I hear people say ‘o, they shut their doors when they should have helped me out. Church people are hypocrites‘. Then there are all the mishaps other people face involving church people or even leaders. This article is my two cents on handling hurt and pain.
Now more people are becoming bold enough to speak up on their experiences of molestation, assault, sexual harassment and rape especially in the hands of church leaders, while a lot more are choked by their secret. Sometimes because the offender is protected by the church, or maybe because of He is popularly respected or feared.
First, I want to apologize to you on behalf of the Church and everyone who should have protected you that did not, ‘I AM SORRY’.
Your hurt is valid, your pain is justified and your anger explainable. He/She should never have touched you. They should have understood. You should have been protected.
But you weren’t again, ‘I APOLOGIZE’ for how the physical body of Christ tortured. You when they should have covered you.
We have to realise that just like you go to the bathroom to wash because you’re dirty the church is made up of people who are just as sick as any unbeliever out there, and even believers are at different stages of their healing/sanctification/mind renewal process so, ‘SORRY’ they don’t know any better plus they did not take responsibility for their own hurts.
The Church is made up of people and people are very unstable, ever heard of the saying ‘hurting people hurt other people’? Yes very true’.
And this is not to make excuses or be insensitive to your hurt, trust me when I say I totally get it, or maybe I don’t.
But the real question is ‘How much do you want healing from the hurt and pain?’ See, you can constantly go over the incident and each time feel the hurt and pain so much that you can literally grab it. The trauma, The hurt, The pain!
Good news is Jesus saw that hurt and pain ahead and died for it even before you were born. If I haven’t learned anything, I have come to know that God is a father, a loving and responsible one. And he is an omniscient and providential one at that. What that means is that he sees things before they happen, knows what you need before you even realize it and makes provision for such.
That will probably bring you to ‘Did God make it happen?‘
No! Never!! God has a set of characters and attributes that reveals to us what He is capable and incapable of doing, and one of such is seen in James 1:17, “Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.
God is good. God is incapable of doing evil, it is not in His character to do evil.God is good. God is incapable of doing evil, it is not in His character to do evil. Click To Tweet
We have an enemy called the Devil, the one who does evil, and we have many many people under the influence of his nature and power.
You may not have been able to control your past but you have a say now and you have a say over the future or at least the decisions that can shape the future outcomes, so use that. With this said you see you get healing from the hurt and pain.
When you have fought, cried, complained then gotten to the end of yourself (this is a very good position by the way) here are a few things you can try;
1. Have an honest conversation with God.
God is not afraid of your questions, hurt, pain or your anger. He can take it, give it up to Him.
Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
He gets you, so tell Him how you feel, even if it’s in the middle of sobs, say it to Him not because He does not know but because he wants to hear you. He wants to answer you. He wants to make your joy complete.
2. Become Accountable.
In doing life you need people, not everyone will understand your journey but there are people who will get it and be willing to journey with you. There are also countless people who have been to where you are trying to move from. Take their hands, or let them take your hands, you will need it in this healing journey.There are also countless people who have been to where you are trying to move from. Take their hands, or let them take your hands, you will need it in this healing journey. Click To Tweet
3. Have a conversation with the people involved.
Sometimes people offend you and they are not even aware of how they made you feel. Sometimes, they know they have offended you, but they have no idea how they might approach you to make restitution. I know having some of these conversations can be completely annoying and uncomfortable but as much as possible when you are hurt by your brother/sister speak to him/her about it and give him/her an opportunity to explain and probably apologize. It helps greatly.I know some of these conversations can be uncomfortable but as much as possible when you are hurt by your brother/sister speak to him/her about it. Click To Tweet
Matthew 18:15 (WE) –‘If your brother does something wrong to you, go to him. Talk alone to him and tell him what he has done. If he listens to you, you have kept your brother as a friend.
4. Have a conversation with yourself.
One factor common in this kind of situation is to be in denial, and not admit every detail of the occurrence, so for people like this, they are never able to move past the situation.
So have a candid conversation with yourself. Face the uncomfortable facts of the event. Cry if you must, scream if you must, but never bottle the emotions in, and don’t remain in denial.Have a candid conversation with yourself, never bottle up emotions, and don't remain in denial. Click To Tweet
5. Be patient with yourself
Yo! Everyone’s journey is different, someone else’s journey is not yours. While for others may take months, yours may take days or may take years and it’s okay. Your story is peculiar to you so embrace all the process and trust God to bring you through it all.Your story is peculiar to you so embrace all the process and trust God to bring you through it all. Click To Tweet
6. Report to the appropriate authority
There are different bodies and channels set up to handle different cases of assaults and abuse. From government organizations to NGOs, Religious bodies and internal channels for workplaces and channels.
As regarding misconducts in the church, this article When Should You Report Ministerial Misconduct? on Gospel Coalition does a beautiful job on the topic.
We also have an article titled How Should Christians Respond To Church Scandal that will be of great help also.
Be of good cheer you have overcome!!! We know these few lines might not be sufficient to deal with an issue this deep, so share with us how you have or think such can be dealt with.
To talk directly with us, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to Tolu via email@example.com.
You can also read up An Open Letter To Those Angry At God