Reasons why I Hide in Church

One of the most painful things about having a difficult past is feeling the need to hide it. Does anyone relate here?

In my Church I don’t hear the words mental illness, suicide, self harm, domestic violence, abuse and addictions mentioned very much.

Yet these words are normal, everyday things to me. I can’t really explain about my day/year/life without using them. But I just don’t use them.

I tell a polite lie when I come to Church.

Rather than tell people the truth I cover things up. I would say to people “oh I’m not too bad” the day after my Dad would try to kill himself. I would paint on a smile and lie through my pearly whites.

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It is true that most people in the Church do come from the perfect stock of Christian parents, two and a half kids and a dog. Smiles and laughter, saving sex for marriage, using alcohol safely, living what looks like perfect lives.

I always felt that I should become the type of person that is found in Church. Honestly I want to be like that – they look so happy! I believed/believe that I will get there, and I wrongly thought that I should pretend until I did.

But I found a verse yesterday which blew this out of the water for me.

“Make sure no outsider who now follows God ever has occasion to say, “God put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.” And make sure no physically mutilated person is ever made to think, “I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong” Isaiah 56:3-4 The Message

The devil has placed a MASSIVE lie in my brain. Deep down I feel like I am in second-class, I feel like damaged goods and that I will never belong in a Church because of that. That I will never be good enough to be used by God.

Because of this I felt the need to hide, which definitely did stop me belonging. You cannot belong if you don’t show people who you are!

Here is my message today – No Christian is better than another. Perfect past or one that has been shredded to pieces, you belong just the same. Damaged people, let’s be honest about who we are and where we came from. We may feel damaged but truthfully in Jesus we are whole and valuable. Lets break the trend of hiding in Church and make it a more welcoming place to others whose lives are far from what they would choose them to be!

A fake Church is NOT a strong Church; by hiding we are doing no one any favours.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredarmitage/347361866/”>Frederic Poirot</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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15 thoughts on “Reasons why I Hide in Church

    • Thank you for commenting, I will have a look at the blog now :). I’m so glad Jesus has been repairing you, I also know how frustrating the scars can be, check out my post Red Raw and Itching cos I go on about them a lot there! Life is tough but He is worth it, my prayers are with you

  1. Don’t let the devil deceive you, those happy go lucky Christian families from perfect backgrounds don’t exist! Everyone has a struggle, and something they’re hiding, just like you. Different in nature, maybe, because we are all unique, but struggles just the same.

    I think if we all start going to church as honest people, we will realize we are not alone, and a huge change will take place in the body of believers as a whole..as a result drastically changing how the world views us. We will no longer be an elite club no one could hope to be good enough for..and we will transform into a “club” where every sinner feels welcome! Then BAM! We have an homest environment where we feel safe to speak our truth, and safe to change more into Christ like people. Freedom!

    I just LOVE this entry! And I love that scripture! Keep on keepin on, friend! Your honesty, encouragement, background, and knowledge in this area is an awesome ministry opportunity! I’m so glad you’re making the most of that opportunity.

    Sending love from Idaho! 🙂

    • Wow I absolutely love that second paragraph! So inspiring 🙂 It would be so amazing if that did happen! Looks like I need to start with me and see where it goes. Thank you for your comment, you’re so right, even the people who seem perfect have things that they hide as well. I’m so encouraged by your comment,
      Sending love back at you from the sunny (for once) UK!

  2. “Lets break the trend of hiding in Church and make it a more welcoming place to others whose lives are far from what they would choose them to be!” And, you are right, a fake Church is not a strong Church. I don’t know what right I have to say that, because my faith is shaky at best and I rarely attend church anymore. But I was, for 20 years, part of one of those families you see – we looked like the model family on the outside, and I truly walked the walk of sincere faith as I understood it, while our family was ripped up with psychological abuse. When I DID speak up, Christians didn’t know what to do with the information. Which is why honesty is SOOO important – it is how we learn from others their stories of sadness and blessing, and LEARN how to extend love to those who have different experiences than ours. I don’t know why I so want others to not lose or confuse faith…I guess because the Church has such POTENTIAL to heal and nourish those who hurt – but secrecy is bad business in families AND in churches. I am so glad to have visited your blog. I’ve been blessed. Diane

    • This is so true – the Church has so much potential, and when it does well I am blown away! It’s sometimes so hard to know what to say to people, I have seen the “oh no what do I say!” look so many times, and I do feel sorry for people in that position. I think you are right that honesty is so important, even when perhaps it only means saying “That is so awful, I simply don’t know what to say but I want to be there for you in any way I can”, I’m hoping that when I say this to people the fact that I am genuine will make up for my lack of wisdom/words.
      I’m so glad someone recommended your blog to me, I’m really interested to read your posts 🙂

  3. I also felt that I didn’t belong when I became a Christian and began going to church. But, after getting to know “church people” personally, they began opening up to me and I learned that they all had “issues” too. My wife and I vowed that we would not raise “church kids;” meaning kids that couldn’t relate to and have compassion for “sinners” like I was. We did this by not covering up our past with them or others; we didn’t want to put on a “Christian façade” that would make someone like you feel they couldn’t measure up.
    You are real – You belong!
    “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  4. In my church…it’s often the same thing for us each time…I think even my friends get tired of hearing it. But I have found some peace and understanding…and ladies willing to trust me and give me a hug despite of sharing my fears/concerns in small group. Their trust in me means a whole lot!

  5. As someone who also has stories that sometimes seem too dark to share with the church crowd, all I can say is “Yes.” Thank you for bravely sharing your experiences. To the extent that you can, they not only help others heal, but they are a sign of God’s redemptive power through everything. What we see with our human eyes as brokenness and weakness, God sees as a place to display his strength.

    • I love this last line, it’s so encouraging, yes! The broken parts of the church can be the place where we see God’s strength the most, because we know we need Him so much. The thing I always try to remember is that NOTHING is to dark for Jesus

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