I Was Hurt By The Church

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 too.

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-