Monday, September 24, 2012

Coming through brokenness...when you have been hurt by the church

Today I am guest posting over at Kelly's blog.

I worked in full time ministry a little over five years and left when I became pregnant with Judah. During those years I poured my heart and soul into my work. Made sure everything was done with “excellence” and made sure people “knew they mattered to God”. I shared my heart with my co-workers and friends but I always had trust issues and felt like I was the black sheep in our flock. One of the reasons why I felt like I didn’t belong was because I came from a very dysfunctional family. Growing up my father was extremely physically and mentally abusive towards us, he spent time in jail for robbing a bank and my mother abandoned us our whole lives.  When she was around we had to try to talk her out of cutting herself. But the main reason why I felt like an outcast was because I came to know the Lord after I had an abortion when I was 17.  When I was pregnant I was dating an abusive boyfriend and when he and his brother found out I was pregnant they both beat me up until I agreed to have an abortion.  This broke me and although I accepted the Lord into my heart a year after I had my abortion I always felt like part of me was untouchable, ruined and I hated myself for not being strong enough to say no to these guys and I was upset that the Lord gave me these hurtful parents.

I thought my years of working in ministry would have helped heal my heart and would have prepared me for when I got pregnant with Judah, our sweet little honeymoon baby. What I wasn’t prepared for was the isolation from the people I used to work with and from people who I thought were dear friends. We fell through the cracks. The people I thought would be there for us were just to busy making sure others knew they mattered to God. So I fell into the darkest depression I’ve ever experienced and since I was already working through some childhood issues with my therapist I started to get angry with God and I wanted nothing to do with Him. Every Tuesday night as I sat in my car outside of my therapists office I would cry and scream to God “its unfair that I have to work through this crap, I didn’t ask for a mother and father that didn’t want me and I don’t know why people abandoned me, I am so angry with you”.

Over the past two years of struggling with hurt and abandonment from the church and some believers I’ve come to realize is:

Summum Bonum. God is the highest good.  Psalm 119:68 “you are good and do good” The Lord is good, therefore all he does must be good no matter how it looks and honestly I can’t wait for the day when I can see the full picture. Right now I can only see my past and compare that to what is going on right now. But if I fill my head and heart with the word I am able to clearly see that God is good and has a reason for what I am going through.

I have to trust on Gods truth long enough until it becomes a belief system in my heart. Then I will be able to automatically act and think in the light of His truth. Psalm 43:4 “Oh send out Your light and Your truth, let them led me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.“

During the time of healing when your heart is grafting to Christ’s heart and your not fully healed from past trauma. If a believer hurts you it doesn’t mean the entire church has abandoned you. It just feels that way. Trust that the Lord will not only wipe your tears away and heal your broken heart but also trust that He will bring the right people into your life to encourage you on your walk. Joshua 1:5 “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”

When I am feeling broken and wounded, when the air can’t fill my lungs fast enough and past regrets try to cling to my soul like old mold. I have to remember that no one and no issue can ever snatch me from Gods hand. John 10:28 “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “

Altered in my brokenness
In the light of Your divine love
Faithful you are in righteousness
Although afflicted I look to you above.
-written by Jess West Judkins

It has taken me two years to fully want to open my heart and immerse myself in fellowship with Gods people.  In these two years I’ve learned that God has allowed these hurts to come my way, that they have changed my heart so I am able to cling onto Him more instead of trusting what His people do and think of me. All I have to do is remember He is good, trust in His truth long enough so it becomes a belief system, just because a believer hurts you doesn’t mean all believers are bad and know that nothing can take me away from His loving hands.  God will bring the right people into our lives at the right time. He has allowed me to pull away for a season to wrestle with Him as he heals my heart.

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  1. It is amazing to me how often people can get hurt in churches. It's such a heartbreaking experience. Our church actually lost our wonderful pastor last week, and rumors have been flying left and right as to why he left. It's hard, but our new pastor has been amazing and I hope people are able to see that!

  2. Thank you for sharing these hard moments. If I would've gone through what you've went through, I don't think I would ever be able to talk about it. But you found the strength to open up your heart so others would be encouraged. God bless you, dear!

  3. A very honest and touching read. People hurt people = God picks us up. We can do this.

  4. This was an amazing post. I can relate to a LOT of what's posted here. It's beautiful to see what God has molded the broken pieces into. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I needed this. Thank you for posting. It seems that those in ministry take a little longer to get over hurts from the church and I truly could use this right about now! Thankful He gives beauty for ashes!

  6. Thank you for this wonderful post. I really love being able to see how God loves and blessing his children. Blessings to you and your family!


  7. I love your honesty on this post, and on all your posts. You've been through so much but I'm so glad you're finding some peace slowly. <3

  8. Thank you for sharing your journey. So many of us have been hurt by the church, and yet each time I read or hear of a new story, it breaks my heart a little more.

    Your reference to Psm 119:68 reminded me of a prayer Madeline L'Engle included in 'Walking on Water'.

    "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. - No matter what."

  9. Jess, Thank you so much for sharing this powerful testimony. I know there are so many people who need to hear this and read this. I am in awe of your strength.

  10. Thanks for posting so honestly. I love to read posts where bloggers put their heart and pain out there. Its refreshing to see the truth. I'm sorry for the hurt you've gone through, but this is a great testimony! Thanks for the scripture as well. You made so great points and left me with lots to think about!

  11. Thank you so so much for sharing this story! I found your blog through 5ohwifey's blog and I'm really glad that I did. Your words are beautiful.

    I myself am working through a very serious time of depression, and dealing with a lot of hurt from my verbally abusive parents AND other believers I thought I could trust. Today has been a rough one for me emotionally, I hate waking up like this. But reading this post brought me a lot of encouragement! I HOPE I can get to this point where you are at SOON!

    Emily Anne


Thank you for your comments! They encourage my heart and I read every single one of them. Please be encouraging and don't just comment or email me when you want to correct me on my grammar. When I get the "grammar correction" emails or comments they do hurt my feelings. I wouldn't want your heart to feel the way mine does after reading them.

Please check back as I try to respond to everyone who leaves a comment.