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Are You Mad at God? An Ex-Pastor Shares Her Journey

By Linda Ward July 31, 2022 Mindset

After graduating from Bible School, I held a pastoral job in a small, yet powerful church. I loved serving there as one of the pastors, and at times preaching sermons to the larger congregation. My entire life was centered around my home and God.

I prayed, studied the Bible, conducted Bible Studies, and worked tirelessly in various positions of the church that needed help. Most of all, my personal life was God centered. I loved God with all my heart, and just wanted to serve Him and ever evolve to be what God had in mind when creating me.

My husband and I brought our children up in the church, and we had a happy secure home life. My husband used to wipe away tears, sitting in the front row of the church, as I delivered sermons.

A Broken Heart

This changed drastically. I became extremely mad, felt abandoned and far from any type of relationship with God. I told Him I didn’t like Him, didn’t want anything to do with Him or his followers, and turned away from my faith.

What caused this dramatic shift? My husband of 23 years confessed to me he was gay. He hid this from me all our married years. He lied, deceived, and spent money on his out-of-town adventures. All this while I served in the church, prayed, and studied the Bible every day, trusting my husband completely. We would walk hand in hand around our neighborhood. Often my heart swelled with love for him.

I Couldn’t Stop Asking WHY?

The three-letter word, WHY, swirled around in my head. In my intense daily devotions, why didn’t God reveal my husband’s actions? Why did God allow this to be hidden so long?

Why didn’t God, the one who I loved with all my heart, love me enough to somehow communicate to me that my marriage was a lie? Being God, He could have used a variety of means to let me know that things weren’t right.

Turning Away

The pain of my husband’s reveal, combined with absolute betrayal I felt from both him and God, was excruciating. I remember telling God to leave me alone. His promises didn’t work for me. I didn’t care about Him since he obviously didn’t care about me.

Could I Ever Trust Again?

As you read this, you are probably expecting a transforming reversal to these feelings right about now. Maybe you’re thinking I had a lightning bolt moment that explained everything to me. That didn’t happen. I left that church and never pastored again.

For me, the intense betrayal I felt kept me from trusting again for many years. I was left with a gaping void in my life. Newly divorced, watching my kids go through so much confusion, and the emotional pain I endured cannot be written in words.

Friends Couldn’t Help

Is this you? If so, I urge you to talk to someone who has been there and understands. I tried to talk to my Christian friends, but they were astounded and even personally hurt that I didn’t want anything to do with God now.

They had no answers and wanted to distance from me. I sought out wisdom from Pastors who had no answers for me. The confusion, void, and the lifestyle switch left me utterly alone.

The Road Back

My road to spirituality and a relationship again with God has been slow and enlightening. I’ve come to understand that things happen in our lives for lessons to be learned. I’ve slowly found my way back to talking to God and believing in Him again. This was without any help from the religious community.

I had to find my way on my own.

My faith is not the same as it was when I was a pastor. It’s balanced and level-grounded. I got here by going to a new church, showing up every Sunday. I went where no one knew me, and I’d sit alone with a chip on my shoulder.

I’d listen to words in the songs and sermon even though I would comment inside myself how those words were true for everyone but me. I remember praying, “I’m here, now it’s your turn.”

Throughout the years that followed, I’ve had some amazing revelations as I’ve listened to sermons. Forgiveness and understanding sometimes came in waves that transformed the cold part inside me. Sometimes the connection to God came in a tiny trickle. But each time it was profound and brought me back to belief and faith. I am still on this journey. Slow and steady.

You Are Not the Only One

I’ve shared this to reach out to you who have gone through the same pain and may need someone to understand. It’s very lonely without friends and without a spiritual faith or trust in a higher being. I get that.

Let’s start a conversation. If this is you, you can share your story here without fear of rejection. Your path may have led you to a stronger faith and spiritual belief. How did you get there? What words of wisdom do you have for others in this situation? Let me assure you, you are not alone.

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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Jean

Read the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Kushner his perspective makes great sense.

Linda Ward

Thanks for the suggestion!

Mary

Hi, Linda, I can relate in many ways to your struggle after losing a strong connection to a spiritual community I was part of for over 40 years. I too am struggling at this late stage in my life with the challenges of trying to put my spiritual self back together in some form that works for me. I was not betrayed so much as never able to resolve long standing questions about things that do not make sense to me. It is unsettling and lonely after having such a strong support group for so long. I just couldn’t go on feeling like I was faking it, but I have yet to find what the alternative is.

Linda Ward

Hello Mary,
If you continue to look for a spiritual connection, I believe you will find it. It’s taken time, but I feel balanced and connected. Each of us need to find this on our own.
I’m so sorry that you are lonely in losing the spiritual support group. I hope you have been able to find other groups that fill the void to some degree.
It’s very important to feel genuine, not fake, and you have taken a true stand to do this. I wish the very best for you as you continue your journey.
Linda

Dora Sorrells

I understand. We lost our 39 year old son in 2020. We had prayed and prayed; friends, relatives also prayed, and we believed the Lord would hear our prayers. After 10 days in an induced coma, our son died. Still trying to understand why this happened.

Linda Ward

Answers sometimes evade us, don’t they? Even when they are so important. It helped me to stop asking the question, Why? Here’s an article I wrote about this word “why” and how it can keep you stuck. I hope it helps. Linda
https://www.couragedaily.com/post/stuck-because-of-one-word
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/schlepping-through-heartbreak/201411/get-free-the-past-you-need-stop-asking-why

Jeannie Mahoney

The reason we lash out at our god when we endure untold pain and tragedy is because our god was presented to us as kind, compassionate, loving, and just. In the Bible, god is often described as a cruel and punishing entity, who killed his so-called children and people. These are human character traits foisted upon a non-human, all-divine “idea.” Yes, god was an idea someone created not for godly benefits, but for motives of control and discipline. God, in whatever form, is NOT HUMAN. What we were taught was deceiving and it bordered on cultish, harmful superstition. It was done through the work of priests and pastors and our parents, all of whom we trusted. The damage religious superstition inflicts upon our psyche through harmful teachings that go beyond our subconscious is deep and often untreatable.

Having faith in our own spiritual and personal strength, with which we are all born, is the only way to believe in something greater than us. It is a Presence in us that directs, guides, and sustains us. It is not an idea derived from religion. It is our strength. Call it what you may, but it is not in any church. It is in your heart.

Linda Ward

Yes, agreed, it’s in your heart. 💖

Rebecca

I’m not there yet. Similar story, but different outcome so far. But I DO relate!

Linda Ward

My best to you Rebecca!

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