I am angry.

I am angry at the ever present, ever influential, ever toxic he that infiltrates my life and thoughts despite a lack of permission.

This he is not just one, but all.  All who have ever taken advantage of me, who have abused me, who have betrayed, injured, not cared for me.

The he who molested me when I was 3.  Everyone who knew but did nothing.

The he‘s of high school and college who said/did/attempted unwanted things and got away with it.

The he who was a trusted mentor, who betrayed me from the first, yet tricked me into trust until years later when he (a married Bible teacher with a child, whom I viewed with complete naivety and completely platonic) propositioned me, and yet still got away with it even though I did everything right, through all the right channels.

Every he who has not protected me but has either hurt me himself or watched as others did.

I have physical memories that I do not consciously remember but which prevent me from physical intimacy.  Worse, I have spiritual betrayal that has destroyed my trust in men, in Christian men in particular.  Betrayal that has left me bereft and empty.  Betrayal that still makes it hard to pray, read my Bible, desire to grow in faith.  I feel distant from God, but it is not God who is distant.  It is my own inability to allow Him to be close.

And I am angry about it.

————

In many ways, I am better than I was.  I’ve found a new church and have gone three times.  And you know what made me go back after the first time?  The week before, one of their pastors was arrested in a police sting as he attempted to solicit an underage prostitute.  This is not good, obviously.  I did not know about it, but when I showed up, the service was the main pastor talking about it: how you had to be in the middle of truth (stone him, the heinous man) and grace (forgive it all).  How the Church is made up of sinners, each of us is capable of doing awful things, but none of us wake up one morning and decide to do those things out of the blue.  We take small steps of compromise, and instead need to ensure we are walking in the Light of Christ, in the fellowship of other Believers, being open and accountable to each other.

This pastor handled it exactly as it should be: honestly, openly, truthfully.  He did not hide it or minimize.

And so I went back.  I sit by myself (surrounded by strangers).  Sometimes I sing, but mostly I just listen.  I leave as soon as service is over.  But I’m there.  I view every man in the congregation as suspect.  But I am there.

It is a step, perhaps small to you, but huge to me.

I want to be well again.  I want to believe I might be able to trust again someday.  I want to know I can approach God with an open heart.

I don’t want to be angry.

But I am.

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