Church People Hurt Me

This is a title of one of the books I decided not to write. But I thought about it again just now and there is some merit and value in talking about why I wasn’t a member of a church for a whole daggone decade.

I know I keep repeating some things. But a piece in one spot versus a focus in anova (another) is what you just gone get today. Lol.

By virtue of being born into a family of church people and going to so much church, NEVER by force cuz I LOVED it, the people I was around were the ones with access and opportunity to hurt me.

Also, when I say I never went to church by force? My sister and I were arguing so much when I was in college and she was in or on her way. Our mother threatened to not let us go to a special Friday night service if we didn’t stop. That’s why I said elsewhere that sitting at the house for 10 years wasn’t on my bingo card. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I keep having this same conversation with someone about church hurt. They are adamant about the semantics of it. They split hairs by saying the church didn’t do it it was the ppl. Since I’m a fan of semantics, words mean what they actually say, I gotta give that to them. My frustration comes in when they wanna kinda police what people get to be hurt and offended by and how they wanna assign blame.

We don’t get to control the recollection of the trauma of others. We often blame others or act out with others when one, the source of the trauma is no longer around. Or two, there was so much trauma it isn’t always apparent which one caused it because they were all there causing it at the same time.

I was a teenager with a boyfriend at my grandfather’s church. For some reason ppl liked to play matchmaker from birth and I wasn’t the wife on their bingo card. Her aunt lied and said she saw the two of us on the church van. Really?

Nobody was giving either of us a key. I was not dumb enough to steal a key. And I was in one of the sanctuaries cuz I wanted to be in church for Bible Class where I was.

Being part of the pastor’s family after just being a regular church member for almost the first 11 years of my life was TRAUMATIC. Home has some of the why and I’m working on something else that may as well (find it here). 😊 Cuz, I love my guy. But it was A LOT. And we not even gone talk about the woman he married after my grandmother died. Bless her now Lord. Whew.

I found myself attending some super religious and controlling churches. Even some that, by outward appearance, didn’t present that way at first.

I dyed my hair this BOMB shade of red. Somehow the minister of music found out. While I was out shopping for the choir banquet, he told me I couldn’t sing until I dyed it back. That was one thing of so many. Not necessarily with him. But there in that place. It still hurts thinking about what we had to endure. I don’t blame anyone for choices made in response. I just hope Jesus is still alive and well or He is invited back before we close our eyes on this side. Same for people at the other stops along the way.

The next one. My God. I got recruited in a college class my the daughter of the pastors. What did it for me was what she looked like on the outside and how friendly she was. I was desperate to find home again. It was cool at first. Then someone told me I was in a cult. Seriously. I had to tell them where I was all the time if I wasn’t around. They created and cultivated an environment where people, mostly their family, worshipped the ground they walked on. They could do absolutely no wrong.

The pastors were married and she was the more senior or one who was mostly the pastor. He did from time to time. I am 20 at this point. Like social says, funniest stuff be in church.

My guy is preaching and going off on us. He kept saying the word hell and was not using it solely as the place sinners gone bust wide open. So I texted my “friend” and was laughing and said he was borderline cursing.

At the last church I was close to people related to the pastor. We made fun of stuff all the time. My friends and I made fun of my grandfather. Cuz the stuff was crazy and funny at times.

Chiiiii. That was the WRONG thing to do. She told her parents. Her mom talked about it during Bible class. I think the lady even read them. She was angry and the people were shocked, aghast, and upset that someone would DARE say something like that. I’m quite sure the lol and smiley faces were omitted for shock value.

Like a good, little, obedient, trained puppy, I allowed myself to be gaslit into believing I was wrong. I put on my best sad, shame face and apologized to both pastors and their son. Ion know if I did to the daughter. I left soon after. And I acted up eventually. πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ I told her off a time or two on messenger and blocked her so she couldn’t say anything. I still pray for alla these people. Jesus said to.

I ended up going to a church that my grandfather and the one after fellowshipped with. I started wearing skirts exclusively year round with the exception of my job in HS, maybe freshman year of college, and the year n change at the cult church. But chiiiii. This church was my first experience with what some people call chapel veils. Or what others call doilies (spelling πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) for the head. Head coverings people. Lol.

What ya girl is going to do is obey them that have the rule over me. πŸ—£means a Scripture to look up. If da people set standards and I have submitted to the leadership, I’m gone follow what is required. Whether my theology lines up with theirs in full or not. Cuz let me tell you a secret. The Bible doesn’t prohibit pants or jewelry. Someone interpreted it that way and people still go with it. πŸ—£πŸ—£πŸ—£πŸ—£πŸ—£Pray for revelation then research it for yourself.

I loved these people and looked up to some of them. Some even had a singing group. I just wanted to be involved and help. I ended up getting tasked with doing social for the group. Cool. Til one day I was locked out. That was the end of that. I had helped with their first live recording. I was so hurt. It took YEARS for me to be able to listen to their music.

I remember one Sunday we were condemned for tattoos, I was unblemished at the time. At this point I technically have 10 but one has been covered twice. I’m finna get one more too. Bahahahaha.

Leviticus talks about not cutting in the flesh for the dead. πŸ—£ I’m of the mind that this was an instruction based on what they had seen the Egyptians do in service and worship to their gods. The Israelites needed a lot of help and direction. And God wanted a people set apart and different so He gave instructions that set a standard for His chosen people.

As a Gentile who is living in the New Testament that fulfilled the Old Testamant via Jesus (who wasn’t even worried about or concerned with what so many people hang hats on in what he taught), respectfully, if you eat pork and your wife sleeps in the bed with you while she is on her period, please kindly show yourself anywhere but my face with the mess about tattoos. Skirts and jewelry too. Cuz if we ain’t doing ALL of Leviticus and recognizing that EVERYONE wore robes, skirts only, no jewelry, and no tattoos is above me now.

I left. Some other stuff went down too. I sent letters with no return address. I did go back and visit the next time I went back. But I acted up again. Salvation is a process. I had cut my hair, they weren’t a fan then but the ppl be doin it now, and the pastor asked me why.

I told him cuz I wanted to. He just stalked away a lil wounded. I mean. I can see in part why the pastor of the church after my grandfather’s and the female cult pastor told me to watch my mouth. But part of it was because they didn’t like my honesty and questions. The first one didn’t know or forgot that I was preaching at my grandfather’s church. The cult people didn’t know. I wasn’t ready so I wasn’t tellin anyone.

Bruh. This next one. I think I’ve recovered 10 years later. I called him Daddy Bishop (that is soooooo cringe to me now. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜³ Sad, lil hurt 22 year old). By the time I got back to my birthplace, my dad abandoned all responsibility except what was required by law and the graduation gifts. He chose his wife over my sister and me and in an effort to not deal with my mother. That acrimonious marriage from happy happy and I believe something I mentioned in that’s all they know.

He stepped in a void. He supported me. He called me O2 or the second coming of Oprah. He let me talk on his radio show. I still have the cassette recording 12, 13 years later. He was telling me one thing. But, I found out later he may have exposed what I told him in confidence. He was well acquainted with and familiar with my mother. Cuz my family found out some stuff only a couple people knew about. He will not tell me if it was him.

Regardless, we got super close and then, for reasons I don’t know, he started pulling away and treating me differently. It was here that I sat and was angry in the sanctuary. I didn’t want to be there. Was never gonna be there if I had had my way. But I loved him and how he preached. So I stayed though it was not what was best for me. Out of love and obligation I created based on what he had done and who he had been.

Well, he merged his church, the one that reminded me of home, with the church I was born in that he took over for his dad. It didn’t change. I couldn’t do it. Y’all. I left this man’s church before watch night service. I can’t with me. That is nuts and tickles me.

For those who don’t know, that service starts (or used to for some) the evening of December 31st. 9, 10 PM. And it goes overnight to January first. We watch through the night as we leave one year and enter a new one. A lot of places stop service a few minutes before midnight to pray as the clock changes.

So, I left the church at the end of the year but was still in service when the new year started. Team too much. But. Hey.

Some other people left and said he acted funny with them and didn’t talk to them anymore. Even though he had already started pulling away, I just knew that wouldn’t be my testimony. Wrong. That one really hurt. But there was nothing I could do. I did end up going back when he retired. I have reached out a couple of times. Little to no return communication. And that is his right to choose.

After that, I sat at the house a lot. I would visit places for a little while. Nah. I went online sometimes. But mainly, I was just in the house chillin. I prayed. Not like I should. I read my Bible. Not like I should. I had some accountability. I did an okay job maintaining a lack of obviously, overt sin. I failed and fell a couple times.

But the thing is this. I was able to hold on and get back where I should be because of the foundation from home. I shudder to think about what would have happened if some of these places was all I knew. Cuz man.

Yes. People who go to church hurt me. But it was necessary. I believe there’s a Scripture that says something like it was good for me to be afflicted. πŸ—£It made me me for who I was, who I am, and who I will be. It prepared me for all of what my future holds. And I’m a decent human. And this future? Sheesh.

Don’t let what happened make you see yourself as leas than great. God allows it becuase He KNOWS the greatness He placed inside of you. We are all waiting and counting on it. 😊