what i've learned along the way
Just keep swimming . . . just keep swimming!
Published on May 4, 2008 By lobsterhunter In Religion

Why do I hate going to church so much? I woke up today wishing Keller weren’t so far away. In the beginning, I didn’t mind driving forty miles to hear Brandon speak because he was dynamic and his sermons provoked questions and deep thinking. Lately, his messages seem disconnected and haphazard. I don’t look forward to Sundays anymore, and they used to be my favorite day of the week.


If I am honest with myself, I know the issue is not the church. The problem is me. My spiritual condition has suffered during the last few years as I’ve traveled this road of disillusionment and frustration. I mentally contest every truth shared by local pastors, and I’ve grown to distrust most religious leaders. I can’t seem to get over the wounds I encountered from the conservative zealots who used guilt and condemnation to produce results. My perspective is skewed, and I filter every spiritual truth through the lenses of skepticism and doubt. Know wonder I dislike the sanctified eleven o’clock hour of torture I endure each week!


I don’t know how to fix this. I want to encounter God, but I don’t find Him at church anymore. I see him in the faces of my fourth graders as they rough-house in my backyard during an after TAKS celebration party. I recognize His presence when I share personal struggles with precious friends like Penny and Debbie. I hear His voice through the gentle, reassuring words of my husband who reminds me I’m beautiful and worthy. I sense His spirit when I’m attempting to set boundaries with my often overbearing siblings. God is everywhere, yet I cling to this archaic idea that I must experience Him within the walls of the church. 


I desire spiritual depth. I long to feel connected to my Maker. I crave a vibrant, healthy relationship with Jesus. But I’m stuck. And I don’t know how to keep moving forward. Solutions seem elusive, and my old demons whisper, “Tenille, you will never be enough  . . .”


My students were watching Finding Nemo the other day, and a particular line from the film lingers in my mind. I can hear it now as it reverberates in my head, bouncing off the walls of my brain . . .  


“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . . ”


God, please help me. I feel like my faith is drowning.

Comments (Page 2)
on May 06, 2008

Then again, the search for answers is half the fun, right?

I'm not sure if it's all that fun...but...it's interesting either way.


on May 06, 2008

Hi - Perhaps it would help to explore Christian Mysticism, which is about going deeper into the unmediated experince of the Christ.  There are some sites, but I kind of like this one: http://www.christianmystics.com/

I'm a new Christian, so I am not at the same space as you, but remember James 2:17.  By that I mean, live, really live and love as Christ would.  Living as Christ would (despite my complete screwing up that undermines me every single step of the way, it seems) helps me to grow closer to God.   Do not be discouraged by your church, be encouraged that you are part of the Body of Christ and as such, there is always someone somewhere who needs Christ's love that will come through your hand.

I will pray for your continued strength and patience,

your brother in Christ,  Buddah M