Commitment-Phobe: We need to talk
When you can’t pretend anymore
I realised late last year that I was signing up for every task or cause at church, saying yes to everyone, and not really being clear on what I wanted to do any further than three months ahead. I prayed asking the Lord to empty me and fill the space with what he wanted of me. My life got a little complicated not long after. An absent and toxic father returned to my life and suddenly I was struggling to get the most basic things done. So I cleared the slate. No more cleaning at the church. No more signing up to every course the church was running. Less worship leading. Less involvement in extra church services. Ignoring emails for schemes I had signed up for. I cancelled many social engagements and stopped answering the phone.
During this time, for the most part, I continued to go to church. It was a weird feeling for me, to be asking for help rather than seeking to serve. I felt ashamed. I judged myself – even if others did not. Some people prayed great prayers of expectation for me and spoke of God’s extravagant love for me; others called for me to be shielded by God from negative thoughts. Others still reminded me of the blessings of my life.
I clutched at these prayers like straws of hay on a windy hill. I was buffeted by the winds and seemed to have nothing to weigh me down. All I felt was fear and deep shame at my own unlovability.
When I went to church I was aware of so many people who did not really know me. When I was at home I was aware of so many people who did not really know me. I had fallen into the ‘I’m fine’ trap and did not know how to get out of it.
This is an extract from the May 2017 edition of Reform