How this series can help us
Speaking openly about our church experiences – if done in a loving way – can be a great way to initiate positive change. Not just change in our churches (although we do pray for that!)… No, I’m talking about change within us.
As we read other people’s stories, we see that we’re not alone. This can be a huge encouragement in itself! We gain insights into how others have coped with their struggles at church. We can learn from each other.
One thing I want to ask is this: Please try not to compare yourself with the people who tell their stories. We are all at a different stage of our grief journeys. We are all at different churches.
Some people have supportive churches. You might be tempted to feel worse about your own church when you read about their positive experiences. Other people struggle with church. You might be inclined to judge them or offer “helpful” advice when you read their stories.
As you read, I encourage you to listen – really listen. Empathise. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. (Rom 12:15 NIV)
If a particular story triggers a negative reaction in you (e.g. you start to feel upset about your own church), please take it to God in prayer – share your grief with him. (Psalm 62:8)
If you’re still in turmoil after praying, perhaps you could ask a mature Christian friend, or a counsellor, to help you work through your grief.
The Church Series might also provide comfort and reassurance.
Want to tell your story?
If you would like to contribute your own story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 3-5 lines, tell me about (1) your invisible illness experience, (2) how long you’ve been a Christian, and (3) what types of things you’d like to share in your story. I’ll reply as promptly as I can to get our shared project started!