Have you been called a Jezebel?

2007 – Broussard, LA

I woke up with dread in my heart.  The night before I had spoken with our senior pastor over the phone.  My heart was breaking and he held nothing back as he shattered what was left of my dignity.  I detailed a glimpse of the conversation in my blog The Transparent Life.  You can read that here.  It was beyond one of the worst experiences of my life in ministry.  I was told that I operated in a Jezebel spirit and my husband was Ahab.  He told me to read through the scriptural account of what happened to Jezebel and warned me that I needed to repent and change.  He told me to go sit at my husbands feet and repent for my behavior and then “reward him” for being patient with me…

I did everything he told me to do.  I wept uncontrollably over the phone as I felt like I had released all hope of ever leaving.  We were in too deep.  The more we tried to ask questions and make sense of what was happening to our marriage and personal life, the tighter the yoke became.

Barry and I made amends that evening with our words, but our hearts were divided.  As a wife, I felt like I no longer knew my husband.  The handsome, energetic man I married was now distracted and tired.  The smile that always melted my heart was diminishing and the sparkle in his eyes was gone.  He was a shell of his former self.  We were drifting apart…all in the name of doing God’s work.

Things got worse very quickly.  The way in which our senior pastor spoke to me left me feeling completely misunderstood and humiliated.  That conversation was followed up with several meetings with Barry, myself and any one of the pastors.  Somehow everyone became involved in our life.  People that I would have never spoken to about such intimate details of my marriage had full knowledge of what was going on.  It angered me to no end that our group of pastors had no value for privacy and they saw no problem with openly discussing the issues of their staff with other staff members or people of the church.

After each meeting Barry and I would come home and be okay for a while.  Maybe a day or two and then the misery would sink in again.  We were constantly being told that we were the problem.  It seemed as though nothing we did would ever be good enough and we were beginning to buckle under the pressure.  I would stay awake at night and pray for God to rescue us and then one night….

One night I candidly told God that I couldn’t take it any more.  With tears streaming down my face I asked God to either remove us from this damaging situation or to remove me from my marriage.  I couldn’t handle it any longer.  Barry and I seemed to be striving for something we could never attain under our pastors demanding expectations.  My heart was breaking into a thousand pieces.  I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my marriage…but even more than that I couldn’t handle losing my relationship with God.  I knew if I stayed on staff then I would surely trade in everything of value for my pastor’s empty approval…even my trust and love for God.  After all, it seemed as though God was failing me when I needed Him the most.

10 thoughts on “Have you been called a Jezebel?

    1. So sorry to hear this. Glad you are writing..and healing.

      Now, we have a few names for our old leaders…but they aren’t quite as damaging as the ones they labeled us with years ago. 🙂

  1. I know that I can say that I know more than a few couples who have had something similar happen… TO THEM TOO! WOOOOOOOW

  2. Wow…I have been called Jezebel. You and I knew each other for a brief time. I wanted to say RUN but of course you would not have understood then but you sure would understand now. The one thing that we want you to see. This pastor at one time had such a powerful annointing. Poweful that 100’s probably 1000’s would be saved. Not walking in your calling and being seduced by evil spirits will develop into what is now this controlling and demonic environmnet. Praise God Jesus is our way, our truth and our life. Could go on and on but be blessed and know that you are the apple of God’s eye. FREEDOM TO DANCE! FREEDOM TO SING!! Jason Upton’s song and music helped to set me free after we took the exit door.

  3. Hello my friend! This blog makes me want to come back to California, hug you tight, and spend all day telling you and your beautiful family all the great things I see in you and know about you. You are such a beautiful soul, thank the Lord that you are in a place where you are free, healed, and happy.

  4. Thank you for the comment and reassurance Cassandra. 🙂

    It’s true, unless you have been there…you can’t begin to understand or imagine it. But once you are free you can’t imagine allowing others to remain in that type of abuse.

  5. Again, I say, I am so glad that ya’ll did get out. And, I am very sad for those that remain. I have been discussing your blog entries with Bryan periodically and he is just as stunned as I am but very happy that you and Barry (and baby Rowan) are out of that mess. I will never forget how stressed the young men in our bridal party were that stood up as groomsmen for Bryan at our wedding.. stressed because they had to make the entire drive back to Louisiana that night in order to be back in the church for Sunday morning. It seemed a bit ridiculous to me.. they couldn’t miss just one service? So they wouldn’t have to drive all night like that? Instead, let’s put their lives in danger by driving late at night and let them be so exhausted they would feel like snoring on the pew. I guess I will never understand completely because I just wouldn’t be able to live like that. I hope that this new place where you and Barry are now is much more open and free. No one should be held back or held down all to suit someone else’s intended gain.

    1. Thank you Valerie. Yes, I remeber that too. I know a number of people that wanted to attend your wedding but they were not allowed to miss whatever the church had going on that weekend. It was truly disappointing. Thanks for reading and following along, it means a lot to me and to Barry as well. We are in a wonderful place. A place of healing and freedom…it’s what we have always longed for in ministry and in life. God has truly answered our prayers! 🙂

      Much Love,
      Jana

  6. I was a similar type situation…so similar that just reading this makes me feel like its uncanny…I reached the point of being on my knees and begging God to let me “snap” mentally. I said “either let me lose my mind or get me out but I can’t THINk and stay here!” He worked on my husband and gave the courage to get us out within a few weeks of that. Noone understand unless they’ve been there…but those who’ve been there UNDERSTANd! I totally relate Jana.

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