Sunday, June 1, 2014
I need to process.
I'm not even sure what I need to say.
See, approximately 10 years ago, I went through this gigantic church situation that completely wrecked me about church. I can say it with no disrespect or hatred today... but I still can't talk about it without physically feeling ill. I have forgiven, but I truly still bear the scars of those months.
The shame that was thrust upon me, and I have carried it for so, so long.
The abuses of authority that accused and cast blame.
The fact that no restoration was ever wanted for me... even if I would have at all been "guilty".... I was cast aside with no thought of the bleeding and the hurting that was occurring with me.
I. wasn't. worth. it.
See, that's often what I still hear.
I've heard it said we just needed better conflict resolution. I say we needed to honestly have loved. I say that you who speak never have been in my place, and you have no idea. I say that you haven't seen the tears and the mis-trust, and the flashbacks and the fear, and to that... I say its so much more than conflict resolution. What happened in those rooms, in meetings behind closed doors wasn't ok.
Its why now, I feel ever so deeply of a friends pain today. He's just been in the middle of it. In the middle of church... stuff. And my heart today.. my heart hurts with him.
As I sit here this afternoon, I am angry. As I sit here this afternoon there is rush of emotions, and flashbacks, and triggers and all this... feeling all the feelings about church.
My heart breaking for my friend. And realizing that effective today, I can no longer do church as I've done it.
See, I don't know how to wear the mask of I've got my shit together. I don't know how. I'm a terrible fake. See, I'd rather you just know how I really am. And tonight.. I am not ok. All I feel is the effects tonight of 10 years ago, and how I felt. I still hear the accusations, and it still stings so badly. And speed ahead to today and all I see is my friend who is hurting.
Church... you have hurt so many of us. Deeply.
And I don't want to spout angry rants tonight, I just simply want you to see my heart. That 10 years later, those memories affect me.
Pastors... please be careful of how you handle things. Get to know us. Really know us. Make church a safe place where emotionally we feel like its ok to be ourselves. Because right now, so many of feel like we can't be.
I want to leave you.
I want to turn away, and leave ever being in leadership again and say screw you.
But I can't. Because I hope for you. I sit here typing with tears streaming because I believe in you. Seriously... I believe that you can be re-imagined, and changed, and you can be a safe place and a place that is alive again. A place full of people who longer have to wear these masks that we feel we have to wear.
Its why I am attending conference called Praxis on Friday/Saturday this week. I am completely intimidated to go to something where I know no one, but I have hope that there's things I need to hear there. Connections I need to make. And I believe that God wants to meet me in some moments. I need it. I need to be with people who are like-hearted. Even if I'm going shaking. And I am. Shaking.
And so tonight, I'll call a friend. And I'll process this, and I will come to the same conclusion... that I can't give up on church. And then will say again, its time for something different, even if I have no clue what that means for me right now...
Because I don't.