A couple weeks ago I was told that the pastor I have turned to for support, direction, and understanding as I have been trying to heal and restore trust in the church and church leaders no longer wants relationship. From what I have been told I emailed him too much, overstepped boundaries, and there is a feeling that our interactions are “unhealthy”. On one side I am angry, on another side I understand and agree. I have been very honest with him that relationship with me would be ugly and messy. Of course it is unhealthy, I am wounded/broken/damaged and trying to heal. Either way I look at it though I am faced with some really tough questions and there is no one to answer them but me.

  • What does it mean to trust a church leader/pastor?
  • What should our response be when we are hurt? Forgiveness? Anger?
  • What if those who hurt you seem to be making “worldly” decisions instead of “Godly” decisions? (e.g. their responses are very self-centered and don’t match scripture)
  • If church leaders don’t trust you then can you stay at a church?
  • If you fail at multiple churches is there reason to believe the next church will be different?
  • If you ask others what you are doing wrong and they can’t come up with specifics how can you discover what to change?

I have done a lot of reading over the past few years regarding healing hurts, forgiving, restoring trust, and recovering from trauma. One of the things that has been repeated in various texts is the idea that if we are wounded in relationship, it is through relationship that we will be healed. The hard part is that we have been wounded and will not function well in the next relationships so we are likely to mess the next relationships up. This can become a cycle of broken relationships, poor decisions, more broken relationships, more poor decisions, etc.

Something I have not seen written anywhere is the idea that if we are wounded in a church/ministry/spiritual environment it is through a church/ministry/spiritual environment that we will be healed. I have known for three years that the root of my issues are spiritual. I have tried repeatedly to tell that to others but no one seems to understand. I have been in counseling and my counselor spends more time telling me what is wrong with the people I choose to trust and spend time with than telling me anything about me.

The process of healing, growing, changing, and recovering can be tough, messy, ugly, and painful. Sometimes there are bumps along the road. Sometimes there are bloody accidents that take your breath away. Don’t lose heart. If you are breathing and living then you still have a chance for things to change. It takes work, humility, brutal honesty, and deep looks inside but no matter how long you have been in bondage or lived in brokenness you can change! I have been living in sin now for over 25 years and those chains are starting to break and I am finding new life. More of that story to come soon.