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struggling christian mum

(11 Posts)
maiT Mon 11-Jul-11 07:27:30

Hello everyone, I dont even know where to start as i feel like every aspect of my life is falling apart and out of control. i cant even face going to church...through the week i look forward to sunday then on the morning i cant bring myself to get ready and go. currently we are going thru financial issues, marital issues, and bringing up a ds who is 3.9 and foster daughter 9. sometimes i feel like giving up but the thought of my ds and dd keeps me going even though im letting him down in so many ways. sometimes i feel too sinful to even approach God in prayer, i know he is forgiving however i still feel undeserving of his grace and terrible that i cant even pray to restore my r/ship with him ie God.

MaryBS Mon 11-Jul-11 07:54:03

Hugs and prayers for you. It can be really hard to go to church when you're experiencing problems, because if you're like me, those problems seem so much closer when you're at church. The way I see it is, you are bringing those problems to God, asking him to take care of you and those whom you love. If that means shedding tears, then those tears can bring release. Even Jesus cried sometimes.

As St Paul says, we all fall short, and so you mustn't worry about feeling undeserving, because we all are. The very nature of grace is that even though we don't deserve it, God gives it anyway, and he is ABUNDANT with it. As the psalm says "a broken and contrite heart, God will not despise".

One last quote from Paul "while we were still sinners, he came to meet us in his son". HE came to meet US! Isn't that amazing? We don't have to be perfect before HE comes to us! All we have to do is ask him in when he comes.

Love God, love others, but it sounds like you need to love yourself too...

Come and join us on the prayer thread and we'll pray with you and for you?

God bless xx

PositiveAttitude Mon 11-Jul-11 08:26:36

Wanted to post too, but I cant say anything more than Mary has already put so well.
You are not alone and everyone feels like this at times - well, everyone I know, anyway! The problem is that people are so good at pretending that things are fine, so everyone always feels as if they are the only one who is feeling like this.

God is there, He loves you and He understands.

stressedHEmum Mon 11-Jul-11 10:27:21

Mary and PA are both absolutely right. We all fall short of the glory of God but he loves us anyway. And we all sometimes feel like we are not worth it and that God can't possibly love us. People just pretend that they don't

Jesus said "Come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." If you give your problems over to God, he will help you deal with them. I know that this is much easier said than done, though. You have to try to focus on the fact that we don't need to be perfect (or even very good) for God to love us. Paul tells us that "God showed his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." John tells us that "We love because HE first loved us" and that "He loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" "He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him."

I think that , as Mary says, you need to try to love yourself a little bit more and forgive yourself. God has already forgiven you so you need to be a bit easier on yourself. There is a verse in Isaiah chapter 50 that says "HE gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart, He gently leads those that have young." God knows how difficult it is to raise a family, how many stresses and strains there are on parents and children, but He cares for you all during this time. He gathers up your precious children, he waits for you and travels along at your speed.

It can be scary going to church when you feel bad about yourself or your life because it makes all your problems seem more immediate. It can be even scarier if you haven't been for a while. How will people react to you? How will God feel that you haven't been and now you're coming because times are tough? I've been down that path many times. But you know what, the problems seem closer because God is closer to you, he wants you to give them to him. He is waiting for you, remember "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you."

You don't need to worry about praying, either. Very often, I try to pray and feel like I fail. I think that everyone does. Or we feel that we don't pray enough or that our prayers don't say what they should but "We don't know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." and Jesus is always interceding for us. Isn't that an amazing thing. No matter how far down we feel we are or how inarticulate our prayers, Jesus is interceding with the Father for us and the Spirit is making our prayers understood and relevant for us. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" If you try to be thankful for the positive things that you see around you, the sunshine, a child's smile, the food in your cupboards, the bad things will seem a wee bit less daunting. I know it's hard, though, when you have problems all around you. Just remember that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." If you just ask for the strength/patience to cope, you will get it. God knows what you need before you ask for it.

I think that this has gone on far too long, sorry. God loves you, he knows what you need and he is waiting to give it to you. I will leave you with my favourite scripture, it has served me well in a life that has often been quite difficult (another story): Psalm 40 says:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

thejaffacakesareonme Tue 12-Jul-11 07:08:33

We all feel we don't act as we'd like to sometimes. I wish I had more patience with my DSs and that I didn't shout so much. I haven't anything to add as the others have put it brilliantly - God loves us even although we don't deserve it. I just wanted to let you know that we all feel like we make mistakes sometimes.

oxocube Tue 12-Jul-11 19:27:18

Bless you maiT. Have nothing to add as everyone else has said it so well. smile

blackeyedsusan Tue 12-Jul-11 20:15:33

given that you have a lot of stress in your life, it is unsurprising that you don't feel close to god. been there (am still there) and going to church seems just like one more chore to get done. (and what do you get out of it anyway when you are too busy chasing a toddler round?)

have you taken finacial advice from one of the debt charities?

are you having marriage counselling together?

I ask because we are physical, spiritual and emotional beings and if our emotions are upset because we are stressed then the other 2 also are affected. unfortunately some churches seem to forget this and it can make things harder rather than better. don't you want to just poke people like that in the eye?(and kick them in the shins)..............(and stamp on their foot)....

blackeyedsusan Thu 14-Jul-11 23:26:57

how are you today?

mariamagdalena Sat 16-Jul-11 00:31:23

maiT, would recruiting someone else to pray for you, help? Or visiting your church but not on a Sunday? There's great advice above, both religious and practical. Not that Jesus really distinguished the two!

The only thing I have to add is 'prayer is lifting the heart and mind to God'... ie just wanting to be able to, or being upset that you can't.... is itself a valid prayer that He will hear.

stressedHEmum Sat 16-Jul-11 08:57:32

OP, how are you feeling, now? I hope things are easing a bit for you and you feel a wee bit more positive.

BES, I know what you mean about things being out of balance and the reality of live affecting your spiritual journey. When things are bad, it just makes everything so much more difficult. My experience is, though, that if you can bring yourself to talk to God, or even just think about Him, it helps with everything else. It kind of eases your burdens a bit.

OP, I have been thinking about this and I wouldn't worry too much about whether you actually make it to church or not. God knows your circumstances and he knows that you are thinking about him and that you want to be close to him. At times, when things have been really, really bad for me, I have failed to go to church for long periods. There was even a long time when my husband ( a violent, all round abusive, alcoholic, drug addicted atheist) wouldn't let me. He would lock us in and hide the keys from me or make life hell when I came back. Eventually, I just lost the will to go. But I still tried to draw close to God in small ways, even though I found prayer almost impossible. TO be honest, that was the only thing that keep me at least a tiny bit sane. Looking back on that period of my life (and on other equally difficult times) I can see the God was definitely at work, keeping my head above water. I am sure that it will be the same for you.

somewherewest Thu 11-Aug-11 20:06:05

MaiT, have you talked to people at your church about this? You should feel free to bring this up and they should be looking for ways to support you.

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