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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.