The news was crushing like a weight dropped from the sky. It was the sucker punch that gets you in the gut and takes your breath away. Blindsided maybe, but then the word betrayal comes to mind. The door was closed. We were locked out of the ministry we have been called to for the past 10 years.
A few days ago, The Pastor had one of those early morning prayer meetings.
The kind he has been going to for years. You know, for accountability, honesty, and trust in relationships.
But this week was different. Last minute text messages late at night changed the location from the usual Starbucks to an Elder’s living room. The Board Chair would be coming. We both went to bed with an emptiness in our hearts. And as we put our heads down on the pillows we held hands, prayed and sought God for sleep.
In the morning, as The Pastor left for that meeting in the dark, I prayed for Him to stay strong. There are many battle scars after a 20 year stint in ministry. Most of them the kind that are hidden from view, the kind that are felt with the heart and soul. To be honest, I’ve been afraid of the mortal wound.
In an hour or so he makes it home and looks sheepishly at me and says, ” “They let me go”. We shed a few tears and look in each other’s eyes. We feel the sting of all those wounds. No one knows how the heart hurts. The battle scars that are unseen are the worst ones to heal. They don’t really scab over, they stay fresh. This moment seemed all too fresh. Turns out they are not mortal wounds.
They said it was because the finances were low. Couldn’t bear to keep us on without a paycheck. They said it was out of love and that there was no other way. Truth be told, they took away our life’s work, that should have added up to more than a paycheck. Don’t they know there is always another way? Christ is the Way. He makes a way where there isn’t one.
It’s God’s will for your life I was told. All for the best and we will see it in time. I believe with all my heart that God knows what is best for our life and ministry. But does a group of people make a life-changing decision without even including us in the process? No one prayed with us about this. Not one person. Aren’t we the Body of Christ with all members needed and valued? I feel like the arm that was cut off and is writhing around in pain thinking it’s still attached.
You can’t help wonder why it happened? Who decides these things as if they were in control of your life? Why do people cut you off without a hug or a handshake? How do you deal with your feelings of anger? Why do they text message you and tell you they love you? How do you get closure?
None of this feels like love.
God is love.
He is my portion.
A few people closed a door and locked us out this week. And even though I feel as if we’ve been betrayed I know the One who has tasted from that cup and endured. Christ unlocked the door for everyone including the ones that locked us out. I pray that they will be healed.
We have retreated and are battle scarred. But knowing that His power is made perfect in our weakness we will carry-on. Our eyes looking forward to the next open door.