Hey guys, I grew up in a southern baptist church. My parents divorced at a young age and I soon hardened my heart towards the Lord. I went through middle school and high school growing in my anger towards God for letting my family fall apart. I was forced to go to my mom’s old Christian college or else I was told I could figure it all out on my own. Of course I ended up going there my freshman year. At the end of my freshman year, God had broken me and called me to another school so He could bring me into the wilderness to be alone with Him where He later called me to ministry.
I came home from school and told my Dad and Pastor about being called to ministry. Our church was a IFB started by my Pastor(who was younger) who was originally staunch in clothing, kjv, hymns only and so on but had been questioning more and more why he believed what he believed..
My pastor suggested that I stay home and get my bible degree online while I intern underneath him at church(instead of suggesting I go to his old college).
Since I was put into this position, I was shown all the external rules and regulations of the IFB. The pressure to perform and put on the show was more than I could bare at times. I wrestled with the clothing aspect, the KJV ONLY(having only read NIV my whole life and still doctrinally coming to the same conclusions) and the hymns only(as I humbly have a gift for playing the drums, never being allowed to use my gift and told it was evil/bad). Since 2013 I feel as if I’ve been in torment; having to choose between my conscience (what I know to be true) or what I’m told to believe is right about these things. So I essentially sacrificed my conscience leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth in order to play these games and jump through all the hoops so I can simply serve and do what I’m called and WANT to do.
Since then, my pastor has had a radical awakening (over the last few years) by getting freedom in these areas by coming to balance and shedding his own chains he had been in his whole life. Our church went from 100+ down to about 20 as he gave the church the new direction. Our church is now broke as a joke and we couldn’t be happier. Nearly everyone pats us on the head when they hear how our church is externally doing but everyone who stayed or started coming is there for the right reason and identifies with Christ over IFB or anything else. Our church has never been more intimately focused on Jesus Christ as Lord and getting to know Him.
I am left still in torment these days. I’m so grateful and thankful my pastor is well on his way to recovery and getting true healing but I feel as if I’m left in the dust. I was only shown this underworld, underneath his instruction and the mental and emotional trauma I find myself in everyday trying to grasp what has happened is devastating. It feels like I was pulled into a mud pit by someone who was just slowly coming out of it and then left me behind. It feels like he only grasps his own trauma and doesn’t even recognize that he is the only reason why I have my trauma in this area, (if he recognizes it at all) to a much lesser degree, but still emotional and mental hurt/gymnastics.
My flesh says to blame him but the Spirit says to give grace as he was suckered just like me to an even worse degree for an even longer time. How can I be at odds with him?
My pastor is the one who told me about your podcast and how it has been helping him heal. I now find myself running through all of your episodes with tears in my eyes getting real healing as God brings past instances to my mind of absolute hurt and frustration. I’ve been handing them over to Him by faith even though my flesh crying out that it wasn’t fair.
I hope to exhaust all my hurt and heavy burdens at the feet of Jesus as things come to mind. God is using you in a mighty way to draw me back to my First Love in Christ and find the Joy of my salvation without man’s corruption getting in the way!