Every time I went to church, the wound in my heart ached a little more. Week after week I saw the people that hurt me serving in ministry like nothing had happened. Leadership had been told, had even been apologetic, and yet, nothing.
Sadly, for some people, churches can be a place of great hurt. For them, church serves as a reminder of the weaknesses and wrong motivations of man. What they once thought of as a safe place can be the hardest place to be. Sometimes, the pain is overwhelming.
For me, I knew that to stop going to church at all would be a grave mistake. I had seen other people who had been hurt decide never to step into a church again. Every person that did that remained stuck in that hurt for the rest of their lives. They never got over it.
I prayed, and hurt, and prayed some more.
It seemed every time I walked into that church someone else would have something wonderful to say about the person who hurt me. it came to the point where I never left church refreshed, only reminded of the hurt and a festering wound that would not heal.
Until one day.
My husband had had some things happen at his job that were very upsetting. He had spent the weekend on the couch doing nothing, which was very unlike him.
The church we were going to wasn’t having church that day. they had everyone out working, serving the community instead of meeting in the church.
I knew my husband couldn’t do that with what was going on. I knew he needed prayer, and he needed God’s presence.
That Sunday morning, I woke up with a knowing, a knowing that we were supposed to go to the church where the Bible college I attended is.
I suggested it to my husband and he agreed.
We walked into the sanctuary and as worship began, I felt the presence of God tangibly, and the Lord began to minister to my heart.
And finally, I heard the words in my spirit, “Welcome Home.”
After the service, I took advantage of the call for prayer and went forward. When I got to my prayer minister and asked her for prayer regarding the church hurt, she prayed for a few moments and then said, “It’s time to move on.”
A few weeks later, my husband and I sat in the office of our new Pastor. He talked and prayed with us about forgiving and hugged us both, welcoming us to the church. He advised us to get involved and get to know people, and has continued to be a great teacher and an inspiration to both of us.
We stayed at our old church for around fifteen years. I knew that God had led us to that church, but sometimes, it is ok, and it is time, to move on.
If you do leave a church,
Leave quietly. Do not make a big stink and do not talk about everything that is wrong with that church to everyone you know. Share with a counselor or Pastor about things you’ve gone through so you can heal, but do not publicly malign that church.
Ask for God’s leading. Ask God to show you where to go. Don’t just stop going to church, that could leave you stuck in that hurt for a long time.
Forgive. Choose to forgive and surrender the hurt. Ask God to minister to your heart, to give you divine appointments to help you heal and step out once again.
The Lord sees the hurt in your heart, even when it comes from people who call themselves Christians. Know that that was not His plan. Know that He will lead you to a better place and bring restoration even from that hurt. And most of all, know that He loves you, his precious child, and has a plan for your restoration.
In His love,
Lord, I’m Broken is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,Christianbook.com and wherever books are sold online.