I’ve tried really hard to write this week. I’ve stared at the blank computer screen resting my hands against the keyboard with tears in my eyes. I’ve felt so insecure about trying to put my thoughts out here in the open for everyone to read. So, like any vulnerable person…I held them inside because I wanted to guard them.
I guess because my blog has finally given my concerns a voice, people think that I am hard-hearted and mean. I always wonder who they see on the other end of their computer screen. Maybe the ice queen from Narnia…cold blooded and hateful. It’s a fair assumption. There have been times when I wrote out of frustration and even anger. Times when I received phone calls from people at our former church that I buckled under the pressure. I buckled from hearing numerous accounts of abuse and yet because they are afraid of the consequences associated with speaking up, they remain silent. So, they put on their smiles, and tell the pastor that Sunday’s message was wonderful and then they call me…
And they cry…and then…I cry. I want them to be okay. I so badly want things to change.
The me (Jana) that is writing to you today is tearful. The 30-year-old woman sitting in her mis-matched pajamas on the other end of the computer screen is broken too. I’m still trying to put pieces back together. Sometimes I hate reading my Bible, because I studied it faithfully for so many years and I was still led astray. The Bible, church and pastors were all part of that season. The season that left me broken and confused. All the while I was declaring that I was happy and whole. Just like all of the other pretty little step-ford wives on the front pew. Exhausted and lonely from keeping up appearances. Tired from speaking up and being told that we were called to help the pastor change. That we were helping him learn how to lead and love his staff and congregation. That our pain was part of the sacrifice and God would eventually bless our obedience. I was confused when one couple would confide in the pastors over a phone call or counseling session and then the senior pastors would openly discuss and critique them and their “issues” during staff meetings. The emotional strain was enormous and it tainted my view of pastors and leaders…for years.
So, yes sometimes I cry. Sometimes I wonder why the people who once called me family have turned on me since I have spoken up. Even in the midst of outside investigations and the MCIN removing their MC affiliation (proof that what they are doing is harmful) they are still ignoring me and so many others who spoke up. It makes me feel like they think this is my fault. They were caught doing something wrong and yet, they are mad at me because I did not stay silent. I want to scream because that mindset is so twisted. It’s the mindset of an abuser. I’m the outsider now and as much as I hate what they are teaching and instilling in people…I still care about them. I still want them to be okay and sometimes I cry because I don’t have any proof that they are getting better.