In Response to the Firestorm That was My Facebook Wall Yesterday

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” –Madeline Albright

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. A lot of thinking.  That happens when everything you thought was certain and true and stable in your life gets ripped out from under you over the course of a few months.  I’ve fielded a lot of questions about my personal life, my thoughts, my beliefs on what Scripture teaches. I thought, Hey, instead of answering every single person individually, how about I share an article on Facebook which articulates my thoughts perfectly, and with which I fully agree.  That ought to cut back on the personal questions, verbal assaults, and assumptions.

I was wrong.

I shared Gary Thomas’ “Enough is Enough: Why The Church needs to Stop Enabling Abuse,” and simply said it articulates my thoughts well, and encouraged everyone to read it and give it some thought.

That would be nice, right? Giving an article some thought–especially an article directly dealing with how poorly abuse is handled in the church– before saying everything on your mind? Before deciding that you yourself don’t even need to know all the facts, but will instead presume them, and are judge, jury, and executioner in someone’s very thoughts and motives.  Which was, of course, ironically, what I was immediately accused of.

142 comments later…multiple personal messages and phone calls…

How dare I post about my personal life on Facebook! How could I further humiliate my husband by insinuating the things in the article were also true about us.  Why would I want to cause people to assume terrible things about my marriage? Take it down. Take it down, NOW.

You guys. I believe I was very clear in my post that I was simply posting an article about rampant abuse in the church, how it’s not only swept under the rug, but enabled and perpetuated.  And so many of you did an amazing job of proving my very point.  If you assumed things on my own life, marriage, or situation because I shared an article with which I agree, that’s on you.  If maybe you were privy to more of the personal details of my life and projected that on to the article and my intent in posting, and then commented with deeply personal information about my life, I may have deleted your comments, and I’m not sorry I did.  I’m only sorry you thought it was appropriate to go there on Facebook, and more sorry that you thought my posting the article in the first place pointed to or said anything specific to me or my life. I’m not the one who went there on Facebook. You did.

For those of you who read the article for what it was, assumption and judgement-free of what I may or may not be saying about my own life, thank you.  Thank you for considering how we can stand up to this very horrific and deeply entrenched pattern in the church.  For those of you who reached out to me via texts or personal messages, thank you.  So many of you said, “Thanks for posting this article and shedding light on a very touchy subject.  I wouldn’t have thought twice about it possibly being personal until I saw some people’s comments–by the way, are you okay?”

And more sadly, so many of you reached out and said, “Thank you so much for posting this, because yes, yes, YES! I am being abused, and when I went to the church for help, they only made it worse!” So many of you said, “I don’t have a voice anymore, and I need someone to help me get it back.  Please. Please help me get help, too.”

My God-given voice has been crushed and suppressed by the “church” for too long.  Now that I have found it again, I fully intend to use it to be a voice for the voiceless, to shine light in the darkness, and to set the captives free.

Last year, during the darkest time of my life, I got the words “Out of These Ashes, Beauty will Rise” tattooed on my foot.  I guarantee you, when I had that permanently inked on my foot, I had no idea what that beauty rising out of the ashes would be, I just knew God was good, all the time. Some people tell me that I am giving up hope of beauty rising.  But I think that it’s just beginning to rise.  And it looks entirely different than I imagined it would. But it’s even more Beautiful than I ever dreamed it would be.

Speaking of which, I can’t wait for you all to see my next tattoo…

 

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Kimberley H. on June 21, 2017 at 12:06 am

    That article you posted by Gary Thomas was AMAZING and your post is equally beautiful. I am a Christian. I have been divorced. I felt like I went through hell and let God down and lost friends. I was told he was still my husband in the eyes of God, even when he refused to come home.

    Thank you for sharing this. I don’t know your life or your struggles, nor would I pretend to even if I was a close friend. Your strength in this post is like a shining jewel and I pray your light shines strong for those still stumbling scared through the darkness.

    Reply

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