Dear Beloved Reader, 

Here’s my heart

I think I’ll start off this letter with a simple story, which occurred to me when I was but a young Jr. Higher in school.

I was the kind of kid that made friends easily and also managed to not have the best relationships with girls. I was drawn to relationships with boys because I grew up a bit of a tom boy. I remember like it was yesterday, going into youth group and being sat down to have a serious conversation by a leader, who I guess you could consider my pastor at my church. It was strange because I knew the reason they were sitting me down and why they were bringing her, my ex-best friend at the time, to join us in that circle. I knew that they wanted to bring some sort of resolve to an issue that we had, which caused us to part ways. I knew that they wanted to bring peace to this problem. But my opinion quickly changed when I started to get attacked by my leaders, as if they had already taken the side of my ex-best friend. I felt instantly betrayed, hurt, and shame started to creep in. I thought, well maybe my leadership was right, I was a conniving, heartless girl that did not play well with others. I mean, if you had some leaders in your life that you trusted tell you that you had a character issues, wouldn’t you feel the same way?

After the bash fest and what They felt was the voice of conviction in my life, I walked away in a puddle of tears. The leaders thought those were tears of joy and that a jr.higher had experience some sort of revelation. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was injured, walking in shame, my insecurity making a deeper hole in my mind and heart. When my mother picked me up from this “youth group” she instantly knew there was something wrong with me. She knew when I started to explain to her the occurrence, that this was not a God –thing. This was toxic. In all her anger and protection, my mother jumped out of the car and decided to confront this youth leader on my behalf. Probably not the best response, but I could imagine my mother who is seeing her tough, “I never cry” daughter broken and in tears in front of her and knew she had to do something. She was my hero in that moment and the only one looking out for my heart and soul.

This story is so important to me because I believe this moment forever set the path for my understand of Love from church and warped my view of God’s love.  I didn’t know until years later that I had patterns of self-loathing whenever I was confronted with hurts in the church. I was in the battle of a lifetime to know myself and believe that God is for me and not against me, regardless of leadership and how “well” they loved me.

I share this story because this is the reason for my desire to start a blog. I know that I needed to share my experience, my hurts, my frustrations, but most importantly my victory with God in the face of hurt.

Church is a messy place, it is filled with messy people and it is how you manage your way through this kind of hurt that will let you walk in freedom to do what God has called you to do.

We all have a purpose and we all have a calling God has placed in our lives. Church and ministry is something we need to strive to have longevity and to gain this in the face of hurt and insecurity. This is something I am still in the process of learning, so won’t you join me in this process too?

Amy

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