I’ve been open on this blog about my struggle to get to church. I tried many things to get to church, but it just felt like a struggle I couldn’t win for a while. I knew I’d get there, but I didn’t know how. Well, in the last couple months, I’ve not missed church a single time. Let me tell you how.
I’ve been aware for some time that healing in one area moves into healing in other areas. My problem with church was largely centered on trauma. I was very badly hurt by a church and I’ve been afraid of church ever since. Every time I tried to go to church, my panic would win out, and I’d stay home. My therapist believes this is due, in part, to PTSD, which I got from the way I was treated by that one church. Even though I go to a very different church now, the fear from the old church remained.
So how did I overcome this?
I’ve had another issue for many years, which is sleep. I didn’t want to sleep at night. I had a lot of reasons for that. It all started when I was in high school. I hated my family so much that I didn’t want to deal with them, so after school, I’d just go to sleep and not deal with them. I’d wake up at night, and be all alone. I loved it! I’d go for long walks, and watch movies and be completely alone without any annoying family to bother me. I hated them so deeply and now I didn’t have to deal with them.
This turned into a long term problem. I came to love the night. I’d always stay up late, and sleep in the day. Eventually, I wanted to change this, but I also sort of didn’t want to change it. I knew I’d be better off if I’d be awake during the day, but I didn’t know how to give up my nights.
Again, I solved this indirectly. I came to want that wellness when, through therapy, I came to actually love myself. I started using affirmations and began to decrease my self hate. Then I wanted more for me in life. I didn’t think I deserved to suffer so much.
So here was the path:
- Use affirmations to stop the self hate
- Come to want more for myself
- Try to stay awake during the day and sleep at night, now that I actually want to.
- Somehow my fear of church just melts away like ice on the pavement on a hot day.
- Now I’m an altar server at church and never ever miss church. My life is so much better that I lack words for it.
Every time I gained a success, I rolled that success into more successes. I’m not done yet. I’m going to keep pushing this and see how far it goes. But the lesson here is that health is all connected. Working on affirmations defeated my PTSD about church attendance. That’s health. You solve one issue, and the healing flows into so many other issues. It’s a snowball.
I’m not all done healing, but I’m learning more and more every day. My health is becoming robust.