Returning to Church
writer: Shelley Willis Queen (wife, mother, foster mother, friend, employee – in other words, a human being, just like everyone else.)
Many years ago I was an involved, happy member of an independent, fundamental Baptist church. My family and I were there every Sunday morning and night. We went out on visitation, served in Sunday school, and the choir. We ran a bus route to bring children to church in hopes of demonstrating the love of Christ to them and bring them to the knowledge of salvation through Christ. We even went out Soul winning and assisted in the Reformers Unanimous program where we helped the homeless and addicts. We loved our church, our pastor, and our church friends.
Then a change came.
As happy as I seemed, I was putting on a false face. I was sincere in my service to Christ, but I was in an abusive marriage. I talked to my pastor seeking guidance and was told that biblically I had to follow my husband and submit to him.
When I told the pastor that I had asked for a divorce, I was told that I needed to step down from all of the areas I served in. I was shocked and heart broken. Needless to say, I left that church.
Years went by before I attempted entering the doors of another church building. I finally found one that I could serve in - infant childcare, the prayer team - and worship with people I thought loved me for me. When I was “outed,” that all came to an end too. Once again, the church family I had come to trust betrayed me. Knowing that Christ still loved me regardless of who I am, my sexual orientation, my family dynamics, or anything else, separation from that church was a little easier but still painful.
The Bible says that Christ came to save ALL. It doesn’t say only the straight, Anglo Saxon, Hebrew, Roman, Israelite, etc. It says ALL.
Looking forward to the promises of Storied Church, I find comfort in knowing there is a group of individuals who have already welcomed me into their arms and hearts. I am so looking forward to having a place of worship (a building with people - my actual place of workshop is within myself and my heart) where my family and I can begin our service again. I hope and pray that it will be a place of warmth, caring, loving people; a place for ALL to worship and serve together; a place of solace; a place peace.
This is my story.
With love and admiration,