I didn’t know how to speak up…I tried to fit in but no matter how hard I tried, it was never enough.
I was a youth leader, a worship leader, a Sunday school teacher.
I was at church from 6 AM to 5 PM￼ (from what I can recall, it was like a full time job on sundays, with overtime, and completely no pay).
I mean I don’t know why no one noticed that I was burnt out.
Probably because everyone was burning out. When God told me to leave the church, people asked me why I didn’t go to them for prayer and confirmation. God’s voice was so clear and loud.
He said it’s time to go, you’ve reached a ceiling here.
I wanted to show the youth that they didn’t have to conform. I didn’t want them to go through What I had to go through￼.
If I could just save a few young people from the religious structures and limitations of the church￼, then I would￼ feel like I did my job￼.
But I was suffocating.
My time at the baptist church ended with being accused of not taking care of the sheep, when I was actually taking care of lost sheep I brought to church. Everyone just wanted my attention because I was good with people. I listened and cared but I didn’t listen to my own needs.
My desire to be liked made it impossible to say no.
I was told by another leader that I had choosing a path towards destruction as I was “different” and used words like mantra. I was also teaching yoga and meditation.
Basically the leaders I trusted turned their backs to me and I didn’t know how to speak up. I felt silenced. I explained myself but it wasn’t enough to avert the judgments.
When I left the church people asked me if I was OK as if I had completely lost my way and maybe turned to the dark side.
Who knows maybe they thought I was fornicating and smoking cigarettes￼.
Maybe I had become a Satanist￼.
I mean to religious folks, If you didn’t go to church you were stumbling down a rocky mountain￼. You were barely clinging onto Jesus. Maybe you were like Judas, the betrayer.
Because they would say well you don’t have accountability￼. But accountability usually meant gossiping with one another about other people￼.
I had close Christian friends- that was my accountability￼. But why did I need to explain that to anyone?
A lot of people stop going to church because they feel like they have to conform and be someone that they’re not￼.
I am God’s church￼, and so are you.
The church is not a building ￼it is people.
I am not perfect either￼.
I have hurt other people to￼o.
You are made righteous by the blood of Jesus, not through your works.
I found a lot of churches suffocating because they preached the law. They preached be a good Christian by doing the right thing, being kind to people, by praying more or reading the Bible more.
But none of that was grace.
￼you are made righteous by the blood of Jesus.
Over the years and because of my upbringing where I had to suffocate my emotions I found it hard to feel how I felt in the moment. Sometimes the hurt would bubble up months or even years later.
Now I cry easily, much more easily.
God has taken me on a journey of healing as well as pastoring those who have been hurt by the church￼.
None of us are perfect but because of Jesus sacrifice we are made righteous by His blood.
We are in a season where we are learning to be vulnerable; to not be afraid to speak our truth￼, no matter how ugly it sounds￼.
Our fear of speaking up needs to be confronted and overcome￼. That is your Goliath. Who have you not confronted and what have you not spoken up about? ￼￼
Give and partner with me to bring lost sheep home-