When Church is a Lonely Place

church2If you have ever been hurt by people or staff within your church, Karen’s reminders may help begin to heal those hurts as we remember everyone has w battle and we all feel a little bit helpless in helping another with theirs.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

Sometimes the loneliest place you can be is sitting in the pew of a crowded church sanctuary.

When I first started to have health problems, people were always asking me how I was doing. They asked about doctor’s appointments, test results, or how they could pray. As the months passed with no diagnosis, people gradually stopped asking.

My health kept me from attending many services and that only distanced me further from everyone. My heart was in turmoil with all the emotions I was going through as my life was being turned upside down. I was even paranoid that people thought I must be having mental issues because I certainly didn’t “look sick.”

Being in your church is supposed to make you feel safe, loved, and accepted. I didn’t feel any of that–I just felt alone.

After living with chronic illness for over 20 years, I now have a wiser perspective. I realize that people simply didn’t know what to do and that made it much easier to do nothing.

I also realize that at any given church, there are many that are hurting and feeling alone in the midst of a sea of people.

There are those that are secretly stuck in an abusive marriage. There are those who can’t sleep at night because they are worried about their family member who is struggling.

Pastors and church members are not perfect. They don’t have some special gift to know what to do in all circumstances just because they are Christians.

People can’t read minds and we shouldn’t be upset when they don’t know what we need. If you are in need of something, ask.

People will disappoint you. They are human, just like you. Be forgiving of those who have hurt you. You have enough to deal with.

Prayer: Lord, help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Give me the strength to ask for help when I need it. Help me to develop friendships with your people. Amen.

About the author:
Karen Weber has dealt with several autoimmune diseases for over 20 years. She has a passion for encouraging others with the hope of God through the path of illness. She has led a support group and has taught classes for the community on “Living Well with Chronic Illness”.

Have you ever felt “alone” in church?