One Thing I Can’t Say in Church

14 Oct

What is one thing you feel you can’t say in church?

When I first considered this questions posed by Anne Jackson (read BSW’s interview with Jackson) in her book, Permission to Speak Freely (read review), a dozen answers popped into my mind.  As I paged through the book, I encountered brilliant confessions—ones I wished I could be so bold to make.

Then I thought of my own—what was it that I couldn’t say?  What did I need to say?

At first, I thought I said everything that anyone had a right to know, but I found myself transformed by Jackson’s book.  I felt a burning in my chest and no peace of mind—not until I met with my small group Bible study and told them something I needed to confess.

I’ve been struggling with cutting since I was 14.

The ladies looked at me with shock, probably because I was so emotional.  I’m the Bible study leader and I have shared my testimony, so I wasn’t telling these women anything new.

“You’re not cutting now, are you?” asked one elderly lady.  I looked down at the band-aids on my wrists before answering.  I inhaled deeply.

Yes, I am.  I dissolved into a flood of tears and snot.  I told them I was embarrassed, that I should be a better leader, and I was afraid they would judge me.  Someone passed me a box of tissues and it was then I noticed that a few members were also crying.

There was not one look of judgment on anyone’s face—just compassion and understanding.

Because I try to be real with my Bible study about my life—because our group tries to be real with one another, I hoped I could share one of my darkest secrets with this ragtag group of saints. Fortunately, I was met with love and encouragement.  Oh, and they still want me to be their Bible study leader.  I am what Henri Nouwen calls “a wounded healer.”

But I can’t see your face.  You may react by praying for me (thank you), sending me a kind e-mail, or maybe just by saying, “Me too.”  Or perhaps you’d rather leave me a nasty comment, judge me on my faith or lack thereof.

Now that it’s “out there” I don’t feel the disgusting shame of hidden sin hanging over my head taunting me, telling me that I’m not good enough.  I can more clearly hear God tell me that I am His beautiful child, despite my scars, which He has covered with HIS BLOOD, not mine.

I’m so glad I allowed myself the permission to speak freely—will you give yourself the same liberty so you can find true freedom in God?

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No Responses to “One Thing I Can’t Say in Church”

  1. Donna October 14, 2010 at 10:29 AM #

    It is with tears now as I leave this comment for you, my lovely daughter. You are loved and loved. Please remember that always. God loves you. I love you. Your friends love you. Because we love you so dearly, we always want God’s very best for you. So, I pray for you and I need you to pray for me in my own faults and mistakes. Let us go on knowing that Christ leads us in His victory. May we truly know His Presence. You are so beautiful to me.

  2. Stephanie October 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM #

    I see no lack of faith in that admission, but a strength of character. You are one of the most loving and caring people I have had the pleasure to know.

    Thank you for helping us think about the things we’re afraid to say. I have many of them myself. So again, thank you.

  3. Amanda October 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM #

    I love how truthful you are.

  4. Anne Jackson October 14, 2010 at 6:11 PM #

    WOW. Thank you for sharing and NO…you are NOT alone.
    You are loved.

  5. charis October 14, 2010 at 7:12 PM #

    -hugs-

    no judgement here. just reading and accepting you and praying for you to feel jesus’ love deep in your spirit.

  6. Evangeline Denmark October 15, 2010 at 12:11 AM #

    Amy, you beautiful warrior princess, your bravery is something I admire and hope to attain one day. I love you, my friend I’ve never met. You will stay in my prayers.

  7. C.J. Darlington October 17, 2010 at 12:47 PM #

    Bravo, my friend, for your bravery in admitting this so publicly. I applaud you and pray for God’s complete healing to be manifested in your life!

  8. Brad October 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM #

    Oh, Amy. I love you so much. You are such an encouragement – and a tremendous woman of God.

    I will continue to be praying for you – but am also blessed to know that you have found such an awesome group there to be apart of. That truly shows the hand of God at work in your life. I am so excited to see where that takes you.

    Peace, love, and fluffy bunnies…
    Brad

  9. ShariCakes October 20, 2010 at 6:19 PM #

    I too, wish I had the bravery to speak so freely, maybe…someday I will.

    Love & Hugs,

    Shari

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