To all of my pastor friends who are hurting right now, to my brothers and sisters at willow who are hurting right now: trust that the Lord is tender towards you. Know that He sees you and grieves with you. I’ve been navigating a sense of deconstruction myself for over a year now. My deep disappointment and discouragement in a pastor and leader I followed and respected, who invested a great deal in me shattered my worldview. At first I thought it distorted my view of faith, of God, of the church and of leadership. But then as I sought to put the pieces back together I realized the journey has clarified my view of those things. I’m walking with a limp but also with a refined faith, a new sense of God’s presence – especially in pain, a renewed lense of the church and of leadership. These things I know for sure:
God is near to the broken hearted. Those whose hearts are broken AND those causing the heartbreak.
The spiral in the deconstruction is real – I came close to some serious self destruction on my journey. Don’t allow your disappointment or the pain to lead to self harm in any way.
Sin will take you farther than you ever thought you’d go. But trust that it is never too late, we are never too far gone to turn back to the one whose love is great enough to forgive and to set us free.
Don’t hold back on lamenting, God laments for His church with you. There’s no emotion or language that is too strong for him to handle. There is also no distance He won’t go to, no depth or height he won’t scale to pursue your heart. Even if that means dismantling what you’ve built, a reputation or platform, even organizations that were built to bring him glory.
Finally, what does the level of self deception we’re seeing play out mean for you? Where are you justifying? Hiding? Holding back? Where is God inviting you to run to Him and lay it all down? To put down what you’ve been holding onto and to pick up what He has for you?
I’m praying for you friends, for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are grieving. Psalm 9:9 reminds us: God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times.
Much love from your sister,