Barry’s Post

Storms reveal the god we serve. My god was clearly people; specifically pastors and leaders I served in my mid and late 20’s.

But, really…it came down to ME.

As a young man learning what it was to be a husband and minister, I was more often scared than confident.  When it came to confronting what I knew to be right and wrong in people’s lives… rather than speaking up on their behalf or asking “why should they be told that?” or “handled that way?”  I buckled under pressure…the pressure to make my leaders happy.  Several times I worked so hard to stifle the Lord’s proverbial “jab to the ribs” that came in form of a racing heart beat or feeling as though I knew what I was being asked to do or say was wrong.  Rather than “question my spiritual authority” I simply obeyed.  In those instances and times when I had the chance to be a voice for the voiceless…I didn’t do it…I didn’t speak up for them.   Instead, I convinced myself that I was wrong and prayed so hard for the Lord to rid me of my rebellious nature.  Yet, the desire to say something or take a stand kept trying to show itself against the leaders in my life.  The people who convinced me that they “knew best.”

So the storms came. I don’t mean the outright one’s that others can perceive. The storms I speak of are the ones hurled at us from inside that FEEL as if everyone is noticing. Your sitting in a room with dominate men who “know” their place and yours… and everyone else’s. “This is what you need to do…”, or “You take all her responsibilities from her and have her meet with someone until we say she’s ready.” and the favorite “Kick… his… butt, man of God.” Inside me the wind would blow, and the ship that was my convictions would begin to toss. I would begin the minds struggle…”If I say anything, question any of those I risk looking like a weak man and minister. I risk ridicule,punishment or removal. But if I don’t say anything, these people, these friends, these brothers and sisters get…tossed. ”

And I would always choose…ME.

It’s been a process, but the “ship” has become stable in those storms since then. It helps having the Lord in His rightful place and people who realize my weakness and stand to strengthen me.

As I’ve recounted those years and the friends I had the privilege to walk with as a mentor and even a peer, my heart has hurt. I did wrong to many of you. If you read this and are one of these “under” my direction in those years, I am so sorry for how I handled you. I was selfish and serving the wrong master. I took orders and followed them to lead you even when I knew the way to be hurtful and wrong, and sometimes I was just hurtful and wrong. In the personal tossing, you got tossed.

Together…Jana and I have no words to mend the past, but we do offer you our sincere apology.  We had no right to be dictators in your life.  We repent and ask you to forgive us…we repent and want you to know something.  The representation of God’s heart shown to you during that time was wrong…because we were wrong.

So, whatever the storm may be in your life…whatever waves may crash against the wall of your soul…please know this…YOU ARE LOVED.

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14 thoughts on “Barry’s Post

  1. Barry,

    Thankyou so much for the example you set. I so want to be back in contact with you and Jana. Please let me know how or if you want that as well.

  2. Healing comes through time and letting it all go. We cannot change the past but learn through it. It is good to finally come to peace with yourself as you allow expression of total healing take place from all the hurts in the past. We have more to look forward to with Jesus being in control! Good post!

  3. Thank you for modeling authentic and sincere confession with a true journey to emotional health and forgiveness.

  4. Well done! You and Jana are so brave and so inspiring! Thank you both for speaking out! We love you guys!

  5. Barry, thank you so much for sharing your heart. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do but it makes me appreciate you and Jana that much more, not because y’all are perfect people but despite of the imperfections (which we all have) you truly show the Spirit of Christ to the people around you. I hope that I can have that same quality. I am a better person because I know you and Jana and I mean that with all my heart! I look forward to hearing about the amazing things that God is doing in you and through you!

  6. wow, the sweet power of an apology…. the humility it takes to say “I was wrong” and to not live in shame but to address it and move forward….we need more of that among christian leadership. you guys are a tremendous team and I really enjoy watching what God is doing inside ya’ll from a distance.

  7. Love your transparent heart Barry! Thank God for his grace and goodness to his children, even when we screw up how we deal with them! You are both such treasures, and your heart of compassion and love for people is so readily evident to anyone who even spends 5 minutes with you! You, also, are loved!

  8. Thank u SO much for this! Having had a situation similar to this with Jana years ago, in which I certainly forgave, it still brought a new flood of healing.
    It has been refreshing & freeing to read your hearts through these blogs.
    Love u guys!

    1. Oh Jill…I remember that awful day. I am so sorry for what I said and how I acted towards you. I was completely wrong and I definitely appreciate knowing that it is already forgiven. Thank you for posting this comment… Barry and I truly want people to know how sorry we are for our actions during that time.
      Much Love,
      Jana

  9. I feel your pain. With a bit of bitterness in my mouth, those uears were honestly some of the reasons why I’m not religious, and have disdain for religion now.

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