Wednesday, April 17, 2013

brutally honest moment...

I didn't become a pastor's kid until I was in highschool.  My family has come on a long journey that started when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer nearly thirteen years ago.  We saw the church in action during that time.  We saw people with true love in their hearts.  People who mowed our lawn, cooked us meals, and cleaned our toilets.  It was going through that experience that made my parents realize that they wanted more than to just go through life attending church on Sundays.  So, after years of praying and waiting on the Lord's timing, my family moved and my Dad started attending seminary.  I was twelve at this point.

Over the next few years of Dad attending classes and eventually becoming an ordained pastor, my family went through a lot together.  Since my Dad entering the ministry my family has gone through even more.
You see, I didn't grow up a pastor's kid.  I kind of grew into it.  I see now how God had been preparing me for it my entire young life with having my parents being extremely involved in every church we've attended, taking on leading roles even as a young person, feeling alone...
It is hard.  My personality might have something to do with that.
I'm a talkative, friendly, outgoing person... you would think I'm laying all of my cards on the table within the first ten minutes of knowing me.  Andrew was one of the few people who got past that point in the relationship only to realize how many cards I was holding back.
See, with being so "open", you would never know the ultra-sensitive person I'm masking.  I can remember one point in highschool when several of my youth leaders told me I needed to stop letting everything that happened in my spiritually immature youth group affect me so much as it was actually leaving physical marks on me and I was starting to look sick.
Unfortunately, something that being in ministry eventually teaches you is how to hide things.
Because, even though being in ministry has changed me for the better in so many ways, has grown me and taught me... it has also shown me that
some people just don't care,
they can be cruel,
they can be indifferent,
they can leave you alone,
they don't notice,
and there's know way they would know that you cry so much from so many fears and hurts, simply because they haven't taken the time to really know you.  And I'm not talking about outside of the church.
"Even in laughter the heart may be in pain,
And the end of joy may be grief."
~ Proverbs 14:13
This verse hits me right in the tender spot.  Because it has been me, over and over again.  And I hate hiding it.  I hate laughing when I want to scream.
And the worst part is that sometimes I do share, out of sheer need to hear someone say that they will pray for me.
And, even worse, that rarely is said.
They offer solutions, advice, their story or someone else's... everything but simple love, prayer, and time.
And can't number the times I've come to my parents or been in contact with one of my few, preciously close friends and laid bare all of the hurt, fear, worry, anger I experience. 
It is so easy to become bitter at this point.  And I have struggled with it on many occasions.  It is hard when people hurt you without realizing it, just sometimes by the way they are around you, an innocent comment they made, or whatever.

This is a lesson I'm still learning, simply because I'm young, inexperienced in being a good forgiver, and also because sometimes it is easier to hold on to those negatives... they certainly make the things that I do wrong seem much smaller, right?

This post is being written as words come to me.  It wasn't planned.  I just sat down and began to type.  I apologize if I come across as harsh or like I'm throwing myself a pity-party.  I know I have a wonderful family, a loving husband, and live in a country where I can worship my God without fear for my life; I'm not saying that my life is terrible and the whole world is out to get me.  I guess there would be two things I want to say with this post:

1)  It is hard to forgive.  But keep trying.  Don't let the feelings fester.

2)  Be caring, be sensitive, be loving, and offer your time and prayers to those who lead your church.  They need it badly.  They are human.  They are afraid sometimes.  They worry.  They also usually want to be the best people they can be so that they are setting a good example for other believers.  They need your prayers (and they need to KNOW you pray for them).  They need to be invited into your home (being in a leading role in ministry can be so lonely).  They need to be loved on, hugged, asked to go on outings, and, most of the time, they don't need your two cents on how you would handle their problems: they just need encouragement.  Believe me on all of this.  I know.

Thanks for reading... it is just one of those days for not holding back and laying out a few of those hidden cards.

God bless!


Hannah Elise said...

Oh...this was such a great post, Rachel! I related to it *so* well. This sounds selfish, but lately over troubling things going on in my life--all in my head, but still real to me--I've just wanted some sympathy. And I was wondering "Is it me just pitying myself like normal, or is sympathy actually something I need?" I still don't have the answer to that question, but I just wanted people to *care* and it seemed like they really didn't. Thank you for writing. Especially on forgiveness...I need to get better at it.

Natasha Atkerson said...

Unfortunately, I can relate rather closely to you.
Being a PK as well, I've been through a lot of what you're talking about.
I've been stabbed in the back, heard whispering behind me, been ignored and hurt.

It can seem really hard sometimes! One time when I was crying out to God and asking Him, "Why?" I felt like He laid it on my heart that Satan doesn't attack people who aren't changing the world for the better. Satan attacks those who are faithful to God (Job!). Why attack someone who is useless and stagnant?

What you said about forgiveness is so true! I held onto some anger at someone for a very long time, eventually eating me up and turning me miserable. The verse that really helped me with forgiving them was Hebrews 12:14-15. You should check it out, it's a really good verse!

I'm not going to say that my life is perfect, far from it! But I guess I just wanted to comment and let you know that if you ever need to blow off some steam, or just need to talk, please don't hesitate to email me! I know it can be hard when the people you're upset with are supposed to be the closest to you.

Lately I've been struggling with friendship. I really desire a kindred spirit to be friends with, but God has said no for the time being. It CAN be very lonely. But we have to cling to Jesus and trust that He knows what He's doing and will never leave us or forsake us!
Know that you will most definitely be in my prayers from now on and that you're not alone.
I hope your week is the best ever and that the joy of the Lord will fill you with peace and an unexplainable happiness in the midst of struggle.
A Modest Fashion Blog:

Livia Rachelle said...

Just a thought-sometimes the pastor's kids can BE those thoughtless and/or intentionally hurtful people. I am not just saying that-We have experienced that in our family. One or two of my sisters have literally been bullied and/or manipulated and/or lied about...I am the one that got the most angry though. The ignoring, the mean comments, etc. those situations can go both ways; it is just sad that it is in the church period.

Rachel said...

Livia~ I am so sorry to hear that. It certainly can go both ways. Honestly, it is because pastor's families/kids are normal people, just like everyone else. They need grace, just like everyone else. They can be selfish, thoughtless, and mean, just like everyone else. I've seen it go both ways; church body abusing the leaders and leaders abusing the church body. We are all flawed. We all need a super-dose of kindness, prayer, love, and forgiveness.

This post isn't meant to make church members out to be the bad guys every time... simply to write about my experiences in ministry to let others know they are not alone and also to encourage others that everyone need to be loved, prayed over, and forgiven.


Natasha Atkerson said...

It wasn't meant as a personal slam or anything! Please don't take it that way! I understand that the pastor's family can be just as mean as anyone else. But I can't give my personal experience as a parishioner, as I'm not one. I'm only sharing out of my experiences of being a PK. A common misconception is that the pastor's family is perfect-but as Rachel pointed out, we're just people. I'm so sorry that you had to experience pain from your pastor's family.
I hope you have a lovely week as well,