Advice for Moms

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Anjlmom32
Feeling avoided by Pastor at church, not sure what to feel...PLEASE, no religious bashing
October 3, 2012 at 10:53 PM

So here's my situation. 

About a month ago, my husband was sent home from work a week early and kept home for a month (laid off) due to a lack of work in the oil fields. We are suffering because of the lack of income that is just now hitting us. He is back at work, but won't get paid for a few more weeks. 

I only work part time and the rest of the time I take care of my children. We have been so short on food, gas and money for school clothes for my children, I went to the pastor of my church to ask if there were any food programs that could help us out until we get back on our feet, or at least until I get my small check next week. I was so embarrassed at having to ask for help I broke down from the humiliation. He explained to me that due to the small size of the church and congregation there were no programs available. He did however offer to go through his sons clothes and bring in any that he didn't need to donate to my son who is the same age. I told him I really appreciated that and left his office. 

I have been trying to keep my chin up and pray to God to help me in my struggles, but it has been very difficult. We are living on potatoes, and whatever we have left in the freezer...frozen chicken patties, a couple of Totinos' Pizza's, hotdogs and corndogs, mostly stuff we use for lunches. We are down to 2 Pizza's and 4 chicken patties and then we will be out of any kind of main course completely. 


3 weeks ago, I mentioned to my Pastor, that I would be very interested in helping to organize a type of food pantry at our church to help people out who are in the same situation as myself. I also mentioned that I was interested in getting Baptised. I've been a member at this church for 6 months and since renewing my relationship with the LORD, I feel I need to take that final step to feel "complete" in my new life with HIM. Since then, the pastor avoids me, seemingly at all costs. If I am within 3 feet of him and make eye contact he will move across the room. If I try to approach him, he will quickly strike up conversation with the nearest person to him. I FEEL him avoiding me. He is making it very clear he does not want to talk to me or hear anything I have to say. 


Tonight when I dropped off my son for youth group, I went inside to ask the Pastor if he would see to it that another member who regularly brings my son home, would please give him a ride tonight, and to please get a message to my Bible Study guide at her home that I would not be attending tonight as I just had a tooth pulled yesterday, and my phone had been shut off. (I spent my last $20 yesterday making sure there would be milk and bread and potatoes in the house.) YES, I sacrifice my phone bill in order to feed my children. Their welfare is far more important than my phone to me. 


so, now I am so self conscious, hurt and disappointed, I'm afraid to even return to church. But I will because it means so much to me and to my children! I just don't know what to do, how to act. I am completely appalled that a man who has dedicated his life to teaching the gospel, is acting in such a hypocritical way. I am new at church, and bible study...I am a new believer. That doesn't make me a bad person. I wasn't raised with awareness of the gospel, nor did my parents take me to church regularly. I had to find God on my own, luckily...HE found me! And now I am learning that God does not want us to judge one another, and yet I am feeling "judged" by the very man who is teaching me this? I am so in love with God, but I am feeling more and more that the reputation of the church and it's leaders are true, that it's all propaganda, do as I say, not as I do bologna! I don't want to give up, but I'm not very good at confrontations. 

Advise?

Thanks for listening...sorry it's so long and drawn out!

Replies

  • Anjlmom32
    October 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM


    Quoting BaileynMe:

    It could be your own feelings. It could also simply be that the pastor is human and since there wasn't much he could do for you, he's not sure how to react. If I had to turn someone down when they asked for help, I would have a hard time looking them in the eye, knowing they had a need I couldn't meet.

    Thank you for your perspective. I hadn't considered this possibility, but you have a point. I would feel the same. Thanks. =}

  • crwspringer
    October 4, 2012 at 12:31 AM
    I admire your faith. It is very unfortunate that you are experiencing any of this. I cannot give you advice regarding the pastor, but I might have a little advice regarding resources.
    I am currently unemployed and when I was at the unemployment office there was a flier about getting emergency monetary help. Maybe you can go down to your local office and check the postings to see if they have something similar. It said that you did not need to be unemployed to receive help.
  • mitchiesgirl
    October 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM
    I stepped away from the church along time ago but I am now part of a Unitarian universalist congregation... When I was finding my path I stayed at my regular church and visited others during the week or later in the day on Sundays until we found one that works for us... Good luck!

    Quoting Anjlmom32:


    Quoting mitchiesgirl:

    If I were you I'd be looking into a new church. Church is a congregation- abetting of people coming together for support in their faith. If you don't feel supported, this pastor/church may not be the right one for you. You should never feel like you are purposefully being ignored.

    I've been considering it. But as I said in the OP, my children seem so happy here and have already made friends, I don't want to take them away from that. I feel it would be selfish of me. My kids and I are new at this, and have only been going to church for the last 6 months. I don't want to teach them to just "give up" either. I think I will just wait it out. Perhaps the pastor is having a hard time with something personal and I'm just taking it personally. I don't know, but for now, I think I will just wait and observe. If it continues, then I will look into other churches in the area. Thank you. 

  • Anjlmom32
    October 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM


    Quoting crwspringer:

    I admire your faith. It is very unfortunate that you are experiencing any of this. I cannot give you advice regarding the pastor, but I might have a little advice regarding resources.
    I am currently unemployed and when I was at the unemployment office there was a flier about getting emergency monetary help. Maybe you can go down to your local office and check the postings to see if they have something similar. It said that you did not need to be unemployed to receive help.

    Thank you! I'll definately check into that. 

  • bekalynne440
    October 4, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  I don't know why even a small church wouldn't have some things in place set up to help.  Our church is small, yet we still have food for those in need and even some clothes and household things that have been donated to the church for those who need them.

    But that's the smaller issue.  I understand your kids are enjoying this church, but you need a place where you feel comfortable.  No pastor should avoid a church attendee or cause them to feel uncomfortable about falling on hard times.  Its important to feel like you can trust and go to your pastor for help or guidance.

  • Anjlmom32
    October 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM


    Quoting bekalynne440:

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  I don't know why even a small church wouldn't have some things in place set up to help.  Our church is small, yet we still have food for those in need and even some clothes and household things that have been donated to the church for those who need them.

    But that's the smaller issue.  I understand your kids are enjoying this church, but you need a place where you feel comfortable.  No pastor should avoid a church attendee or cause them to feel uncomfortable about falling on hard times.  Its important to feel like you can trust and go to your pastor for help or guidance.

    Thank you for those words of support! And I agree that trusting your pastor is very important. Now, I'm so self conscious, I'm afraid I will avoid him just to prevent him from having to avoid me, or from having to feel this weird, guilty feeling of having done something wrong or offensive. 

  • tyfry7496
    October 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM
    I agree.

    Quoting bekalynne440:

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  I don't know why even a small church wouldn't have some things in place set up to help.  Our church is small, yet we still have food for those in need and even some clothes and household things that have been donated to the church for those who need them.

    But that's the smaller issue.  I understand your kids are enjoying this church, but you need a place where you feel comfortable.  No pastor should avoid a church attendee or cause them to feel uncomfortable about falling on hard times.  Its important to feel like you can trust and go to your pastor for help or guidance.

  • Jadegirl1819
    October 4, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    I agree with this.  I'm not active in a church but I have always had friends that are.  They are often helping church members in need.  One time a member had a baby and couldn't afford supplies so members donated what they could. A few have had surgery so they organized a group that brought the family dinner.  That's what congregations do.  They help each other.  Just because they don't have a food pantry doesn't mean he couldn't help.  Even if half the congregation brought in a $2 item it could be a lifesaver for your family.

    I'm sorry you are going through this hard time.

     


    Quoting mitchiesgirl:

    If I were you I'd be looking into a new church. Church is a congregation- a meeting of people coming together for support in their faith. If you don't feel supported, this pastor/church may not be the right one for you. You should never feel like you are purposefully being ignored.


  • Momforhealth
    October 4, 2012 at 12:59 AM
    Are you tything? Have faith. Keep praying. Your answers are in scripture and your pastors teachings.
    In these situations i like to take a closer look at myself. I pray everything gets better tomorrow. Do you have any of those little old ladies who cook those delish meals?
  • Anjlmom32
    October 4, 2012 at 1:10 AM
    I only know a handful of people from church. I spoke to the pastor in confidence because I didn't know who else to ask, as well as my Women's bible study leader. According to my bible study leader, there is a program...or used to be. But according to the pastor, there isn't. So I don't know. I pray every night and do my scripture homework for bible study, but I am not familiar enough with the bible to know where to look for the answers. I don't know what "tything" means...but it sounds negative. I'm just trying to get helpful advise on where to look in the bible for answers and how to approach this situation without feeling so...ashamed and guilty for asking a stranger for help.

    Quoting Momforhealth:

    Are you tything? Have faith. Keep praying. Your answers are in scripture and your pastors teachings.

    In these situations i like to take a closer look at myself. I pray everything gets better tomorrow. Do you have any of those little old ladies who cook those delish meals?

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