Needless to say my second marriage was not founded on anything good. As I describe in my previous post. I prayed and prayed for God to change me. I really did, I thought I was so horrible for not liking him. But I perceived him as fake, he would change all the time right in front of my eyes. He kept things from me; twice I discovered piles of bills hidden in our second bedroom. He just wouldn’t tell me. I have no idea where the money went. All of this was going on while we served at church. We served in several areas together. He was being considered as a deacon. All the guys loved him and the ladies thought he was charming or something. There were many things going on but the final straw was actually my fault. Sometimes I am just too honest, thinking that I am helping but I make it worse. We were at a counseling session for couples because we were having problems and we were trying to get help. We were told to be completely honest.
I told him that he really needed to pray for our marriage because I had a crush on another guy at work.
Oh, yes I did. I told him that not because I was acting on my feelings but because I was seeking help in the situation. I told my pastor, who in turn told others in the name of “prayer” and the rumors started flying that I was cheating. I later found out that my ex had told some leaders as well that I was cheating. It was a mess. By that time he had already left, dumping all of my belongings out all over the house and taking whatever he could that he said belonged to him. I felt completely violated and devastated. I am admitting, I got to a point to where I couldn’t stand the sight of him. I had many meltdowns and tantrums because he was a liar and he threw my sensory issues beyond any other thing in the world. At times his presence hurt my flesh.
For a while when he was still there, I wouldn’t come home until wee hours of the morning.
I just couldn’t, I would rather sit with friends or my car alone than go home to him. I will say we both did things wrong but sometimes I feel like I did the biggest wrong by not listening to myself or God and I caused both of us to suffer needlessly. It did not help that in the beginning of our marriage I had a miscarriage, it really made things much worse. He left and caused me lingering problems for quite a while. But the story does not end there. There is the failed relationship of my church family.
I had several very hurtful things happen to me during this time.
I had some people pull me into a room and tell me that people were saying that I had cheated, I went off. I asked them who said it, why did people believe it, even if it was true who had the right to gossip about?? It was discovered the link being the pastor during a prayer meeting. I do not think it was his intention but it was hurtful. I had one of the elders wives corner me in the corridor of the church and say loudly “GOD HATES DIVORCE! You better do something to fix your marriage!” I just looked at her and said “You can’t make people change.” She then replied “Well God can change them and every marriage can be fixed.” I replied with “You cannot know what goes on in every marriage.” and I left. They had asked me to step down for a while serving, I felt they were right and I had no problem doing so.
The day was soon approaching though when I was to return to teaching the kids.
It was the day before I was to return to class, I had asked for the curriculum a week in advance and no one gave it to me or would talk to me. I got a call from the pastor (he was a new pastor than the youth interim) at work telling me to please come to church after work because he wanted to talk to me. I felt like I was in serious trouble. I went after work and the pastor and head elder sat me down and told me that the elders had voted and they decided that I could no longer teach the children. I understood and sobbed for days. They told me that they felt my character wasn’t good at that time to be around the children and that it would be too confusing for the kids. Side note here: The day before one of my friends had seen my ex with a girl going to the bank. It could have been nothing but it didn’t seem to be nothing to her when she saw them. I really don’t know, but it is interesting that my character was being judged.
No one ever talked to the kids about the situation and I was not allowed to, even though they all asked.
The very next Sunday was a final blow to me. The new pastor’s son had recently graduated seminary and was a youth pastor. He started going to the church because he had to move in with his parents. His wife had found another man and left him. That Sunday he got up talked about his divorce and then it was announced by the head elder that he would be the new youth pastor starting immediately. I still don’t even know how to take all of that. I asked why it was ok for him and not me; I was told that he was open and honest about it so that probably made a difference. I WAS OPEN AND HONEST! I told the pastor right away when things were wrong and that I needed prayer and that my marriage was failing. It still doesn’t make sense. I was never angry, I am still not but I was hurt. No one absolutely no one asked me anything except that small group of people.
I felt like I was wearing a giant red “A” on my clothes.
I stayed for a while longer but then I felt led to go to another church. The new church helped me recover. They were very accepting and they built me up. They encouraged my challenging questions and they even let me rant about inconsistencies with the scriptures that I felt I saw. I feel like the Lord really led me to a place of healing and it also helped me to not become bitter and angry at all churches. That was my first church experience as an adult. My first church experience as a new Believer. My first church experience with groups of church people. It was not a good one and unfortunately it was not the last. It feels good to write this out. I have held on to it for so long for fear of people thinking that I am bitter or hateful. I am not, I am sad by the experience. I am sad that people can go to church their entire life and never get the message of Christ. I wish the message wouldn’t get lost in experiences like this.
I know that I am not the only one and that makes it even harder for me to bear.