Different.

I’ve been praying heavily for a miracle, just anything to bring reconciliation between the church I got kicked out of and myself.

When I was in the hospital, I had to share my story over and over. Doctors. Nurses. The chaplain. I waited for everyone to tell me what my sin was. How much I deserved it. How much I needed to be disciplined for the things I had done.

No one did any of that. They said the church was wrong. It had been abusive, what they had done. The chaplain was discouraged by my story. He said it wasn’t okay.

The doctor said it best: When people get upset with a person in a mental health crisis, they confuse the illness with the person. Whether they are aware of it or not, the anger they’re experiencing is at the illness, not the person.

So my shame quickly turned to anger. I was angry at the church. I lashed out at the church. I wanted to hurt them as much as they had hurt me.

Of course, I also wanted to jump immediately to forgiveness. I’ve learned that I’m not particularly good at the lamenting aspect of faith. But it’s so important. It’s critical to cry out to God your hurts. Without this step, you become toxic. You become someone you don’t want to be.

So for two years now, I have fought to reconcile. I have fought to make things right. At every turn, Satan has won. He’s won every unread email, every missed call, every argument with people who should help. I cried out to God, asking Him why He was letting Satan win.

I ended a very heated conversation with a pastor earlier this week in a fit of tears. But for the first time, I realized my tears were not of anger or bitterness. They were of a deep sadness for the sin of it all. Sad for the pastor. Sad for the church. Sad for the brokenness in the situation. I know God. I know, without obedience, discipline for the church will come. As God had disciplined me for me acting out in anger, they would be no different. I sobbed over a friend’s shoulder.

You look like Jesus right now, she told me. The way you’re reacting to this – that looks like Jesus to me.

Her words stuck with me. How different had I become that I would cry over men who had given me no consideration in return?

I know, that I am far, from perfect
But through You, the cross still says, I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different, ye-ey – “Different” by Micah Tyler

In the midst of all of this, I found out that one of the pastors from the church had slandered my name with several of our mutual friends. I was in shock, understandably, but I wasn’t angry. I was sad. My heart was grieved at just how much sin had happened in this situation.

I don’t know if God is going to resolve this. He might not. I’m learning that He is not as concerned with changing my situation as much as He’s concerned with changing my heart.

I’m okay with that.

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