I see your name come up in my memories on social media and my heart clenches and the pain and hurt is still so real.
I don’t know if it’s been two or three years since you were removed but it still aches like a fresh wound. Closure never happened, it couldn’t and so we’re left wondering what truly happened behind the words and the faces and the good and godly intentions that were put forth
It all comes down to wether we trust those in leadership I guess. Those were the words that left my mouth and yet now that I think about it they are human and how much trust are we to put in humanity. When our trust begins to be in people and not in the God who is loving and leading us what deep sorrow begins to take place and form.
I still haven’t been able to reconcile that day. I felt betrayed when everyone else on staff knew but me and my coworker. I felt torn in so many pieces as the news was shared and the division began. And it just got worse as clarity was attempted and yet there was continued hurt and pain and not a whole lot of humility and pain or even apology from those whose hands had wrought this change.
It’s hard to stay in a place where you are no longer sure of safety. Where things are dealt with in a seeming cerebral manner and little thought to the emotional and psychological cost are taken into thought.
I was working the day of the announcement. I had heard it the night before and yet each time service ended and people left the service the silence of shock and mourning left it’s mark and I could feel it choking me and others. Disbelief, anger, questions, tears and so many limited answers.
I was there when few others are when they cane to clean out his office. It was like a gut punch to the system as the cloud followed him and his friends into the finality of it all. I had no idea what to do. I may have seemed cold but I was broken inside and trying to hold it all together. I offered them what assistance I could but it didn’t seem enough.
I heard resignation in his voice. What else could there be? And if you knew him, in the limited way we did, that was a rare emotion.
There would be attempted clarification that just gave us more questions, meetings and speculation, exodus of those who stood by his side and knew more than the rest of us did. When you can only hear one side of an indictment you can’t really make a decision. There is always the unknown. You can’t come to a guilty or innocent framework when the end has already been declared by others.
I knew it deeply affected me but didn’t realize the depth of my trauma response until about 10 months later when I was cleaning rooms in the church and found my bosses office cleared out. I panicked and sent him a text. The stories that I concocted in my mind left me near panic and I could barely breathe. It had happened again. They were removing people from positions and then making what seemed to be “reasonable” excuses. I didn’t hear back from him that evening and it made my unease even deeper.
The next day I received a message that he was still around and his office had been cleared out for some work that needed to be done in it construction wise. I cried with relief but the panic still clutched at me. I knew that I had been deeply changed by the moment but didn’t realize until I was faced with possible secretive loss again that it had gone so deep into my person.
And I chose to remain. After all I worked there. But my heart was/is broken and so is my trust. And in that moment a small seed was planted of distrust and betrayal. It has since grown into anger, frustration and a sense that I don’t really matter in the scheme of things. Work wise but perhaps even soul wise.
This past year there have been moments that have further distanced my heart from that place. I spent my weekends off attending other churches when I could looking for a new place to call home. It felt like betrayal but that was false guilt. When Covid shut up our building it provided the means for me to vicariously visit other churches from the comfort of my home. It also made me feel less and less a part of the staff as I knew that they were weekly meeting still and I was further removed from the loop. Not once was there thought or movement to include me. I was checked in with once to see how I was doing. It’s a big church and they can only meet needs they know about but it hurt because I thought maybe they cared more than they do.
And I know they these things growing and taking root aren’t good. That they need to be cut off and not allowed to grow. Be repented of and seek the better way but I’m still in the midst of trying to get out but staying because I have no other job. And that’s what it boils down to, employment.
I want to scream, you don’t know me. You don’t care. I wish that we could just let the church go to shambles so they could better see and appreciate what we do. Because they call us staff but the only time we’re truly invited to enter in us at Christmas. The rest of the time we’re an afterthought and so often taken for granted.
And maybe my expectations and attitude needs a bit of adjustment but the pain is so deep and the anger so constant that it seems almost impossible to see the way forward.
And today’s memory reminds me of this ache, makes my heart hurt and wonder Whois trustworthy.