I was not really raised in church, my mother went but it was not very consistent. I became a Christian and went to church on my own when I was a pre-teen. When I was 15 I had a Mormon friend convinced me that her church was the one I should go too. I was not in it very long but it really had a negative effect on me. I was not able to keep up with all their "Man Made" conditions and I was exhausted. The Jesus I read about in the bible did not seem to be the same one they talked about. When they actually talked about him, Joseph Smith got a lot more publicity in this church. Well thankfully I was a hormonal teen and after I "almost fornicated" I was ostracized and given a scarlet letter (not literally but it felt like it) I left the church not before I broke up with my first love and let the church almost drive me to suicide. But I survived that and eventually found a Methodist church with a great pastor who became my mentor and friend. He understood how a ďChristianĒ should be like. There was not any faking with him you did not have to be anything you werenít Too me being a Christian does not mean your personality and your interest are any less you. You may change your values but you are still human and have weaknesses and that does not mean you are any less of a Christian than others. Unfortunately he left town because he was reassigned to another church. It was very devastating to me and I tried to keep involved with it but I started having health issues and I needed to stay home for a while.
I think my disillusionment started early on I went to a church when I was 13 and was told I could not be a Christian if I listen to the Beatles. I did not understand that listening to the Beatles was such a big deal or any other music for that matter it was just what I liked I was not doing anything wrong. And what I read in the bible God is more worried about your heart anyway. This leads me to my biggest problem the cookie cutter Christian mentality. I have seen this in the past few years and it has made me very sad. It started when I had my son he has special needs and I found many if not most churches donít like diversity in their presence. I think in his case especially because he has Autism and he did not react well in the church setting so going to church became a problem. The rude glances and the comments were so upsetting. I heard things like we canít deal with him here or maybe you should put him in a home because he is such a burden. I even had one church ask what my sin was to cause him to be autistic. I mean really thatís so rude and not even justified by anything but a warped sense of themselves as superior. My son is exactly who Jesus would love he is the outcast and the misunderstood. But so far I have seen rejection and pain because he doesnít seem to belong anywhere.
But it hasnít just been him not belonging I am not accepted either. I am the kind of person that is not very good at wearing masks my life has been hard and full of troubles. I have reached out to the church for help in times of trials and they helped sometimes but mainly I was treated like a burden too. I did not know how to go to church and smile and pretend it ok. I wasnít depressed all the time but I feel I might have been too honest and I realize now I should have been more discerning on who I trusted. The pain of rejection was felt the most a year ago when I was in bad car accident. I was very injured and it was a potentially life threatening. I was in a wheelchair and housebound for several months the whole time no one from church called or stopped by to see how I was. Even now a year later I canít find a church willing to pick me up for services. I am still not giving up on finding where I belong in the body of Christ. I know that even though I am an outcast in many ways I am accepted by Jesus. I love Jesus and I still want to be a part of the body of Christ. I have learned a lot with my church experience and I look at people differently. I have compassion and love for the ďundesirablesĒ and I hope I can be used by God to reach out and love those that most people have written off.