I get emails and phone calls and comments and messages every single day. Mostly from people who just want to share their story with someone. And, since the creation of this site, that someone oftentimes is me.
I love hearing stories. But, truly some of the stories I hear are heartbreaking. Some of which we’ve shared on this site.
Recently, Mark sent me his story:
I am an expastor for the second time. The first time, I stepped away from the church for five years and this time for another two years. I am actually hoping to return, although since I am now in my seventh decade of life it may be unlikely. Nevertheless, I am hopeful. At the same time, I am not holding my breath.
In 1995 I came to realize that it was time to move from the church where I pastored. It was my second church in 11 years. My wife, at that time, said she would not move – so, I moved alone. I remarried two years later to a woman who was from a church that I had previously pastored. Then, two years ago, after more than a decade of pastoring five different churches, I left her. And the church.
The details are many but that is the very short version of my story. I have now married a woman who has been a friend for over 35 years. My issue is not only the difficulty of people in the church but also how it greatly affected my personal life.
It breaks my heart, truly it does, to hear the countless stories of men and women who have been beat up and broken down. Many pastors have been hurt by the church, by the same people they’ve dedicated their lives to helping and serving. Granted, we all make mistakes that send us spiralling down. We’re definitely not perfect. But we’re also not free from hurt.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, please connect with someone. A pastor, a friend. Share your story. Email me. Let’s move toward restoration.
What’s your story?
Photo courtesy: Thomas Leuthard