those pain-wracked efforts and I can go to church, come back home and not be crippled up worse for weeks. I'm sure He honors my attempts in some way when I do make them, but it is not with the immediate or even eventual release of pain.
What I can tell you is this; I will not quit trying. I have not quit trying, in spite of what it may appear, and I never will. My dad used to preach as I grew up that when people get out of church it gets easier for them to stay out, and that at some point they want to be out and will probably not return. I am not sure who exactly those people are, but I can guarantee before God that I am not one of them. I have to get back. I need to get back. I must get back to my church family, and in a way my little family. These services missed are breaking my heart fresh every time. I begged the Lord for my little girl so I might raise her back to Him, and I am missing an essential part of that raising, no matter how much or how diligently I teach her the Word here at home.
So, to end this selfish blog today I will just ask for prayer. Whatever God plans for me, I am fighting hard to be included in my church family even from a distance. I have to believe that one day He will allow me to get back where I belong - and that my efforts in the meantime are essential to that. I haven't given up. I will not give up. For now I will pray as hard and fervently as I can for others, and for opportunities to serve, but I still will not give up. I want back in that pew, and I will get there by God's grace.
Do you need prayer? Is there something or someone in your life I can pray about? I cannot promise answers of greed or gain, or even that God will say yes, but unspoken or detailed, I can pray with you. I can pray for you. Will you give me that privilege?