Author Topic: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...  (Read 488 times)

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Offline Eruvande

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Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« on: April 27, 2015, 03:39:51 PM »
I'm hoping to meet a priest in the next month, so that's something of a light at the end of the tunnel of never meeting a real Orthodox person. But I've been at it for years now, mostly discouraged by my husband, who is changed in recent months, but still won't get me to a Divine Liturgy for toffee. So I pray. And try and read, though I find my 'to read' list grows whenever I speak to some who is Orthodox! And I pray some more.

I haven't attended our church since Easter, and it has been remarked upon, but I feel like a complete fish out of water in the evangelical charismatic setting. I have to go this month as I'm down to do the bible reading one week. Orthodoxy seems a world away from where I am right now, except in my heart. I have to pursue it, I am compelled by the pursuit of truth, wherever it leads me. But yeah, I'm a bit down right now and would appreciate some encouragement...

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 03:58:09 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling discouraged. Without knowing the particulars of your own situation, I'll just say that I can relate to the seemingly endless time of reading and seeking before actually attending an Orthodox Church (and I'm a former charismatic evangelical as well). That was me for years and years, always waiting. Take it one day at a time. I can look back now and see God's timing in it all- I was received with my family, and it happened when it was supposed to happen. I pray the same for you! And I'll be praying for some extra grace to get you through this desert place. :)
"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 04:01:27 PM »
Oh! And to answer the rest of your question-

It IS worth pursuing. It is blessedness. :)
"For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide, even to the end." Psalm 48:14

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 04:04:42 PM »
I second that. You can take your time in this, as long as you keeping moving forward. It's good you're going to see a priest!

It is blessed. I do feel different going to an Orthodox liturgy than I did in any other religious service. There are challenges, too, and already you're getting a taste of them. But it's true that God only sends us the temptations we can handle. You're doing great!

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 04:10:46 PM »
Does he oppose you going to an Orthodox Church?
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Offline eddybear

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 04:28:31 PM »
I feel for you, as a fellow fish out of water. I keep telling myself that this no-man's-land, where Anglicanism no longer appeals, but becoming Orthodox is a way off, is just a place I have to get through. Prayers for you and your husband.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 04:41:33 PM »
Orthodoxy seems a world away from where I am right now, except in my heart. I have to pursue it, I am compelled by the pursuit of truth, wherever it leads me. But yeah, I'm a bit down right now and would appreciate some encouragement...

Your story and mine do not seem very similar, so I don't have advice for you.  I don't even think I'd call the following "encouragement".  But I would say Orthodoxy is worth pursuing if you believe Jesus is worth pursuing.  And pursuing Jesus is not something that ought to end once you join the Orthodox Church.  Whether we were born into the Church or converted from some other faith, even within the bosom of the Church we will suffer if we are pursuing Christ: we will suffer trials, we will wrestle with doubts, we will wonder why we are bothering with any of this stuff.  And the answers will not come easily. 

I always think of Jacob wrestling with the angel.  It's a rather silly concept, a man wrestling with an angel, and it's even sillier when you realise that he came to understand that he was actually wrestling with God.  Who, after all, could hope to prevail over God?  But Jacob fights all throughout the dark night and keeps on fighting even when the angel/God inflicts an injury on him to try to escape.  And Jacob prevails over God.  He's still in pain from the fight and limps from his injury, but Jacob prevails over God.  And he prevails over God because, in a sense, God wants us to prevail over him, even if it's just the two of us, even if we have no help, even if it looks dark and aimless and hopeless and is seemingly taking forever.  But he wants to be defeated because then both of us win. 

Whatever struggle you are facing now is just part of something a lot bigger.  And you can win.           
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Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.


Offline Maria

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 04:49:49 PM »
Orthodoxy seems a world away from where I am right now, except in my heart. I have to pursue it, I am compelled by the pursuit of truth, wherever it leads me. But yeah, I'm a bit down right now and would appreciate some encouragement...

Your story and mine do not seem very similar, so I don't have advice for you.  I don't even think I'd call the following "encouragement".  But I would say Orthodoxy is worth pursuing if you believe Jesus is worth pursuing.  And pursuing Jesus is not something that ought to end once you join the Orthodox Church.  Whether we were born into the Church or converted from some other faith, even within the bosom of the Church we will suffer if we are pursuing Christ: we will suffer trials, we will wrestle with doubts, we will wonder why we are bothering with any of this stuff.  And the answers will not come easily. 

I always think of Jacob wrestling with the angel.  It's a rather silly concept, a man wrestling with an angel, and it's even sillier when you realise that he came to understand that he was actually wrestling with God.  Who, after all, could hope to prevail over God?  But Jacob fights all throughout the dark night and keeps on fighting even when the angel/God inflicts an injury on him to try to escape.  And Jacob prevails over God.  He's still in pain from the fight and limps from his injury, but Jacob prevails over God.  And he prevails over God because, in a sense, God wants us to prevail over him, even if it's just the two of us, even if we have no help, even if it looks dark and aimless and hopeless and is seemingly taking forever.  But he wants to be defeated because then both of us win. 

Whatever struggle you are facing now is just part of something a lot bigger.  And you can win.         

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Offline biro

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 05:02:13 PM »
It was a long haul for me, but once I was received, I felt at home.

Keep trying.
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Offline Kmon23

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 05:53:03 PM »
I'm in the same boat. I'm actually still in the process, a catechumen, not Orthodox yet. Even so, there have been some difficulties at home with differing opinions from family and sometimes being forced to go to Non-Orthodox services. I may not enjoy them, but even in our darkest moments, there is always room to praise God. When I used to be in those services, I would just pray my own prayers, and maybe realize that no matter what the circumstance, how great our God is that there IS a better thing out there waiting for us to experience.

Offline Eruvande

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 06:18:10 PM »
Thank you all so much, you've made me cry. My husband is beginning to soften towards Orthodoxy, especially as he sees how important it has become to me. But getting me to a Liturgy is a step he's not happy with right now. Mor, I appreciate your reminder that this is a journey that won't stop should I become Orthodox. Thank you all so, so much.

Offline Alxandra

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 06:21:54 PM »
Orthodoxy seems a world away from where I am right now, except in my heart. I have to pursue it, I am compelled by the pursuit of truth, wherever it leads me. But yeah, I'm a bit down right now and would appreciate some encouragement...

Your story and mine do not seem very similar, so I don't have advice for you.  I don't even think I'd call the following "encouragement".  But I would say Orthodoxy is worth pursuing if you believe Jesus is worth pursuing.  And pursuing Jesus is not something that ought to end once you join the Orthodox Church.  Whether we were born into the Church or converted from some other faith, even within the bosom of the Church we will suffer if we are pursuing Christ: we will suffer trials, we will wrestle with doubts, we will wonder why we are bothering with any of this stuff.  And the answers will not come easily. 

I always think of Jacob wrestling with the angel.  It's a rather silly concept, a man wrestling with an angel, and it's even sillier when you realise that he came to understand that he was actually wrestling with God.  Who, after all, could hope to prevail over God?  But Jacob fights all throughout the dark night and keeps on fighting even when the angel/God inflicts an injury on him to try to escape.  And Jacob prevails over God.  He's still in pain from the fight and limps from his injury, but Jacob prevails over God.  And he prevails over God because, in a sense, God wants us to prevail over him, even if it's just the two of us, even if we have no help, even if it looks dark and aimless and hopeless and is seemingly taking forever.  But he wants to be defeated because then both of us win. 

Whatever struggle you are facing now is just part of something a lot bigger.  And you can win.         

Well said :)
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Offline Echa

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2015, 11:35:40 AM »
I was part of charismatic evangelical mov...which i think caused one of my depressions. Every time after the service i felt empty in my heart as soon as i headed back home :( for years i felt hunger spiritually, i also felt angry. I cried and mad without reason because my heart and mind needed Him more but didnt know how. For a few years i struggled, went church shopping....

but don't be discouraged! Keep praying! How about reading books about Orthodoxy and pray like an Orthodox? If you have anglican rosary, pray Jesus prayer with it. I do have it, and use it like i pray on my chotki.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 11:37:26 AM by Echa »
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Offline yas

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 08:16:11 AM »
I was raised Catholic but when in college became Evangelical. I met my husband through that church and when I started to move towards Orthodoxy I was afraid of what he would think. I live in NYC so it's fairly easy for me to hop on the subway and go to church without him. He is very cynical about any organized religion and would be very upset if I stepped in an Evangelical church. So I think our stories differ in some ways.

But when my husband saw the changes that Orthodoxy brought to my life and how important it was to me he began to change. With permission from my priest I started to do the weekly fast, purchased a Choki and started a daily prayer routine, etc. When people at the church ask why my husband doesn't come with me I say that I don't want to pressure him. But he did attend once! On Palm Sunday!! (Which he thought would be "Easter" since it was for the other denominations.) I was so shocked! I didn't ask him to or anything! And once he came his remarks were about how there were a lot of kids running around and that the icons were beautiful, etc. So you never know what God will do to the hearts of those you pray for!!

I know the road seems hard--but Jesus said following Him would NOT be easy. And Orthodoxy is what I always joke to be the "hard" road of the Christian walk. It consumes your life--and it's amazing!!! Pray for your husband. These changes are slow but wonderful. Do not give up. It may take a week or years--but God knows the desires of your heart. The wait will be worth it. You and your husband are in my prayers. Give it time.  :)


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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2015, 08:31:12 AM »
Whenever I feel like giving up, one thought keeps me going. "God did not give up on me, so with what right would I give up?"
It is hard, sometimes it seems to hard, or too heavy to bear, sometimes the waves seem to devour us, but than... Kyrie Eleison!
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Offline Eruvande

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 11:03:25 AM »
<Does happy happy dance>

I finally met with a priest who was giving a talk in my hometown, and through that, I made contact with local Orthodox, who took my contact details and we'll take it from there! I am beside myself with relief and blessings.

Offline Alxandra

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 11:05:55 AM »
<Does happy happy dance>

I finally met with a priest who was giving a talk in my hometown, and through that, I made contact with local Orthodox, who took my contact details and we'll take it from there! I am beside myself with relief and blessings.

How wonderful, Glory to God :)
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Offline biro

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 11:49:38 AM »
Praise be!
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Offline eddybear

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Re: Discouraged... remind me why Orthodoxy is worth pursuing...
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 02:24:44 PM »
Great news :) Glory to God!
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:25:16 PM by eddybear »