Going out on a limb here, don’t hate me for it. I’m only human and trying to make sense of each day, one day at a time, the same as everyone else.
I wrote a post back in June and I never shared it on Alienhippy. I was afraid of the come back, I was also afraid that people would get the wrong impression.
I just want to be very clear about this
I am NOT in any way against the Christian Church. I believe that God created us to be a family and that within a loving, accepting family of believers the true Church is an amazing and nurturing environment. I have also met MANY beautiful people within my faith. People who have loved me and accepted me with all my quirks. However, my experience since sharing my daughters diagnoses and my own struggles with Aspergers have not always been positive. We are all only human and we all fall short. We all have limitations and we all have our own way of seeing things.
I’m pretty sure that quite a few Christian Aspies will relate to this post. I’m sharing it because I really hate the thought of someone losing their faith in God because of the way some people make Him to be.
So this is the post I wrote
At 5am this morning I sat praying in bed, crying because I so wanted to feel that I could cope with going to church. Every Sunday morning I have the same conversation with myself, it goes something like this.
“Maybe this week I will be ok? Maybe I won’t absorb so much and I will be fine on Monday morning? Maybe I won’t get judged for having to distract my loops? Maybe I can find a church where I can be me? Maybe I will be understood and not expected to perform?”
And the list goes on.
I have come to terms now with the fact that most church going Christians see me as a church hopper, therefore weak in my faith. But I have found that when people don’t know me, they don’t expect anything of me. Therefore don’t judge me when I struggle to deliver what they expect.
Aspergers is so misunderstood
It’s an invisible disability and I can pass as “normal” I can keep up the pretence for quite some time. In fact I can secretly keep it up and look good, put on the show, for about three years. Then I feel so hurt because NO ONE REALLY KNOWS ME! But when I explain just who I am and how I struggle I am met with the most ridiculous statements.
Here are a few…
“Really, you look normal to me!”
“Oh I had depression for 20 years, I decided to not be depressed.”
“Well if you have decided to be Autistic then you will find excuses.”
“You need to stop reading the psychology books and get back into the theology books.”
“Your mobile is just a way of you not listening or being part of things.”
“Stop texting.” (I was actually taking notes, I have Bible online)
“ASD is not real, self discipline will soon sort that out.”
“Your problem is you take things personally, just let it go over your head.”
“You are intelligent enough not to act autistic.”
”Why do you have to be an Aspie, you weren’t one before?”
“You did so much before, why can’t you do the same now?”
“If you want to please God you will do what needs doing.”
These are just off the top of my head, the list is so much longer than this.
Now I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, I love God, I believe Jesus is the Son of God, I believe in the Christian faith, I believe the Bible is the word of God, I also believe in God’s Church.
But if I was in a wheelchair would I be expected to leave it at the door?
If I was blind, would my guide dog be unwelcome?
I can also see that we are all a long way off
I am struggling to write this because of my religious background. I feel judged before even posting it. I am judging myself on not being perfect, I feel like I could be giving the wrong impression and making the church look bad. That’s the last thing I want to do as it is nothing to do with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or God’s Church. It’s more to do with how we as humanity view others, ourselves and our beliefs.
Where do we put our value? What is our treasure?
Is it religious self righteousness? Perfectionism? Tradition?
Or do we listen to our hearts and God’s still small voice?
Faith? Hope? Love? Compassion? Empathy? Grace?
I see a pattern as I read my Bible.
Do you see it too?
Jesus went from town to town preaching the good news. He went into the places of worship and each time he was met with mostly hostility because he challenged a tradition. He preached about unconditional love and the kingdom of God in the hearts of little children.
He sat on hill sides and in boats. I imagine him sitting under trees with children playing their games around Him.
Jesus went from town to town. I find that interesting?
Does that mean He was a church hopper too?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.