Where did LJones go?

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LJones
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:16 pm
Affiliation: Orthodox

Where did LJones go?

Postby LJones » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:14 am

Hey folks,

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about what has been going on in my world. Honestly, I don't remember a lot about when and why I left MD. I do remember being angry quite a bit on the end. You tend to be that way when your life is in chaos.
Back in 2012 we joined a Mennonite Church. In 2013 that experience because of personal and church troubles proved too much and we went towards a certain project in Mexico. That landed us with the GBs, where we bounced between the Old and New Conferences. We would stay in that situation pretty much until 2015. Somewhere in that mess of a transient life I would find out that I had severe sleep apnea. Corrective actions were taken for apnea in late 2014. My mind would begin clearing, but it would take time to figure out where I was in life.
I had been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist home. Later I would figure out that I had inherited a poor sense of guilt and shame in my upbringing. I always felt fear that I was somehow not sacrificing enough for Jesus. So, I would go as strict as I could only to find defeat. I would pull back to get relief only to feel the panic of guilt again and rush back into some kind of strictness. I guess this was the root of my dysfunctional relationship with Plain Churches. During this time I would gather many jewels of virtue from these churches. However, there was a darkness that I kept hidden all along.
I'm unsure of all of the causes. Perhaps the sleep apnea was a major player, but I had a serious problem with depression and anxiety. Matter of fact, my entry into Anabaptism was partially due to months of depression. I was often suicidal. Honestly, the lifestyle of the Mennonite Church helped until turmoil came up in the church. I began to lose it again. This would send me on a spiral that would last for 4 years. You witnessed part of that time.
When we finally left plain life late in 2015, we bounced around. For the next year and a half we tried Lutheran, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Anglican, and considered Anabaptism & Pentecostalism again. This is where everything came crashing down. In August 2016 my appendix ruptured. I walked around for 2 days before going to the ER. I would spend an entire month out of work. A darkness descended. I spent a lot of time with my thoughts. I felt that I was just at the end of trying. I knew my family wanted to be in a church, so I picked the Free Will Baptist and was determined to fit in. The Free Will Baptist Church became more and more patriotic as time went on. It was militarized quite a bit. This didn't help my mental state. Work also became stressful at this point. I fell back into depression. My mind questioned my faith. I became angry and hard to get along with. In December, after the stress of a son's surgery, a detached retina, and my wife's removal of a melanoma, I lost it.
In a rage I left home. I wanted to die. I remember pulling into a gas stations and angrily calling out to God. I went back home and decided to just roll with the punches. You should know that I had daydreamed about suicide for a long time. Perhaps since I was a teenager. We went to church one night and the Free Will Baptist pastor preached about false conversions. It seemed like it was aimed at me. I asked to speak with him. We talked. I was shaking all over. I hinted at the depth of my depression. His answer was for us to say a prayer. He text me once after that to see if it was fixed. Of course this "sinners prayer" fix was no fix at all. In the meantime he threw out a statement that basically said you are not "saved" if you aren't patriotic (he knew I didn't approve of patriotism in the church). I continued to deal with suicidal thoughts over a few weeks until I hit a wall. Back in 2011 I had been very interested in Orthodoxy. I told my wife that I was going to email an Orthodox priest just to have someone else to talk to. I did and it changed my life.
I went to the Orthodox Church on a Friday morning. I met with the priest and talked for over 2 hours. We got to the heart of many of my problems. We talked about the shame that I carried. We talked about the false guilt that I continually manufactured to feel normal. We then talked about Christ and His love for me. I went back home and got my family. We drove the 1:15 back the next day and spent the weekend at that Parish. That weekend was the Sunday of the Cross. There was a focus on the victory and love of the cross. For the first time something snapped in me and I finally had a true understanding of the cross and Christ's love for me. I cried for weeks whenever I would share that experience. Having spent a lot of time around Orthodox-leaning Anglicans, my wife and I had already started our journey several months before towards a liturgical mindset and belief system so we were open to their teachings. We have been at the Orthodox ever since. I cannot say that my battle is over, but I definitely have the tools in which to fight the good fight. I feel at home and I feel like I am finally following Christ. We will be baptized into the Orthodox Church on August 6th.
I don't say any of this to tear down anyone else's beliefs, church, or convictions. People have said they wanted to hear my story. This is it. I apologize for the times I was angry, judgmental, and combative on MD. I truly ask for the forgiveness of anyone I offended. Thank you all for your help and prayers over the years.
6 x

temporal1
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:09 pm
Affiliation: less than the least

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby temporal1 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:51 am

so glad you found MN, so appreciate this update on your journey. :D
no two paths are identical, as hard as that is to comprehend.

thankfully, you have found a place where you and your family can thrive in faith.
each part of our paths provides the foundation for the steps to come. even the hard parts.
i try to appreciate the hard parts as much as any, they are all part of the whole.

i'm wondering about your sleep problems. :)
my daughter has chronic sleep problems, i suspect this has a ripple effect that makes life much harder for her than need be. i've encouraged her to get an assessment, so far, she has not. it's such a long term problem, i suspect she just "deals with it," not recognizing how much it's affecting her daily life.

i think of it as any sort of chronic pain, like headaches, backaches, etc. we get used to them, and carry on, ignoring how they really are affecting us, both physically and emotionally. i.e., chronic pain can become a "normal," that we just accept.

sometimes i suggest she should not make important life decisions until she mitigates this problem! how different life might appear, with respectable, regular sleep!

if you have any insights/suggestions, i would appreciate learning. :)
1 x
formerly Temporal1

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

Valerie
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:59 am
Location: Medina OH
Affiliation: non-denominational

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby Valerie » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:27 am

LJones wrote:Hey folks,

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about what has been going on in my world. Honestly, I don't remember a lot about when and why I left MD. I do remember being angry quite a bit on the end. You tend to be that way when your life is in chaos.
Back in 2012 we joined a Mennonite Church. In 2013 that experience because of personal and church troubles proved too much and we went towards a certain project in Mexico. That landed us with the GBs, where we bounced between the Old and New Conferences. We would stay in that situation pretty much until 2015. Somewhere in that mess of a transient life I would find out that I had severe sleep apnea. Corrective actions were taken for apnea in late 2014. My mind would begin clearing, but it would take time to figure out where I was in life.
I had been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist home. Later I would figure out that I had inherited a poor sense of guilt and shame in my upbringing. I always felt fear that I was somehow not sacrificing enough for Jesus. So, I would go as strict as I could only to find defeat. I would pull back to get relief only to feel the panic of guilt again and rush back into some kind of strictness. I guess this was the root of my dysfunctional relationship with Plain Churches. During this time I would gather many jewels of virtue from these churches. However, there was a darkness that I kept hidden all along.
I'm unsure of all of the causes. Perhaps the sleep apnea was a major player, but I had a serious problem with depression and anxiety. Matter of fact, my entry into Anabaptism was partially due to months of depression. I was often suicidal. Honestly, the lifestyle of the Mennonite Church helped until turmoil came up in the church. I began to lose it again. This would send me on a spiral that would last for 4 years. You witnessed part of that time.
When we finally left plain life late in 2015, we bounced around. For the next year and a half we tried Lutheran, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Anglican, and considered Anabaptism & Pentecostalism again. This is where everything came crashing down. In August 2016 my appendix ruptured. I walked around for 2 days before going to the ER. I would spend an entire month out of work. A darkness descended. I spent a lot of time with my thoughts. I felt that I was just at the end of trying. I knew my family wanted to be in a church, so I picked the Free Will Baptist and was determined to fit in. The Free Will Baptist Church became more and more patriotic as time went on. It was militarized quite a bit. This didn't help my mental state. Work also became stressful at this point. I fell back into depression. My mind questioned my faith. I became angry and hard to get along with. In December, after the stress of a son's surgery, a detached retina, and my wife's removal of a melanoma, I lost it.
In a rage I left home. I wanted to die. I remember pulling into a gas stations and angrily calling out to God. I went back home and decided to just roll with the punches. You should know that I had daydreamed about suicide for a long time. Perhaps since I was a teenager. We went to church one night and the Free Will Baptist pastor preached about false conversions. It seemed like it was aimed at me. I asked to speak with him. We talked. I was shaking all over. I hinted at the depth of my depression. His answer was for us to say a prayer. He text me once after that to see if it was fixed. Of course this "sinners prayer" fix was no fix at all. In the meantime he threw out a statement that basically said you are not "saved" if you aren't patriotic (he knew I didn't approve of patriotism in the church). I continued to deal with suicidal thoughts over a few weeks until I hit a wall. Back in 2011 I had been very interested in Orthodoxy. I told my wife that I was going to email an Orthodox priest just to have someone else to talk to. I did and it changed my life.
I went to the Orthodox Church on a Friday morning. I met with the priest and talked for over 2 hours. We got to the heart of many of my problems. We talked about the shame that I carried. We talked about the false guilt that I continually manufactured to feel normal. We then talked about Christ and His love for me. I went back home and got my family. We drove the 1:15 back the next day and spent the weekend at that Parish. That weekend was the Sunday of the Cross. There was a focus on the victory and love of the cross. For the first time something snapped in me and I finally had a true understanding of the cross and Christ's love for me. I cried for weeks whenever I would share that experience. Having spent a lot of time around Orthodox-leaning Anglicans, my wife and I had already started our journey several months before towards a liturgical mindset and belief system so we were open to their teachings. We have been at the Orthodox ever since. I cannot say that my battle is over, but I definitely have the tools in which to fight the good fight. I feel at home and I feel like I am finally following Christ. We will be baptized into the Orthodox Church on August 6th.
I don't say any of this to tear down anyone else's beliefs, church, or convictions. People have said they wanted to hear my story. This is it. I apologize for the times I was angry, judgmental, and combative on MD. I truly ask for the forgiveness of anyone I offended. Thank you all for your help and prayers over the years.


Thank you for your beautiful testimony- it really touched my heart :cry: - you were seeking so hard, when you first came to MD, I really admired your desire to follow Christ and feel very happy for your decision and future, as I know many who this same journey completely changed their life- a former MD member just became a priest a couple weeks ago in the Orthodox Church- his/their journey wasn't exactly like yours but similar in determination to be where God wanted them. We attended Orthodox Church for a good year- and a sweet beautiful parish- with faithful Christians- a couple things still challenged us so we had to sit back for awhile and pray- in a non-denomination- I admire the step of faith you took. Please keep us posted and may the Lord bless you! To God be the Glory, great things He hath done!
2 x

MaxPC
Posts: 1579
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:09 pm
Location: Full time RVers
Affiliation: Catholic
Contact:

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby MaxPC » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:36 am

LJones: I'm genuinely happy for you after all the tribulations you've suffered. Peace is a precious feeling. While reading your post I couldn't help but think about the Israelites' 40 years in the wilderness.

God bless you and yours and we'll continue you all in prayer support, especially August 6.
2 x
Max (aka Plain Catholic)
Psalm 105

LJones
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:16 pm
Affiliation: Orthodox

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby LJones » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:42 am

temporal1 wrote:sometimes i suggest she should not make important life decisions until she mitigates this problem! how different life might appear, with respectable, regular sleep!

if you have any insights/suggestions, i would appreciate learning. :)


It affects everything. I didn't work for about 10 months because of it. I just couldn't cope with the students, the day, etc. The doctor told me that she wouldn't have even been able to get out of the bed if she had it as bad as I do. Add in migraines, gout, and scoliosis (and a variety of other lower back problems) and you get a very poor mental state. My wife says that I have had apnea since before we were married. Early in our marriage she worried that I would die in my sleep because I would stop breathing. Interesting enough, I have both varieties of apnea, obstructive (my airway closes) and central (my brain causes me to stop). Since I came to peace with Christ my numbers have dropped. If I have a stressful or mentally taxing evening, my numbers will rise.

There's some things that come from my childhood that affected my mental health also. I imagine that if I had been mentally healthy, I would have arrived at this point very early on. Christ heals, it may just take a while, but He didn't abandon me. Glory to God for all things.
2 x

Bootstrap
Posts: 2225
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:59 am
Affiliation: Kingdom Christian

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:03 am

It's great to know you are doing well now and have found a part of the Body of Christ that works well for you.

I'm glad the doctors were able to find this problem and offer a fix. Must be really rough.
1 x
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Peregrino
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:16 pm

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby Peregrino » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:21 pm

:hug: :clap: :pray
3 x

temporal1
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:09 pm
Affiliation: less than the least

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby temporal1 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:30 pm

LJones wrote:
temporal1 wrote:sometimes i suggest she should not make important life decisions until she mitigates this problem! how different life might appear, with respectable, regular sleep!

if you have any insights/suggestions, i would appreciate learning. :)
It affects everything. I didn't work for about 10 months because of it. I just couldn't cope with the students, the day, etc. The doctor told me that she wouldn't have even been able to get out of the bed if she had it as bad as I do. Add in migraines, gout, and scoliosis (and a variety of other lower back problems) and you get a very poor mental state.

My wife says that I have had apnea since before we were married. Early in our marriage she worried that I would die in my sleep because I would stop breathing. Interesting enough, I have both varieties of apnea, obstructive (my airway closes) and central (my brain causes me to stop).

Since I came to peace with Christ my numbers have dropped. If I have a stressful or mentally taxing evening, my numbers will rise.

There's some things that come from my childhood that affected my mental health also.
I imagine that if I had been mentally healthy, I would have arrived at this point very early on.
Christ heals, it may just take a while, but He didn't abandon me. Glory to God for all things.
this thread is a sort of "2 for 1!" :D
i almost feel the discussion of sleep is a bunny trail from the principle topic, but, indeed, they overlap and are inter-related!

i believe my daughter's sleep problems began when she was in high school. but, i didn't understand.
in those ears, i would get up in the nights, once or twice, i would always check on the children - sleeping like logs! BUT! - our daughter would regularly complain, "i did not sleep a wink last night!"

i would assure her, she DID sleep, i saw her!
this went on+on. i really didn't think much of it. i believed she felt that she had not slept, but, i could see she was sleeping! - i dismissed it as a teenage quirk. teens usually sleep plenty.

in more recent years, the complaints continue.
her husband has ADD-ADHD, he loves to talk into the night, he will wake her frequently, this really brought the sleep problems into the forefront. she has some sort of device that records her sleep patterns+quality. each day she can read how much sleep she did not get. it's consistently bad.

but, she has not submitted to true sleep assesment and "treatment."
i definitely get how these problems can go on for years without adequate attention.

i guess i should try to find a way to help her connect with competent help.
she's so tired, the idea probably feels like "just one more thing" she's too tired to cope with.

thing is, parents are very important people.
everything they say and do directly affects everyone in the family, it's important to be functioning the best possible. they make a lot of decisions that directly affect others. but, most parents do not want to think of themselves! they are busy caring for others.

i must pray on this. i will pray to find words and actions that will help her get out of this awful habit.
i might look into how to find competent help with sleep problems. many doctors will prescribe pills! but that's not fixing anything.

if i may ask, how did you happen to find help?
i'm really glad to know about this.

i agree about the healing power of faith.
i went through a very hard time when i would suddenly wake up in a panic, heart pounding.
at that time, i would read/study scriptures while everyone slept.
every time, the panic would subside, peace would come over me, i could fall asleep with contentment. then, i would wake up and take care of my busy family and work, the strength was there!

scriptures have a lot to say about rest and renewal. it's real. it's important. :D
it's a gift from God. it's part of His creation.
i'm so glad to know things have improved so much for you.
0 x
formerly Temporal1

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

LJones
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:16 pm
Affiliation: Orthodox

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby LJones » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:54 pm

temporal1 wrote:if i may ask, how did you happen to find help?
i'm really glad to know about this.


I went years denying it had an effect. I was having multiple issues so my Nurse Practitioner finally talked me into going and getting a sleep study.

Truthfully, in 2013-2014 I became a jerk with my family. They despised me. I would come home from work so exhausted that I would treat them like dirt. I was largely unaware of it until I had a breakdown. We were at the GB church in Georgia at the time. I finally did as I always do and ran away. We found ourselves in NM where I started getting my health checked. It took a few months, but they finally got to the root of the problem. I was honestly checking on getting on some kind of anti-depressant when they found it. Until I got the machine I had become pretty much unemployable. I think it was fueled by my ongoing guilt and anxiety from my spiritual journey. I really was obsessed with finding faith during that time. It kept me up at nights and was on my mind continually.

I'll swing this around on that note. Folk in all churches need to understand that seekers may be under great spiritual, physical, and emotional duress by the time they get to them. For some people the journey is everything. We become one with the anxiety. When we finally do find something it is difficult to get rid of that security blanket of fighting heresy (imagined or real). That, in my opinion, is the origin of unsettled nature in many "converts." You have to labor to get rid of that madness. Otherwise you will continue to look for the bad in everything. Before you know it you will end up being alone, deceived, and nuts. When I get to feeling that way, I turn off the computer and retreat to prayer. So many just can't do this. I couldn't when I was Menno.
1 x

cmbl
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:07 pm
Affiliation: NMB attends Pilgrim

Re: Where did LJones go?

Postby cmbl » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:18 pm

LJones wrote:anxiety. When we finally do find something it is difficult to get rid of that security blanket of fighting heresy (imagined or real). That, in my opinion, is the origin of unsettled nature in many "converts." You have to labor to get rid of that madness. Otherwise you will continue to look for the bad in everything. Before you know it you will end up being alone, deceived, and nuts.

True. We've trained ourselves to question whatever comes over the pulpit, and it's difficult to turn that off. To trust again.
2 x
"The church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part in that grace." -Bonhoeffer


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