Author Topic: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey  (Read 1187 times)

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Offline littlepilgrim64

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Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« on: July 02, 2014, 08:52:49 AM »
Hi guys,

Please pray for me.  I don't know if anyone else experienced this as they were seeking Orthodoxy, but I'm now in a season where I am overwhelmed by everything.  On one side my connections are still strong at my old church, socially (as I still attend my Presbyterian church on alternate weeks), but whenever I am among them now or sit in service I feel like a foreigner.  Additionally, I feel as if I am being somewhat dishonest with them in attending there as I continue to seek Orthodoxy and, in reality, my beliefs are shifting away from theirs. 

Conversely, when I go to DL I feel such a peace there. Not that I allow my mind to "check out" entirely (because I'm following along with the liturgy and participating as best I know how), but I stand there and pray that the Lord will open my heart to Him and experience all that is going on around me. . .sort of like riding a wave out in the ocean and allowing it to carry you where it will, as Father explained to me.  I have a simple prayer rule and have been reading a lot and the more on Orthodoxy I read, the more I see how vast everything is, which overwhelms me.  Also, it's like one day I feel the Lord makes something in Orthodoxy very clear to me (ex: asking saints to intercede for us) and I embrace it and another day (as, while in prayer, I ask a saint to intercede for me) my "Protestant self" chimes in that "praying to the dead" is evil, and I become highly anxious.  I have backed off any reading for the past few days because I've been overwhelmed, though I continue in my prayer time.  I even went to bed last night somewhat anxious and repeated the Jesus Prayer until I fell asleep. 

I appreciate your prayers.  :)
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 08:55:32 AM »
Lord have mercy on your servant.

FWIW, I experienced the same thing.  On occasion, I still do.
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Offline elephant

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 09:19:22 AM »
Lord Have Mercy Lord Have Mercy Lord Have Mercy
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Dear littlepilgrim,

You are not betraying your friends!  I'm sure good friendships can survive a change in Church membership, or any other major life change.   

I think doubt and fear are temptations and you are doing the best thing by turning to prayer.  I find that prayer is easier than trying to confront negative thoughts myself. 

Love, elephant

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 09:22:36 AM »
Lord have mercy.
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 02:25:45 PM »
Lord have mercy.

Offline marigold

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 06:56:04 PM »
Lord, have mercy.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 07:14:01 PM »
Hi guys,

Please pray for me.  I don't know if anyone else experienced this as they were seeking Orthodoxy, but I'm now in a season where I am overwhelmed by everything.  On one side my connections are still strong at my old church, socially (as I still attend my Presbyterian church on alternate weeks), but whenever I am among them now or sit in service I feel like a foreigner.  Additionally, I feel as if I am being somewhat dishonest with them in attending there as I continue to seek Orthodoxy and, in reality, my beliefs are shifting away from theirs. 

Conversely, when I go to DL I feel such a peace there. Not that I allow my mind to "check out" entirely (because I'm following along with the liturgy and participating as best I know how), but I stand there and pray that the Lord will open my heart to Him and experience all that is going on around me. . .sort of like riding a wave out in the ocean and allowing it to carry you where it will, as Father explained to me.  I have a simple prayer rule and have been reading a lot and the more on Orthodoxy I read, the more I see how vast everything is, which overwhelms me.  Also, it's like one day I feel the Lord makes something in Orthodoxy very clear to me (ex: asking saints to intercede for us) and I embrace it and another day (as, while in prayer, I ask a saint to intercede for me) my "Protestant self" chimes in that "praying to the dead" is evil, and I become highly anxious.  I have backed off any reading for the past few days because I've been overwhelmed, though I continue in my prayer time.  I even went to bed last night somewhat anxious and repeated the Jesus Prayer until I fell asleep. 

I appreciate your prayers.  :)
Lord have mercy!

Besides the feeling of dishonesty-I was quite up front and honest-had all of the above.

You're supposed to be overwhelmed. The Church is bigger than you.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 08:18:37 PM »
Lord, have mercy.
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Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 12:08:10 AM »
Lord, have mercy on littlepilgrim64.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 12:21:17 AM »

Lord have mercy!

Besides the feeling of dishonesty-I was quite up front and honest-had all of the above.

You're supposed to be overwhelmed. The Church is bigger than you.

Lord have mercy on your servant.

FWIW, I experienced the same thing.  On occasion, I still do.

It helps to hear that you guys who have gone before me and are in the Church experienced similar things to what I am currently going through.  I know that everyone's journey is different and specific to them, yet there are things shared in common with others too.  Thanks!
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 12:41:43 AM »

I think doubt and fear are temptations and you are doing the best thing by turning to prayer.  I find that prayer is easier than trying to confront negative thoughts myself. 

Love, elephant

Yes, I continue to pray that the Lord would be merciful and forgiving of me in my weak faith with all of my doubts and concerns.  I'm looking forward to when the priest at the church I visit returns from being out of town so that I can discuss these things with him more as well.
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Maria

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 12:57:36 AM »
Hi guys,

Please pray for me.  I don't know if anyone else experienced this as they were seeking Orthodoxy, but I'm now in a season where I am overwhelmed by everything.  On one side my connections are still strong at my old church, socially (as I still attend my Presbyterian church on alternate weeks), but whenever I am among them now or sit in service I feel like a foreigner.  Additionally, I feel as if I am being somewhat dishonest with them in attending there as I continue to seek Orthodoxy and, in reality, my beliefs are shifting away from theirs. 

Conversely, when I go to DL I feel such a peace there. Not that I allow my mind to "check out" entirely (because I'm following along with the liturgy and participating as best I know how), but I stand there and pray that the Lord will open my heart to Him and experience all that is going on around me. . .sort of like riding a wave out in the ocean and allowing it to carry you where it will, as Father explained to me.  I have a simple prayer rule and have been reading a lot and the more on Orthodoxy I read, the more I see how vast everything is, which overwhelms me.  Also, it's like one day I feel the Lord makes something in Orthodoxy very clear to me (ex: asking saints to intercede for us) and I embrace it and another day (as, while in prayer, I ask a saint to intercede for me) my "Protestant self" chimes in that "praying to the dead" is evil, and I become highly anxious.  I have backed off any reading for the past few days because I've been overwhelmed, though I continue in my prayer time.  I even went to bed last night somewhat anxious and repeated the Jesus Prayer until I fell asleep. 

I appreciate your prayers.  :)

Lord have mercy.

Many years ago, I also struggled when I was converting as I felt like a hypocrite whenever I attended the RC Church. However, my priest told me that when the day came that I could no longer receive communion in the RCC, then I should ask to become a catechumen. That day approached sooner than we thought it would. Once I was received as a catechumen, then I no longer attended the RCC.

I will pray for you that you too will find peace.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Oh, try to attend the Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos during the Fast of the Theotokos, from August 1 to August 14. It is so awesome.

"Assaults of temptations cause me distress,
Waves of despondency overwhelming my very soul.
O Maiden, restore to me that peace
That thy Son and our God gives, O blameless One."

Narthex Press, Canon of the Theotokos.
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός
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Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμας

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 09:59:12 AM »
Oh, try to attend the Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos during the Fast of the Theotokos, from August 1 to August 14. It is so awesome.

"Assaults of temptations cause me distress,
Waves of despondency overwhelming my very soul.
O Maiden, restore to me that peace
That thy Son and our God gives, O blameless One."

Narthex Press, Canon of the Theotokos.

Maria ~ Yes, I saw that on church's calendar (GOC - the church I visit) this is coming up next month.  It shows that every other evening they have "Paraklesis" . . .is that the same as the canon?  I am still very new to all of this, so I am assuming that "canon" is a type of prayer service of some sort? 
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline LBK

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 10:02:22 AM »
Oh, try to attend the Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos during the Fast of the Theotokos, from August 1 to August 14. It is so awesome.

"Assaults of temptations cause me distress,
Waves of despondency overwhelming my very soul.
O Maiden, restore to me that peace
That thy Son and our God gives, O blameless One."

Narthex Press, Canon of the Theotokos.

Maria ~ Yes, I saw that on church's calendar (GOC - the church I visit) this is coming up next month.  It shows that every other evening they have "Paraklesis" . . .is that the same as the canon?  I am still very new to all of this, so I am assuming that "canon" is a type of prayer service of some sort? 

The Paraklesis is the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God.
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Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 10:14:01 AM »
Oh, try to attend the Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos during the Fast of the Theotokos, from August 1 to August 14. It is so awesome.

"Assaults of temptations cause me distress,
Waves of despondency overwhelming my very soul.
O Maiden, restore to me that peace
That thy Son and our God gives, O blameless One."

Narthex Press, Canon of the Theotokos.

Maria ~ Yes, I saw that on church's calendar (GOC - the church I visit) this is coming up next month.  It shows that every other evening they have "Paraklesis" . . .is that the same as the canon?  I am still very new to all of this, so I am assuming that "canon" is a type of prayer service of some sort? 

The Paraklesis is the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God.

Thanks, LBK, for clarifying that  :)
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Maria

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 06:03:53 PM »
Any updates?

Know that I continue to pray for you.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

I hope you can make it to the Canon of the Theotokos aka Paraclesis.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 06:04:27 PM by Maria »
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Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 08:20:16 AM »
Any updates?

Know that I continue to pray for you.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

I hope you can make it to the Canon of the Theotokos aka Paraclesis.

I sooo do appreciate your prayers, Maria.   :)  I'm having some days that are better than others with regard to anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.  My journey has become a sort of spiritual tug-of-war going on internally (my Protestant self and the life I know vs. my desire toward Holy Orthodoxy).  I'm finding that alternating between attending the Presbyterian church one week and the GOC the next is getting old, as I long to be at liturgy more frequently.  I've been praying for direction about the timing of when I need to just make a clean break from the Presbyterian church. I'm getting excited about the Dormition fast period coming up and all of the opportunities for me to attend services in the evenings during those two weeks. Also, Father and I are due for a talk, as it's been a number of weeks since I've been able to speak with him, so I'm looking forward to that too!!
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline biro

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2014, 08:46:07 AM »
Lord have mercy.
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Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2014, 11:54:30 PM »
Continuing to pray for you. Lord, have mercy.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2014, 12:01:21 AM »
Continuing to pray for you. Lord, have mercy.

I am grateful for your prayers!
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Maria

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2014, 12:20:07 AM »
Continuing to pray for you. Lord, have mercy.

I am grateful for your prayers!

Let us pray for each other, little pilgrim, that we may be saved.

Lord have mercy and save us.
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Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2014, 12:25:42 AM »
Continuing to pray for you. Lord, have mercy.

I am grateful for your prayers!

Let us pray for each other, little pilgrim, that we may be saved.

Lord have mercy and save us.

Yes, indeed!
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2014, 12:26:23 AM »
Continuing to pray for you. Lord, have mercy.

I am grateful for your prayers!

Let us pray for each other, little pilgrim, that we may be saved.

Lord have mercy and save us.
Amen
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2014, 01:32:49 AM »
  I'm finding that alternating between attending the Presbyterian church one week and the GOC the next is getting old, as I long to be at liturgy more frequently.  I've been praying for direction about the timing of when I need to just make a clean break from the Presbyterian church.
I, like many before and after me, have been there. It is not easy, but God provides.

Lord have mercy.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2014, 01:46:03 AM »
Any updates?

Know that I continue to pray for you.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

I hope you can make it to the Canon of the Theotokos aka Paraclesis.

I sooo do appreciate your prayers, Maria.   :)  ... I'm finding that alternating between attending the Presbyterian church one week and the GOC the next is getting old, as I long to be at liturgy more frequently.  I've been praying for direction about the timing of when I need to just make a clean break from the Presbyterian church. I'm getting excited about the Dormition fast period coming up and all of the opportunities for me to attend services in the evenings during those two weeks. ...

Dear Little Pilgrim,

I found myself in the same boat when I was a Roman Catholic looking into Orthodoxy. The priest told me that when the time came that I could no longer receive communion in the RCC, then it was time to become a catechumen. That time came within two weeks.

Do go to the Paracleisis (Canon to the Theotokos) during August. It is awesome.

The Canon is one of my favorite prayers, which I chant every night.

Know that I will keep you in my prayers.
Maria
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Offline chrisgeo

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2014, 01:15:03 AM »
Lord Have Mercy

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2014, 11:59:26 PM »
I'm getting together with Father next week to talk . . . .it's been a long time!
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2014, 11:59:55 AM »
I had such a severe case of anxiety all through the night last night and it was over making a clean break from my current church to go full-time to the Greek Orthodox church I visit.  Thoughts even came to mind of putting Orthodoxy on hold yet again and just continue remaining where I am in my Protestant church.  Don't know if I brought on this anxiety or if it was of the enemy . . a sort of fight for my soul, 'cause that is what it felt like internally.  I prayed last night but also played the local classical music station throughout the night to sooth me to sleep.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers.
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Laird

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2014, 12:25:26 PM »
Lord, have mercy.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2014, 12:27:36 PM »
Lord have mercy!
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2014, 01:08:17 PM »
Lord have mercy!!! Lord have mercy!!! Lord have mercy on Your little pilgrim (64)!!!

Oh Most Holy Theotokos, please plead with our Lord, Your Son on behalf of little pilgrim!!

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

 

Dear little pilgrim, may His strength find you in this time and support you toward His Holy Church.
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2014, 01:46:56 PM »
Continued prayers. Lord, have mercy.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2014, 11:02:17 PM »
Another evening of anxiety for me.  I've pinpointed my fear, though, and that is that I am so very new to understanding the Orthodox faith (and I want to come to the Church), and I feel that I can't adequately explain to my current pastor and evangelical friends why I am leaving.  I have been less involved at church over the summer, however friends have been trying to pull me back into things, for example asking me to join choir again because they are now starting to rehearse for their Christmas cantata. I feel like I need to know how to theologically argue against whatever they may throw at me to dissuade me from leaving and I feel inadequate to do so. Of course, on their part they would be doing it out of love and concern for me.
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2014, 11:33:04 PM »
Lord, have mercy.  Do you have another thread say in converts or Orthodox - Protestants forums where this could be discussed? If not you may want to create one.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline Opus118

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2014, 12:27:05 AM »
Lord, have mercy.

You write beautifully littlepilgrim. I agree with Maximum Bob that you may get more advice that is worthwhile in your own thread. I personally do not know how to respond in this context.

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: Feeling overwhelmed on my journey
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2014, 09:04:12 AM »
Lord, have mercy.  Do you have another thread say in converts or Orthodox - Protestants forums where this could be discussed? If not you may want to create one.

Lord, have mercy.

You write beautifully littlepilgrim. I agree with Maximum Bob that you may get more advice that is worthwhile in your own thread. I personally do not know how to respond in this context.

Maximum Bob and Opus118 ~
I've taken the suggestion of you both and started a new thread in the converts section.  :)
"Blind of spiritual eyes, I come to You, O Christ, as did the man blind from his birth, and I cry to You in penitence: Have mercy on me O You who illumine with exceeding brightness those who are in darkness." (The Office of Holy Unction)