I think it took until THIS week to finally acknowledge that I too have been brutally hurt by the church. The last time I attended was in 2018 or early ’19. I decided that I no longer wanted to be in a place where I was seen as less than and bad.
Church was my life. From the time I became pregnant with Mason in 2014, I was there. Mostly every Sunday and Wednesday trying to get my spiritual life together. Hoping for a community of people who would love and support me. What I got was many days filled with feelings of shame and invisibility and wanting to be as small as possible. Not understanding at the age of 23 that my very outward appearing sin was no different than the ones I couldn’t see of others in the congregation. That I really was no different than everyone else but yet you led me to feel like it.
You proudly showcased (i.e. used) the married couples and the singles without children. You had no resources or support available for mothers having children out of wedlock (even though in the black community many kids are born to single mothers). When out of church and home after having the baby, no one even called. People didn’t tell you that your yet to be born child was a blessing when you weren’t married. All the babies come from Him so I didn’t get that.
As I was going through another phase of figuring out why I was attracted to the same sex and sitting with that and realizing that I really was born that way, my eyes were opened and saw that there was also no support for this part of me either. I had sat through many sermons hating myself for the inner turmoil that I experienced as I was told how I was innately wired wrong. That something that I could not help was somehow my fault.
I worked and sat in the pews as a person of 2 marginalized communities in the church. Hurting the whole time and praying that you’d see me as one of you. You never did and one day, I said enough was enough. I vowed to never go back yet here I am missing it.
I miss worshipping and working and singing. I miss being apart of something that is greater than me so I now ask God to heal me so that I can come back to where I rightfully belong and for a place of worship that embraces single parents and people attracted to the same sex. That is the only way I will ever step foot in another church.
All is forgiven. I’m guessing that you didn’t know any better or you really didn’t care. I release all the hurt, pain, and anger that the church has caused because I have carried it long enough. I have hated and been mad long enough and it is time for me to heal. There really is purpose in our pain. My mission now is to make sure that no one ever feels like I did and that I never sit back and witness the mistreatment of the marginalized… urge you to do the same.