I loved church. I was at church more than any other place for most of my teenage and college years. Loved the fellowship, the praise & worship, and the experience of being electrified with the energy of believers.
I miss it. I miss the community.
But I won't go back.
Not anytime soon.
It's not about my faith. It is about my mental health and the perception of my worthlessness. Hearing songs and messages about how I am a sinner and unworthy of God. It speaks of mercy and acceptance, but only continues if I change. If I submit to authority. If I humble myself. When shame is around, humility needn't be.
For those who have healthy self-esteem and confidence, this message is probably not perceived the same way. Coming from a place of trauma and deep rooted shame, this confirmed everything I believed to be true.
I was the worst of the worst. How could God ever love me? I tried and tried, but always came short of HIS expectations. The worthlessness and shame was so strong, ending my life so I wouldn't keep messing up, seemed a better option.
Why wouldn't Jesus save me?
How was my faith not enough to make me WORTHY of His continued love? What was wrong with me?
Layers and layers of shame. One topped another. I tried asking for help. I told my story. I felt judged.
I felt the discomfort of people without experience trying to say or do something, but unable to assist, hand out scriptures which should, "help."
What I didn't get... BUT needed desperately,
-directed to professional trauma counselors
-held space without words
What I needed the most was LOVE. Without expectations. Without questions. Without an agenda. Without a To Do list. Just. Plain. Simple. LOVE.
Didn't Jesus preach LOVE? Wasn't LOVE every part of every story? To lighten the mood of this deep share and in honor of MY love for music, "Where, where is the LOVE, the LOVE, the LOVE?"
Something I have been working on to help heal these wounds, understanding spiritual bypassing and deep healing. I won't go into spiritual bypassing because I am only beginning to understand it. I'm learning how I've used it and how those around me have used it to remain unaccountable and disconnected.
If you're looking for more, check out this article I found: How to Know if You're Spiritually Bypassing.