I found myself in a deep depression on this past Shabbat – so deep, I actually sat and cried for hours on end. I’m not necessarily the “depressed” type, but lately, I’ve found myself becoming more and more despondent, thanks to all the “bad” that is happening in the world, including the endless in-fighting amongst Believers (something that recently caused me to leave Facebook, because I simply couldn’t take the nonsense anymore). Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about….
Anyway, my depression was kicked off by the fact that we allowed ourselves to be talked (by some new acquaintances) into attending a Messianic synagogue located approximately an hour’s drive from our home. Due to reasons I don’t wish to discuss here, suffice it to say, we had not set foot into any congregation since Passover 2008 and had planned on NEVER attending another congregation. But now, there we were, finding ourselves in this supposedly “wonderful, awesome congregation” that came highly recommended by people we had basically just met.
We should have stayed home….
Although the service was very nice and the Rabbi did a great job, our reception was “cold” – to say the least. Not one person had reached out to greet us. Not one person had said “Hello and welcome” or anything else. And afterward, at a small oneg (fellowship lunch get-together) in the synagogue’s kitchen, not one person came to join us at the table. People saw us and some smiled, but no one (except the Rabbi who had stopped by briefly during the worship service to chat for a couple minutes) bothered to talk to us! It was truly the “coldest,” most unwelcoming experience we have ever had!
Fed up with the collective “cold shoulder” and failing to feel one iota of love and fellowship, we left, never to return, wondering why we had allowed ourselves to be talked into leaving the comfort of our home where Shabbats are always full of rest and joy and comfort and true STUDY of YHWH’s Word.
Unfortunately, by the time we got home, I was feeling devastated – all because I don’t always handle rejection well. And, let’s face it: We WERE rejected at that synagogue. We apparently weren’t even worthy of a “Hello” or “Thank you for coming to our synagogue,” let alone, being asked our names.
Here's the thing: I have suffered rejection all my life, starting with my natural mother in Germany who gave me away at birth, forcefully jerked me out of my happy home at the age of 9, and was too selfish to bother bonding with me, or to recognize that her own daughter was being endlessly sexually abused by her new, American husband. The feelings of rejection continued throughout my Army career (I joined mainly to get away from home!), because back when I was in, many men felt that women didn’t belong in the military; and all my promotions – including my ultimate promotion to Sergeant Major – were NOT because I had met and/or exceeded expectations, but (according to some) “because the Army has to promote some token women.” And after I finally found God (at the age of 44), and had a driving desire to “lead people to the Lord” I’ve met tons of resistance by men who insist that women are to sit down, shut up and remain “barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen”….
And so that is part of the reason why I allowed myself to fall into a downward spiral after our cold reception at that synagogue. I was hurt, plain and simple!
Thankfully, the next day, after I came to my senses, I realized something profound: Negative feelings are NOT from God; they are from the enemy, who knows exactly how to push our buttons! He used what happened at that synagogue, to remind me of who he tried to force me to be, throughout my life – a sad person with a persecution complex, feeling she was never “good enough” or “smart enough” or “capable enough” to amount to anything! In other words, he did what he always does: He LIED! He caused me to become self-centered (instead of God-centered); to “concentrate on the past” instead of remembering “who I am in YHWH” and “looking toward the future” (see Philippians 3:13 and a host of other scriptures).
Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44)! He wants you to believe you are worthless, ugly, stupid – you name it and he will help you achieve all the negatives in your life! He WILL keep you from reaching your God-given potential IF you let him! Unfortunately, I once again fell for his wiles after the synagogue experience…but I have now promised myself – NEVER AGAIN! The next time depression hits me in the face, I will do my level best to remember WHO I AM (as opposed to who satan WANTS me to be!)….
As for that synagogue – once the depression receded I thought to myself:
I need to STOP those "voices from the past" from making me feel like "nobody, worth nothing!" I AM SOMEBODY and so is my sweet husband! We belong to YHWH! We were worth a "Hello and welcome!" from somebody at that synagogue!
Had they bothered to ask our names, they might have discovered that they had in their midst a godly couple who followed biblical principles to become completely debt-free (no mortgage, no car payments, NOTHING!) who are not stingy when it comes to tithing. They would have discovered a man who was a “retired” high-ranking Air Force officer with a Masters degree in Physics (who recently retired from his second career as a contractor with Space Command), who was chosen as an alternate astronaut for the Air Force’s Manned Space Program during the Eighties; a man who is a calendar expert and amateur astronomer, used who continues to be used as a consultant by Aramaic scholar and author, Andrew Gabriel Roth.
They would have discovered a woman who had overcome childhood rejection and sexual abuse to work her way up to Sergeant Major in the Army; someone who went to night school for 20 years to get a college degree; someone who found God in middle age and went on to become a leader in a prison ministry for 5 years and to teach Bible classes; who by the grace of YHWH became the original editor of Andrew Gabriel Roth’s Aramaic English New Testament; who has a huge website for God that receives well over half a million hits per month; who has written and published 8 books of her own and been used by God to lead some hard-to-reach people to Himself….So, SHAME on the members of that synagogue for ignoring us!
It wasn’t OUR loss; it was THEIR loss! ANYONE who walks through the doors of their synagogue - regardless as to who they are, tall or short, young or old, rich or poor - is worth a "Hello and welcome!"
So, the next time you feel depressed, down and out, upset over something you have no control over, remember WHO you are! Satan doesn’t own you! You are a child of YHWH/Y’shua! Nothing else matters. Give it all to Him, the moment you recognize depression or upset trying to creep in. We ALL have issues - and to help us overcome and deal with them, I have written an article containing some suggestions on how to heal.
We need to stop beating ourselves up and start remembering WHO we are. YHWH knows we are human and that we experience troubles and turmoil. He, time and time again implores His people to to trust Him and turn to Him. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect; He just expects us to TRY and to be OBEDIENT to the best of our ability.
Those who are in tune with Him recognize that everything that happens in our lives is a “learning moment” and that we need to move our “carnal” ego aside and glean from it. If we don’t, then we allow the enemy to win….I certainly learned something!
The bottom line is: It’s NOT “about us”; it’s all about YHWH/Y’shua! In the grand scheme of things, we are to serve and obey and ENJOY Him, and to look forward to our eternal life with HIM! Halleluyah!
This "I don't care" attitude seems to have become rampant these days. It's not just in congregational settings, but also in the secular world.ReplyDelete
For instance, I had a favorite chiropractor I saw at least once a week for 10 years. When I developed a severe neck problem that was not relieved by chiropractic (after I got "whiplash" at the gym on some broken equipment), I stopped chiropractic - mainly as an experiment to see what would happen.
The chiropractor never bothered to contact me to find out why I hadn't returned - nor did he answer the email I sent him three months ago to tell him that stopping chiropractic had actually RESOLVED my problems! It's like I never existed. No, "Gosh, Shali, I'm so happy to hear that!" Nothing....
It's mind-boggling, actually. I don't understand what's happening in this me-oriented world where relationships are becoming nonexistent.
Shalom Sister Shali. I know this kind of feeling, i'd been throughReplyDelete
it from my last "Christian" fellowship. The feeling of rejection
was so deep inside me up to the point that i want gave up my faith
completely. But you know what? YHWH was so good to me after I surrendered to Him all that i know and all the i am and all the sufferings i had, He kept His promises and He lead me out of it. And not only that, i found your website (Refiner's Fire) and i know YHWH lead me there to find my way back to Torah to where i found the rest that i am looking for. Now, there is no turning back and the road is getting narrower everyday.
I just want to let you know that i thank you for spreading the truth of the gospel via Refiner's Fire and we are here to support you. You just don't see us but we do exist. Keep the fire going!
BIG cyber hugs to you, Anonymous! :)Delete
AMEN !!! :)ReplyDelete
i am so sorry to hear that you have been depressed, and that you were not welcomed at the synagogue. Praying blessings of shalom and love for you and yours, and comfort from above. Your online friends miss you <3ReplyDelete
Thank you! I miss my online friends, too! (I'm guessing you mean Facebook!) Shabbat shalom!Delete
Hello. I can completely relate to this post. I am afraid of what to expect from going to any church or congregation now. I have fear that I have been possibly "spiritually blacklisted" from all churches in my area. I am very carnal. I am not a goody two shoes anymore..and it makes me feel so sad. I am so lonesome I just want to fit in with everyone so I don't care anymore...even to the point of pleasing God. This is the reason why I read blogs like this online! I have no church home...no real Christian friends, and I have more respect for Messianic Christians but I don't fit in there because I am not a real Jewish human being.ReplyDelete
I enjoy reading this blog, but I am worried that this is somewhat like the "judaizers" that Paul wrote of in Galatians perhaps? I am so sorry to be offensive! I respect this website. I am just really conflicted with the divisions in the modern church and the obvious connections to the early church-established by super kosher Jews-no offence! I feel so upset that there is so much anti-semitism and hatred within both Jewish communities and the "Church" and the outside world as we know it now.
Is it okay that I don't agree with all of your rules in this site-like eating kosher, for example? I am a gentile. Wouldn't Jewish people be offended by my self-righteous behaviour of eating K? It's like-why???
MY RESPONSE WILL BE IN 3 PARTS as there is a word limit:Delete
Thank you for your post! It sounds to me like you are lonely and just want to “fit in” somewhere – anywhere. You said you are “very carnal” – and that leaves us wondering why you want to bother attending any congregation at all? Why force yourself to try to “fit in” at some congregation, knowing that you are “carnal.”
I think what you need to do is to decide WHO you want to be. Do you want to be a child of God and know you have “eternal life” waiting for you - or would you rather stay in the world and risk eternal damnation?
Belonging to God has nothing to do with “being Jewish.” Yes, the Tribe of Judah was chosen to take Torah into the world and safeguard and preserve it (Genesis 49:10, Micah 4:2); and, let's not forget: YHWH caused Yeshua to be born into the Tribe of Yehudah/Judah. But YHWH is the God of ALL – as we see when Israel was in the desert/wilderness for 40 years where the Gentile Egyptians who accepted Him as their God, were absorbed into the Tribes. It was never just about “the Jews.” There were 12 Tribes who belonged to YHWH! All one has to do today (as is evidenced in the “New Testament” – which is a continuation of the “Old” - is to believe that and accept the idea that His Divine Messiah died all (whoever accepts Him belongs to Him). Those who reject Him – well, Scripture is clear what happens to them.
We really don’t care what anyone labels us, and if they wish to view us as “Judaizers” so be it. We’re in good company! YHWH is a “Judaizer” – proclaiming His Torah! Same with Y’shua and same with all the Apostles. They were ALL “Judaizers” constantly preaching Torah (YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness).
Since you wish to be “carnal” and “don’t care anymore” it surprises me that you wrote: “I am just really conflicted with the divisions in the modern church and the obvious connections to the early church-established by super kosher Jews-no offence! I feel so upset that there is so much anti-semitism and hatred within both Jewish communities and the "Church" and the outside world as we know it now.”
Not to sound uncaring, but WHY do you care what’s happening in religious circles, since you admit “I am very carnal. I am not a goody two shoes anymore.” On one hand you say you don’t care anymore; yet on the other, the division within religious communities upsets you. That makes no sense. The divisions within the various congregations are because of HUMANS and their ignorant and short-sighted, me-oriented mindsets. YHWH/Y’shua is nowhere on their radar. We are told these things would happen.
Take a look at the following scriptures:Delete
2 Tim 2: 14 Keep reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before our Master (Y'shua) not to engage in word-battles. They accomplish nothing useful and are a catastrophe for the hearers! 15 Do all you can to present yourself to Elohim as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 16 But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, 17 and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene.
2 Timothy 3: 1. But know this: That in the latter days hard times will come: 2. and men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, boasters, proud, revilers, unyielding towards their own people, deniers of grace, wicked, 3. unloving, addicted to irreconcilable malicious gossips, ferocious, haters of the good, 4. treacherous, rash, inflated, attached to pleasure more than to the love of Elohim, 5. having a form of respect for Elohim but wide from the power of Elohim. Them who are such, repel from you. 6. For of them are they who creep into this and that house and captivate the women who are plunged in sins and led away by divers lusts, 7. who are always learning, and can never come to the knowledge of the truth.
Romans 14: 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
That last one is what people seem to have trouble with – and it’s the reason I left Facebook after 5 years. Like what you described here, I couldn’t handle the endless fights and arguments and divisions anymore. I want to be all about GOD!
But “their” fights and arguments aren’t going to get in between MY relationship with God! I couldn't care less what "they" think! The bottom line on all this is: Allow YHWH to tell you what’s what. HIS opinions are what's important - not what a bunch of rude smart alecks say about God and the Bible and how to "do it right." NOBODY "does it right!" We are all simply trying to figure it out. Yet many who are trying to figure it out, don't mind telling the rest of us what to do....
So our advice is to get into the Bible, don’t just read it from cover to cover, but STUDY it constantly. The Holy Spirit will sort things out for you.
YOU ASKED: “Is it okay that I don't agree with all of your rules in this site-like eating kosher, for example? I am a gentile. Wouldn't Jewish people be offended by my self-righteous behaviour of eating K?”Delete
MY RESPONSE: You don’t have to agree with anything on our site! It’s not “about us” and they’re not “our rules”; they are God’s rules. It’s up to you if you want to do His will, or not. He gives us all the choice to do things HIS way, or not. In Numbers 15:13-16 He says FOUR TIMES in a row that ALL who accept Him are to do exactly as His people do. (The Egyptian gentiles who followed Moshe out of Egypt and accepted YHWH had to do “exactly” as His people, too! That didn’t change when “Jesus” died!)
1 John 2:3-6: The way we can be sure we know Him is if we are obeying His commands. Anyone who says, "I know Him," but isn't obeying His commands is a liar - the truth is not in him. But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with Him. A person who claims to be continuing in union with Him ought to conduct his life the way He did.
Matthew 5: 17 Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
QUESTION: Has everything that “must happen” happened yet? Have “heaven and earth passed away? If not, then it seems believers are supposed to BE Torah observant today! The verse that says: "So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven" is a major key, because it it' talking about YHWH's commands! Whoever disobeys the least of His commands and teaches others to do so will be called "the least" in heaven! What commands are they: TORAH commands - those that have the word "forever" or "throughout your generations" attached to them! "Forever" hasn't ended yet! Not to mention, "fulfill" never meant "to put an end to." It means, Yeshua came to do His Father's will and to fulfill "the next thing on the agenda".....
Who CARES if Jewish people “are offended” by our desiring to eat kosher foods? GOD tells us what to do; not them….
I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you everything is going to be all right. But the bottom line is, it’s all up to you. If you ever belonged to God, I implore you to return to Him and repent, and just let the Holy Spirit guide you. Stay out of churches and synagogues and stay off of blogs for awhile, until you are sure what you want to do with your life - and just concentrate on HIM. Nothing else matters.
Thank you Sister Shali i cannot find a word of wisdon any clearer than this. And to the "Anonymous" who posted the question, i am praying for you that YHWH will open your heart and mind so that you can see the light on your feet that He is offering that will guide you to the truth.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your wonderful and supportive post! It is much appreciated! :)Delete
I don't mean any disrespect...I am just being honest about my carnal desires is all. No one talks about sex in church. It's really embarrassing! No one talks about self indulgence in all of it's pleasure seeking guises...like not eating clean food right?? That's what I mean by carnal..I pray to YHWH to take it away. I think I am an addict or something..or just really nuts. I don't get it. I still like church..just am really lonesome is all. I love your response! It really helped me out. Thanks for caring so much to write that to a complete stranger! I want to cry, because if you were speaking all of those paragraphs to me it would be a real conversation..and it shows your love is where it should be. I read the Bible too, on my own, but I give myself a lot of self-condemnation when I read it. Guess what? I found my fave chapter in Luke about Jesus and the last passover supper he shared before His sacrifice!! Isn't that positive? Thank God and thank you for your prayers too....really!! :) I don't know what else to say. I think I am just always heartbroken and naive...so it's easy for me to be carnal. :) and I am not good enough for anyone to really love. Never. Ever. Ever. In my whole entire life. Sex is just mean isn't it? Men are selfish and cruel. Women are even worse. But you are kind! Thank you so much.ReplyDelete
Yes, sex is "mean." Satan uses sex more than anything else, I think. That's because it's probably the most powerful drive there is. I'm concerned that you believe you're not good enough for anyone to love. Do you know where that comes from? The father of lies! Satan!Delete
I don't know anything about you, but I'm wondering if your sense of insecurity doesn't stem back to your childhood. Earlier you said you weren't very good looking and now you say you're not good enough for anyone to love. Says WHO? I don't believe that! I get this feeling that you've believed whatever lies you were told as a child (or perhaps it was all subliminal, I don't know). But you really need to learn to stop putting yourself down, in order to break that cycle of self-abuse that you are clearly in. If you believe that about yourself, then you will exude negativity, and that turns people off.
I was a sexually abused baby, child and teenager, constantly told I was ugly, stupid, etc. That stuck with me all my life, and I only began to stop beating myself up after I found God at the ripe old age of 44. HE created you - and He doesn't create "junk!" But in order to really understand that, you'll have to stop listening to those negative voices in your head and realize who you are in Him!
I wrote an article a few years ago that might be of some help - I don't know. Read it and see if there's anything in there that might "click" for you: http://www.therefinersfire.org/healing_from_abuse.htm
Something has caused you to end up all alone all your life - and I think that "something" is YOU! You believe you're not good looking or worthy of love, and therefore, you keep yourself from BEING loved by anyone.
Really - it's time to kick satan in his stupid rump and learn who YOU are!
Father, we pray right now for this person - that You would help him/her find their way back to YOU, and teach them who they are in YOU! There is something deep inside this person that is injured. They need You. Please forgive whatever they might have done that would hinder their return to You, and help them get back on their "spiritual feet" somehow. We pray this in the mighty Name of Y'shua haMashiyach, amein!
Big hugs to you, my dear. Hang in there. You ARE worthy of love! And you ARE a beautiful child of God!
I also find myself depressed at times because of similar issues. I have been ignored and rejected by so many churches and congregations in my life, it is hard to keep a count of them. I have felt like I was invisible throughout a service, and needless to say, I didn't return.ReplyDelete
But another theme of depressing experiences at congregations for me is the lack of truth being preached. I have attended many congregations where yes, the people have been very warm and welcoming, I have felt being lovingly treated and included. Just wonderful. But what left me feeling excluded and lonely was that the Word of YHWH was not preached, studied, practiced.. The Torah was not upheld even in supposedly "Messianic" congregations. The customs of men abounded, oftentimes replacing the customs and commandments of YHWH. So I ended up thinking to myself, what in common do I really have with these people? And I went home feeling depressed, beaten, lonely. I don't even have a husband to share this journey with into knowing YHWH and obeying His Way, so I am completely alone.
What encourages me tremendously though is this time of internet, where I can "join in" and make like minded friends online. Praise YHWH for that! Thank you Shali and Liam for being here for us "lonely riders". And I am here for you, too, if you need me. Let's break down the enemy's fortresses of depression and loneliness by making the power of it null and void by sticking together even here, behind computer screens, when we can't do it personally. I love you. :)
Aww, honey, we love you, too! Thank you for taking the time to write and be assured you are NOT alone in this. The important thing for you to remember is that Yeshua told us this would be a lonely walk (as we see in scriptures such as 1 Peter 2:21 - "For YHWH called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Mashiyach suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.")....ReplyDelete
There are tons of passages such as this and when we remember that Y'shua chose to be martyred on our behalf, that was a bigger sacrifice than we could ever imagine, and to show our gratitude the only thing we can really do is to LIVE that "set apart" life YHWH wants us to live and to be living examples for all to see.
YOU are among those "living examples." Your reward will be in heaven. In the meantime, you can always communicate with us - simply send us an email to Biblicaltruth613@therefinersfire.org .... :)