Monday, August 5, 2013

Re-churching: A Sign of Hope

Hello,

Let's get right into it!
____________________________

De-churching was not an easy decision to make. I pushed back the day of leaving as long as I could stand it. I suppose I was searching out something, some kind gesture that would tell me that I was wrong for wanting to leave, or would give me hope that things could get better.

One of the main reasons why I eventually de-churched was because I had been alone in my pai

n for so long through the ordeal. I don’ t mean to say that I wanted others to hurt just like me, sort of a “misery loves company” way; I mean that it seemed like no one cared that I was hurt.

It wasn’t like no one knew that I had been hurt; most of the time I keep my pain to myself, but the pain I received in church, people knew. I made difficult efforts to seek reconciliation.

I felt like those with whom I was seeking reconciliation did not care. No one acknowledged that I had been hurt by them, no one took responsibility. A hurt doesn’t have to have been intentionally inflicted to be a genuine hurt. I had tried present my hurt only to be replied to with explanations that implied that I was unjustified or crazy for feeling hurt.

I felt like those around us whom knew there was tension did not care enough to do something about it, or when they did, … this is a little more difficult for me to explain the effect it had on me so I will simply say that it had not eased my pain at all.

The underlying message I got was that it was still all about the others and that I was the only wrong one. The others needed protection from Big Bad Jenn.

So, I de-churched. At first, I had a couple of messages from people, but then mainly silence. It seemed like I had been forgotten.
____________________________

This past Sunday, after service, someone approached me (we’ll call him PK). PK said that he didn’t want any junk between us. He offered an apology in which I saw and heard his sincerity and care.

I teared up. We hugged.

Good times.

PK had asked if there was anything he could do and I didn’t have an answer right then. He left the door open for me by saying to let him know. This has helped me to feel safe in the friendship and that is important to me.

I was able to walk away feeling free and hopeful that we’ll be okay again eventually.
____________________________

PK and I will have to have a talk sooner rather than later. I have a few things to apologize for as well. I will probably have to try to explain myself because I don’t want to feel like that again and I don’t want him to have to apologize again. I don’t want to have to apologize again.

I had seen PK once just before re-churching. I was out of character, keeping my distance and holding my tongue where I would usually stop by and greet him. I didn’t mean to be impolite but I ended up being impolite because I didn’t know what to say.

When I’m not okay with someone, and it’s an important matter to me, I have difficulty behaving like everything’s okay. My mind goes on hyper-play. My nature is to want genuine relationships and it’s difficult for me to pretend. I want to work things out as soon as possible and I have a difficult time understanding why the other person doesn’t want to.

I appreciate the encounter with PK. I don’t enjoy having conflict with someone. I sensed a trust in our same faith in God, and a trust that I would want reconciliation.

It has been so long since anyone had given me the benefit of the doubt in the whole situation.

It has been so long to have had good tears.
____________________________

Sigh. This is still the beginning. I have a lot further to go.

Two and a half years later and I’ve finally gotten my kind gesture, a sign of hope. It’s never too late.

Thank you for your prayers.




Previously related post: [Who I Am: Re-churching]

P.S. If you know who PK is, then up your respect for him; you probably shouldn’t say anything about this to him. I didn’t say his name here because the fact that I had held something against him is not to be used against him in any way; there are always two sides to the story and I was not blameless in the conflict either. And actually, PK was one of the least offenders.

Still, I wrote and posted this story because it was an important encounter in this re-churching journey.

As always, thank you for reading.

Humbly,
Jennifer