Truth Without Walls

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog.  As some of you know I started a page on my blog titled My Story.  It recalls the time that Barry and I spent on a church staff years ago.  That was a very difficult time in our life, marriage and ministry.  We whole heartedly take ownership of the issues we brought upon ourselves.  However, there was an amount of control and manipulation that caused us and many others a great amount of harm.  But most importantly it gave us a wrong and twisted view of scripture, pastoral ministry and church leadership.  And, for a couple that undoubtedly feels a call to ministry…this was very confusing and debilitating. 

I’ve had a number of personal emails urging me to leave the past alone and to press on to what is ahead.  I so appreciate people writing me with a sincere and genuine heart, but what I must tell you is that the past has been joyfully and wholeheartedly forgiven. 🙂  There is no malice or hatred behind what I write.  My heart and goal is simply to show how quickly the church can turn against what it should stand for…at the hands of the humans who lead her. 

There are too many pastors and leaders seeking a position for their own gain.  We know it first hand, we saw the devastation and harm it caused and still continues to cause. 

Abuse can only continue when victims remain silent…I have painfully committed to be one that will speak up. 

So, in all fairness I would like for my wonderful and faithful readers to know my heart, but to also know where my blog is headed for a season.  If you subscribed in the beginning months and you now realize that this isn’t something you like or enjoy…please feel free to un-subscribe.  I promise I won’t be offended or hurt.  I totally understand.  But, with going from 45 views a week to almost 3,000 I can’t help but see the need right in front of my eyes.  People are hurting, they want a voice, they need to be validated…they want to know they aren’t alone and crazy.

So, as I write please know that Barry and I are in a healthy, loving church.  We have moved on, we have forgiven and released our hearts to God for healing.  I do not think I would be able to write in such a vulnerable manner if this were not the case.

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of my faithful readers.  Your love, support and comments make my day!   The My Story page will continue.  I have removed the password, so that you can freely access the stories.  Barry will be writing from his perspective soon.  I personally can’t wait for that.  He is a talented writer and he can’t help but speak the truth in love… the truth without walls.

18 thoughts on “Truth Without Walls

  1. Jana, I have really enjoyed reading your openness and honesty. I think it is part of our healing process…being able to just “call a spade a spade”. I also appreciate your admitting that the abuse made it hard (debilitating is the word you used I think) to know how to do ministry later…that’s exactly how I felt. We (my husband and I) grew up in such spiritual abuse and then as young adults moved into a healthy church and served a true-hearted pastor who genuinely cared about us, not just how we could produce for him. What hurt, was years later, becoming senior pastors ourselves and having very mean, controlling people try to keep my husband under their thumb. So, here we were…not wanting to be the controlling, manipulative pastors we had seen and grew up under, yet being treated that way by the congregation and elders that hired us in. I know there are mean leaders, but its almost as if the pendulum has swung to the other extreme and now you have elders and deacons making pastors feel like they cant have any say or decision making power without being called “dictators” or “control freaks”…so now you have a girl who has been hurt by both extremes…and I ask God, “why cant your church just be balanced and true???” (again, being honest) but girl, keep on writing but also address (if you feel to) HOW you learned to show some respect to a pastor because too many today dont…and not every pastor is evil…i know me and my husband arent and now we are not pastoring (temporarily) due to it.

    1. Hey Cassandra, thank you for leaving this comment. I’ve actually had other people say the same thing. They have either endured spiritual abuse at the hands of leaders and pastors or…. they are the pastor and they have endured it from church members. I wish so badly that I knew what to say in this instance, but I really don’t. I’m going to do some research and see what I can find out there on this topic. It is very important for churches to feel secure in their pastors leadership and it’s equally important for a pastor to feel that he can lead freely in the position God has placed him in.

      My Grandfather was a pastor for over 50 years and he wrote a memoir about his time in the ministry. It’s not published, it’s just for the family. I refer to it often. But, I remember him talking about this topic…I’m going to ask him for advice as well and get back to you.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. I will be praying that a beautiful, healthy church snatches you guys up and loves the heck out of ya!!! I know Barry and I feel that way about our church now…they along with the Lord have brought a tremendous amount of healing to our hearts. 🙂

      1. It’s actually quite frustrating reading about all these lovely people that other pastors have damaged whilst we are crying out to God here in Gloucester, UK for labourers to help us build our church! On behalf of pastors in general I would really like to apologise for your hurt, it really shouldn’t be this way! Thank you to you all for being so honest, it has really helped me as a leader be extra careful with how I deal with people.

  2. Keep it up Jana! What you are doing is exposing how the enemy can destroy the church and what is SHOULD be. The only way to get rid of the cockroaches is to turn on the light! Of COURSE you are forgiving and moving on…but people that tell you to stop speaking truth of the past are usually the same people that don’t deal well with the truth coming out. You are allowing God to use what was harmful for the HELP of others.

    1. Wow!! I knew you all back then and I am so amazed at your freedom. YOu probably dont remember me , but I remember you and Barry and your sweet spirit. Thanks for your post and I am so glad I have found your blog. It has brought freedom to me.

      1. Of course I remember you! Yes, we have come a long way…thankfully! I’m glad my blog is helping…that is my one and only goal. I hope all is well…and I woud love to catch up some time soon.

        Much Love – Jana

  3. Thank you so much everyone for the encouraging comments and emails. I so appreciate the outpouring of support and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Jana – keep up the writing! I believe that you can help many others by doing so – we love you guys!

  5. jana, your heart is so beautiful and i love your story telling. keep going please!!! i think the church desperately needs to hear your message in order to receive healing. the amount of traffic to your blog just goes to show that you are speaking an awesome message. there will always be negative people who are uncomfortable with what you have to say, but you can’t let them get to you. you go girl!!!

  6. I’m so glad that you’re going to continue writing and that you lifted the password. I’ve spent much time over the last week or two reading all the posts from that section. It has been eye-opening. It actually reminded me of a story another friend of mine in ministry had told me. I’ve since sent her the link to your blog.

    Keep doing what God is telling you to do – healing from our past is only part of what Christians are to do. We’re then supposed to use those experiences to minister to others. Imo, that’s what you’re doing here. Thank you for your boldness in sharing this story in such intimate detail.

  7. Jana,

    Your heart and intentions shine through. Can’t wait to read Barry’s perspective.

    Much Love

    Kristi

  8. I just made my blog private bc people from my previous line of ministry were encouraging me to keep quite….now I am rethinking that decision…keep writing though! I didn’t feel as alone when I read your blog!

  9. Yeah!!!!! Keep on writing. I love your blog, and it is eye opening how decieved people can become!! I love that the Lord opened your eyes and you have come to California!!! Can’t wait to hear Barry’s perspective. I love you guys!!! You are so normal and easy to be around.
    Nancy Simpson

  10. I am so glad that you do write and that you are free to be so honest. People out there are suffering as you did and need to know the truth. Thanks so much for writing and I can’t wait to hear from Barry too. Most importantly, praise God that you are healed and in a lovely place now 🙂
    xxx

  11. I could not be more proud of you. Your purity of heart shines through, and I have no doubt that our Father is smiling down on you! Big love from me and my family.

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