Missing mentors in the middle.

I find myself frustrated.

I really realized yesterday how much my mentors tend to lean completely away from where I am on some issues.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve read some of the past entries, I do believe that sometimes there are supernatural explainations or at least influences into many occurances.

I’m not, however, one that falls towards the stronger side of charismatic beliefs. Not a follower of gold dusting… I get annoyed in churches where it frequently ends up more of a circus atmosphere than a teaching one… and I don’t believe speaking in toungues is any sort of requirement to recieving holy spirit.

Now, after a lot of searching, I’ve finally found a church that falls very squarely where I do. Teaching very balanced between direct biblical sources and modern applications. Very even spread of focus between sermon and worship. Prayer for healings and anointing with oil, but not done in the whole make-a-spectacle of it style but rather quietly in smaller groups.

However, yesterday… I had the first major anxiety attack I’ve had in at least 5 years. At church… in relation to joining a small group. No real lead up to it, or warning, just wham.

And it was only in the aftermath of looking for someone to talk to and puzzle through feelings with… that I realized… I have no one in the middle.

My primary mentor… almost like a second mother…. is a conservative baptist. Her response is that it’s God telling me something is wrong and to run from the church. But then, its odd that it wouldn’t have had any other feelings leading up to it, and that it would wait this long.

Another…. who attends a church that has had the gold dust on occasion…. is pretty much convinced I have a demon. Again, odd to not have any other issues previously.

At this point, I stopped and realized how much both my mentors and my friends lean in completely opposite directions. But really…. very few land anywhere towards the middle. Its like it’s all or nothing… either no speakig in toungues or its required… either I’m demon possessed or I’m being lead astray…

I guess its kind of interesting how I’d never really noticed it before. Well, I suppose I probably have noticed the effects, even with the ear issue, but never really noticed the reason.

But then, I guess at least I have a pretty good balance of people at each end of the spectrum.

Now I suppose the obvious place to look to add someone with similar views to bounce things off of is within my church, and even more specifically, in an ongoing small group study. However, of course, since this is where the issue came, that’s not real useful right at this moment.

So I don’t believe this is a red flag to run from the church, and I don’t believe its demon possession. But I guess where I’m struggling is to figure out where in the middle I do fall. It could well be something influenced from either side here…. either not the right time to join a group, or a tactic being used to keep me away from connecting more with like minded individuals…

Or maybe just past issues showing me that I need to work on them to overcome them.

I’m also starting to notice a trend of feeling like I’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle, have the outside edges built, but I’m just making a mess of trying to get everything in the right spots and pointed the right direction. While consulting the big picture isn’t offering any obvious answers right now.

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4 thoughts on “Missing mentors in the middle.

  1. Kim says:

    Thanks for the comment! I have to say from my experience that anxiety has no rhyme or reason and can sneak up on you at the strangest times. I’m not inclined to believe that God would sneak up on you in such a way though. I, personally, have met some of my closest friends in small groups so I am a big believer in them. Just trust your instincts, pray about it, and keep a brown paper bag close by until you get it figured out!

  2. "Maggie" says:

    Yeah, small groups make me nervous too. I get very anxious about the level of intimacy when I don’t know the people well. But, the times when I risked it, worked through, and gave myself time to get to know and value the people…those proved to be the more valuable, and deepest relationships of my life, ever. They could look at me in a crying, irrtational, needy meltdown and say, “It’s okay to feel deeply”. They could bounce my questions, make me mad, cheer me up, and make me laugh and smile. It was a safe place. I miss it. Yeah, anxiety attacks happen. yeah, it’s embarrassing. But, we all go through it at first, or many of us non-group people do. My advice is: press in. See what happens. If it’s not God honoring, you’ll find out. If it is God honoring, you’ll be blessed and have grown.

    I think you have a level head on your shoulders..way to think things out for yourself on this. (And…my church is very much like the one you describe liking…:D)

  3. philangelus says:

    Hi! I just dropped by after you commented at my blog. 🙂

    In “Gavin deBecker style,” ask yourself who benefits in order to determine where something is coming from. Does *God* benefit from you avoiding a small Bible study group? Does the enemy? Do you benefit from it (ie, solely natural source of anxiety.)

    Sometimes fear is a clear signal that something is “off” about an activity. Sometimes that’s my only warning. AT other times, it’s clearly something the enemy wants.

    (BTW, I don’t think you’re demon-possessed. But you could be demon-harassed. In fact, most of us are, only not this obviously.)

    If the enemy wants to keep you away from something this badly, then it’s good for you. Clearly.

    So here would be my recommendation: pray about it. Spend a lot of time listening. Ask God to grant you a sense of peace about the right decision. Ask God for help discerning. If God went through that much trouble to warn you away, then God won’t scrimp on helping you figure out that warning came from Him. And if the enemy is trying to keep you away, then God will certainly come to your defense and give you a sense of inner freedom to pursue it.

    If it’s totally natural (ie, you simply had a panic attack) then God can ease that too.

    If nothing I said makes sense, please just ignore and go on with your life. 🙂

  4. annkroeker says:

    Wow, what an intense situation (that you explained very well). I wanted to drop by and thank you for explaining in the comments at my blog how *you* handle comments.

    Now that I’m here, I really wish I had some insight for you on this puzzling issue, but I don’t know what to say! I am happy for you that you found, after much searching, a church that fits with your “middle” view. I do hope you find someone to advise you who is in a similar place. One thing it seems God has shown you–He’s revealed what you can ask for in prayer: a mentor in the middle. Someone with appropriate perspective and insight.

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