My relationship with the church has closely resembled the person who continues to run back to their abusive partner. Concerned friends have told me to leave a hundred times, but “like a dog that returns to its vomit”, I have continued to go back for more, even after the time I nearly died.
I’ve heard it said that “love is a give and take,” and that’s been true for me for the past thirty-five years. I have given my life to the church, and they have gladly taken everything I would give, always demanding more. More performance. More perfection. More time. More blind faith. More money. More, more, more.
I sang my first solo in the Christmas play at church when I was only five. I served as a youth leader in my local church all through high school. In my twenties, I attended 2 years of ministry school. And yet, at the age of twenty-eight, when I tried to die, I didn’t ask for help from the church where I worked. This article explains why I didn’t reach out, and how I believe we can all work together to fight stigma in the church today.