To Those Who've Been Hurt By The Church, I Promise It Gets Better
Religion

To Those Who've Been Hurt By The Church, I Promise It Gets Better

It's a topic that we don't talk about, but we should.

547

Growing up in the church my entire life, I've heard countless stories of hurt within the church, and I've had my own experiences feeling rejected by the body that is intended to meet people where they're at.

From my earliest memories, I've attended church and been a Christian. I accepted Jesus as my Savior at around 5 years old. My faith didn't really come to life though, until around 6th grade. As a young child, some of my closest friends were well connected to leadership in my church and well known in general. Although my family had close friends within our church and volunteered regularly, I wouldn't have considered us particularly popular. Having such well-connected friends didn't bother me as a kid because I didn't really know that I was supposed to feel left out until around middle school. As a natural introvert, I was very comfortable being a part of the ministry in a more behind the scenes way.

Over time though, I started to hate being unknown.

I hated knowing people's names and not being known back. I felt deeply unworthy because my life and family didn't match the perfection I thought I saw in the church's most important families. Now don't get me wrong, there were some good years of community with friends who lived out their genuine passion for Jesus and his kingdom. But as a high schooler, these friends would graduate and move on, and I would be stuck trying to reconnect. My church though, allowed me to serve, travel, go on mission trips, and share the gospel. I fell in love with Jesus within the church. Even as I served in a youth leadership role during high school, something deep inside told me that I would never quite be like the people in church that everyone idolized.

For someone who had dedicated their time, effort, and love to the church, I felt relatively unloved in return.

So I continued to serve and lead when on the inside, I was totally empty. I carried silently what felt like such a heavy weight of comparison and rejection. It wasn't until I got mono my junior year of high school that I was forced to drop out of my leadership in the church. This shift caused me to completely drop out of my church in every capacity. So many different factors made that part of my life the hardest I've been through so far and being desperately far from God and the church made it so much worse. During the next year, I church-hopped some but mostly stayed far from God and questioned every aspect of my faith.

It wasn't until a friend brought me to a church she had been attending that I decided to give church another shot. Here I found the leadership approachable and unthreatening, and for the first time, I didn't feel unequal. Even though I had reconnected to the body of Christ and had begun to reconnect to God, I still was cynical and unsure about how I could truly live a life confident of who I was after the enemy had made me question my identity for years.

The Lord has taken me on a long journey to reclaim my identity both in and out of church and it's a process I'm still going through.

Although I am endlessly grateful for the church I grew up in and the way it allowed me to discover who God is, it is bittersweet knowing that a place that I loved so much caused me pain. But that is a truth that I have come to know as I've grown up.

The church is simply a group of broken people trying to love and honor their Creator but sometimes falling short.

As Christians, we still say the wrong things, make mistakes and hurt each other. Being inside the four walls of a church doesn't mean we won't mess up, but as we are called higher, we have to seek reconciliation with the church. The first step is recognizing that we have been hurt by specific individuals or the congregation in general. And while confrontation may the path forward for some, I found that talking to God, and letting him transform my heart gave me more peace than any conversation with anyone else.

Loving and following God means we need to love the things he does and God LOVES his church. We cannot really know the nature and character of God without engaging with his people.

So, to those who have been hurt by the church, I just want you to know, the Lord sees and knows your pain. The greatest desire of his heart is that you would know him and his people and glorify him through that knowing. I pray that through drawing near to the Lord, he would comfort and redeem places in your life where the church have left a hurtful mark. In all things, the Lord gives us beauty for ashes.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only was she the person to build Smashbox Cosmetics into what it is today, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments