Yes Men

2004 – Broussard, LA

There is much to be said about trusting someone when they tell you no.  I think in those moments you see your true friends.  For when you can trust someone to say no, you can surely trust that when they say yes…they really mean it. – Jana Bishop

I hurried around the house, trying to find something to wear.  Barry waited by the door for me while I rushed to make my final decision.  “Okay, okay” I yelled from the back bedroom…”I’m almost ready”.  I emerged in black slacks and a button up shirt.  Hopefully this would meet their approval.  Every week at our staff meetings the pastor praised the other wives for what they were wearing and he would always skip over me.  I thought maybe it was because I was too casual, not thin enough…ugh…I had no idea but I was going to keep trying until I got the stamp of approval.  This had become the normal ritual every day.  I worried myself sick over how I would be perceived.  We were approaching almost two years of being on staff and I received more rebukes for my appearance during that time than I knew to be possible.  My self-esteem was taking a dive and I felt as though I could not recover.

Barry whistled in my direction as we walked to the car.  I breathed a sigh of relief, at least he thought I looked nice.  He was always good at making me feel better.  He knew how hard it was for me to feel beautiful.  In his own way he could relate.  He was constantly criticized for his long hair, his scruffy face, his shoes…you name it…he heard it.  So, he purposefully extended compassion to me in light of the increasing pressure being placed upon our appearance.

When we arrived to the staff meeting we took our normal seats and waited for our pastor to greet us.  He was on his cell phone, kicking his foot impatiently.  He muttered something about “Man of God…” and I tuned him out.  I felt bad for whomever was on the receiving end of the phone.  I hated those type of calls.  We all sat in silence until he wrapped up the conversation.  I knew this was going to be a meeting for the books…he was on a roll.

Everyone went around the circle, in their ususal fashion.  Giving reports of how their ministry was doing, any issues that needed to be addressed and then thanking pastor for his fabulous message on Sunday.  Everything transpired as normal…until it got to us.  To our surprise, our pastor announced that he was sending us to California to go to the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry.  We sat there in shock.  We had no idea what to say, we knew very little about the school or the people that comprised it’s leadership.  Seeing the perplexed look on our faces he told us that he would talk to us later.   He firmly mentioned that we should be excited about the opportunity he was giving us, after all most people would be thrilled.

We went home in a daze.  The fact that the decision was made without even consulting us really bothered me as well as Barry.  Even though California would be a step up from the swamp lands we were calling home, it just seemed competely absurd to make us move on a whim.  But, we knew that for us to say no to our Pastor would cause a major uproar…so we joined the ranks among the other staff members.

That day, we officially resigned ourselves to becoming his “Yes Men”.

8 thoughts on “Yes Men

  1. Jana,

    Wow…my heart sinks more and more with every post i read,not out of disbelief but out of disgust..the stories just keep unfolding. as my sister put it, we were not tortured near the amount as most…i am so happy you guys seemed to have that still small voice dwelling within you to tell you hey something wasnt right…_______ has become a monster beyond any controlable means, not accountable to anyone, but all must be accountable to him…the destruction is nothing short of catastrophic in my mind when you play with the lives and hearts of Gods people. The day i had my “face to face blog” with him was the day he told me i needed to get on my knees and repent to him or i could not go back to what we now call “the church of the walking wounded”…now people that know me, know that i have little tolerance for this kind of drama, and always have and have always been one that has spoken my mind. ______ was a long time family friend, ,my parents helped him over 30 yrs ago when he was an evangelist. so the relationship went way back..so with that said, as he tells me this, i get up out of my chair, look at him, and tell him that I will repent to him when hell freezes over and he can kma as I walk out.
    Yeah the respect factor had left long ago and it didnt take toomuch more to push me to another level…the other pastor int he room who was from another church, looked at me in im not sure it it was amazement or disbelief, but just smiled at me and said you are more than welcome at our church…we go way back to the days of locker to locker..these people would all stay with us, we had great times of fellowship with them, worship sessions, studies, etc. one woman that became close to us and stayed with us yearly was a singer. she was a bit on the heavy side but could sing the praises of God. i remember the day we were at lunch at my moms. She had gone to great lengths to feed the whole locker to locker staff. _____walks in and sees this woman eating lunch, and immediately grabs the plate from her and asks her” do you really think that you need to be eating anything at your size” wouldt a jog be more in order for you..she, i , and all around were in total shock at those words. i saw the hurt in her at that moment that he caused her, my mom chimed in and made a comment to the effect of “o _____ go away” but i knew it was not a joke. she was trying to lighten the moment. so the abuse goes back way before the church was even started. i have always said that he was a woman hater, because of his mom. anyhow i like everyone could go on with stories forever and a day. i am so glad that people have started exposing him for what he is, a wolf is sheeps clothing.

    1. Thanks for sharing these stories KK, I have had so many women call or email me to tell me similar stories…it’s saddening that this type of thing is happening in plain sight.

  2. Jana-

    For as long as I knew you in Texas I always thought you were beautiful, everything about you! I’ve always missed you, and was so sad when you left. I do remember one thing you told me when you were engaged to Barry, “The best thing about it is I’m marrying my best friend!” And every time I met a guy if he couldnt be best friend material (after what you said) then nope! Luckily, I did marry my best friend as well!!

  3. Just reading this much, I am seriously AMAZED, you made it there as long as you did, and that you guys are still you!! Thank you Lord for grace and restoration!!

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