When you are hurt, some things you can get over. Some things you can just brush off your shoulders and everything is fine. Yet, church hurt, is not so easy to get over and most times is darn right embarrassing. I have been a victim of church hurt only recently in my life. In the last four or five years, I have experience some of the worst and some of the most confusing.
I will just start with the most confusing. I was a member at a large church for almost 13 years. During that time, my children attended their Christian academy and I was an active parent on the PTA. My last two or three years there, I helped the school by staying on as president of the PTA even though my tenure was complete. No one wanted to take the time to take the job. I encouraged many parents to take over for me; I was completely exhausted from trying to do it all (i.e. work, business, church, family, etc). It was the year my son started eighth grade that problems arose and the truth behind this mini-mega church emerged.
My son was caught smoking in the school; a very big no-no! He and a friend were suspended from school; the Christmas break started two days later. I had to sign a suspension form which noted that we would be talking with the Bishop (who was also over the Christian Academy) when school went back in session after Christmas. We went with the intent on meeting only to be told that the Bishop had made a decision over break to send the boys to the alternative school that was on campus. Never meeting with the parents; never calling over the break; never said a DARN WORD; just transferred them over as if it was all okay. They explained that my son’s transcripts would show that he was still at the academy and he would graduate from the academy. We didn’t have a choice at this point because time was not on our side; had they said something over the break we would be fine.
To get to the point of hurt, I called the Bishop to speak to him about choice that was made without us; remember my family is a member of the church at this time. I left messages with His secretary. During this time, the reality of the “alternative school” started to emerge. My son never brought homework home and didn’t have any books. I called the school; I talked with the administrator of the school who was a relative to the Bishop, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I even had someone tell me that my son was lying, when I’m looking at the rest of the children with the same issues. I showed my face many times and to my surprise (not really) the staff were all church members. I had almost had enough! I made more phone calls and sent emails to the Bishop just asking to meet with him. I even went as far as to say I’m not only a concerned parent but the president of YOUR PTA. I’m still waiting for a response and my son is a junior in high school.
The confusing part about this is these people see me more than three times a week. They knew the work I did in the church and for the school; I was active at the Boys and Girls club that was in their facility. I was never one of those parents to justify everything my children did; NEVER. Yet, I have a concern and no one wanted to address it. Why? Why never? I could understand an email going to spam or junk folder, but never return a phone call? The embarrassing part is my husband, who was not a saved man at this time, ridiculed me for not realizing these saints were nothing more than people; that I meant nothing to them as an active parent or president of their PTA.
There was another time, at this same church, where I was called a deceiver regarding a women’s retreat. It was said in a nice way, but I had to step back and say did this really happen? Did she really say this about me? Really saying that I was lying about the experience a lay person would have on this getaway. I was floored because what they were saying was a LIE!
My heart has been hurt about it ever since; but I’m healed. . I have recently left that church; not regarding the hurt that was given, but because I needed more that I wasn’t receiving at my current church home. A very large congregation and someone that tries to work hard like I do can get spiritually lost. The only way to get over the hurt is to ask God to help. I am no longer offended; I have forgiven them and asked God to help their hearts so that others don’t have to go through this. My spiritual walk has helped me to see past the person, and look towards their future in God.