Hey you guys,
Happy New Years!! 🥳🥳 (hope it’s not too late to say this).
It’s been a hot minute, huh?
Hope you’ve been good despite what’s going on in the world. I know I’ve been a little MIA but it’s been a long one still.
Anyway. Let’s get into it …
I’ve always said that this blog will be based on my personal experience. My Christian journey shared truthfully and in full. And if I’m being honest, this post has taken a few months for me to build the courage to write, let alone to post it.
I know how it feels to find it hard to love yourself or even think well of yourself after fumbling so hard. In life. In your love life. In your walk with God. That was the biggest fumble for me.
If I could have it any way, I would fail in every area of my life but keep my relationship with God straight.
It’s funny because for such a long time I used to feel regret with the things I had done in the past, but I’ve come to realise that my only regret is that I took my eyes off God and let myself fall away from Him, instead falling into Him during one of my hardest seasons.
My season of being in the wilderness.
Before becoming saved, although I was in the world, I was always seen as this innocent little girl, a goody two shoes, teachers pet, never really wanting to get into trouble, type of character. And even when I got saved these characteristics followed me.
I always followed the rules, I never wanted to get into trouble with my pastor and pretty much everyone saw me as an innocent little girl who could never do any wrong or sin. The girl in praise in worship, who’s the first to help out in church, who seems to have everything together and had dealt with everything that needed to be dealt with internally and spiritually.
“Farielle got this Christian thing so quick and is so solid in it.”
But no ones perfect. We’re all human and everyone has and can fall at anytime.
In late 2017, I started doubting my relationship with God and who I was as a person. This whole season really threw me off my feet, as it was my first time as a saved Christian that I was being tested in such a way. I had no idea what to do, and I know prayer is a practical way of dealing with things, but I felt like it wasn’t giving me a practical answer. This then lead me to pray less and eventually I wasn’t praying at all.
Fast forward to April 2018. I back slid.
For those who don’t know what it means to back slide, it’s falling back into sinful ways. Ways of the world. Ways that aren’t of God and won’t bring glory to God.
I lied and pretty much lived another life for 6 months. I mean I was so deep in the lies that everything I said and did in my life became overly calculated. What I spoke about, remembering the lies I had told. I literally felt like a double agent in a James Bond movie.
It got to the point where I wasn’t sure whether what I was saying was the truth or a lie.
Eventually, I came clean to my pastor and I got disciplined for 6 months. Of course there were other measures put in place before that, but this was the last resort.
Being disciplined is like getting grounded by your parents but instead of being sent to your room, you have to take a time out from church. Which means you’re pretty much cut off from all things church, including the people.
It’s such a lonely place to be.
I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone. For about 4/5 months I only had two friends around me. One moved back down south and the other lives further away from me. So because of my work schedule, travelling to her after work or uni was too tiring. So I barely saw her.
Depression took its toll real quick! Because then I was really alone. If I’m being very honest, the only thing that really kept me here was my degree and how close I was to achieving it. Finally.
I started going to counselling in February 2019 because of the lack of people I was speaking to, I decided that seeking help where I could talk to someone about what I was going through was the only thing left. Which was definitely a great idea for me to do.
Church hurt is one of the hardest pains to get over, so believe me when I say I understand.
I know how hard it is to go back to God when something so immense, so big has happened in your life and you have no idea how to fix it. You’re not sure whether you can trust your church, another church or even God again. Your faith in God has just … disintegrated. I get it, because during those 8 months of discipline I really fell off the rails like it was no-ones business.
It was really like … God who?
I joke around with it my stories a lot with friends but the truth of the matter is, it was a dark time for me. I acted like I didn’t care but I cared a lot. That was my family and I had lost them.
I went back to church in June 2019 and not long after that in December I got disciplined again.
Yes. I’ve been disciplined twice. This time it was for 3 months.
The first time I got disciplined. I was stubborn and prideful. Even though I knew what I did was wrong and I felt bad for my decisions, I didn’t want to seem weak so I didn’t show any emotions whatsoever.
I held my ground, accepted the consequences and left church with hella pride because in my head “ain’t no one seeing me leave this building with tears in my eyes or with any sort of hurt. Not even through my body language.”
My second discipline was different. When I went to confess to my pastor and a witness, I remember thinking “it probably won’t be that bad. Not like last time.” And I don’t remember everything my pastor said but I do remember these words “Do you not love yourself?”
And it really hit hard. Do I? I know I responded with “I don’t know” because I genuinely didn’t know, and I soon realised that at the time I didn’t love myself or think of myself very highly. When he said I had to leave church my heart dropped and my brain just said “again..?!”
I just started crying. It was the shame of allowing myself to fall again and not learning from the first time. Not to say I didn’t know that what I was doing was wrong, because I did, but because what my pastor was saying to me just made me realise how little I valued myself, loved myself and the fact that I didn’t see myself worthy of anything more than what I allowed myself to go through the last year or so.
It wasn’t the same as last time. I was able to talk to one person for accountability and support, my pastor recommended churches that I could go to in this time and I had meetings with him every 3 weeks.
When my pastor and the witness left the room, he sent for one of my friends, who was my accountability partner during my discipline. When she came into the room I remember just balling even more and saying the words “I didn’t mean to”.
I think it was just the realisation of what I had done and how much it pulled me further away from God. But mostly how little I thought of myself.
It wasn’t easy being disciplined and I do feel like being left alone with no spiritual guidance the first time really did give me a push to go down a path I regret whole heartedly. It was hard getting over everything and even just trusting God and church people again was extremely hard.
But because of the mustard seed of faith I held onto during that time. The fact that I knew God was somehow going to pull me back to him, I kept going, even whilst in the storm I was in.
And I bet you have the question everyone who knows I’ve been on discipline asks me.
And the answer is yes, I do go to the same church. It was difficult to return, thinking everyone was either judging me or hated me but the truth was everyone just wanted me back in church.
I went back to my church knowing that most people knew my story, which at first was embarrassing for me but eventually I realised, my testimony is my testimony and no one can tell me otherwise.
I know going back to a place where you’ve been hurt can be hard as heck! However, God didn’t put you in that church for no reason. Even with the church hurt that can occur.
Another question asked is,
And the answer is yes. I won’t go into it in detail because this post is already looking long, but just like weeds in the garden or fire in a dry forest, sin spreads quickly. One person can be sinning and it can move onto the next person and so on. It might not be the same sin but it’s sin nonetheless.
So what do you do with unwanted weeds? As brutal as it sounds, you cut them loose. Which is what Paul says we should do when there is sin in the church.
Obviously with church they want you to come back after some time, which Paul also mentions.
Here’s the scripture where Paul talks about taking sin seriously and condemning Spiritual Pride. The second scripture is on restoring the individual condemned, with love.
I just wanted to end this post by letting you know that if you are struggling with church hurt or you just want to ask me some questions, you are more than welcomed to message me on Instagram.
Remember you’re not alone in this.
Have a blessed Sunday x
That’s all she wrote …