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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: Squeals and Squalls
By Laury Hubrich


We were churchless when we first got married. Neither my husband nor I could agree on the kind of church we wanted to attend, so, in our immaturity, we went nowhere. After our kids were a little older and I was much more mature I sought out a church myself and we soon became deeply involved. This church was small in a small town but it had big dreams and we soon grabbed hold of those dreams and ran with them also.

This church had Care Cottages, one name of many for small home groups. We all cherished the Wednesday nights we met together. We had a time of worship and prayer and then Bible study. Our particular group was led by our extremely young minister and his wife. This group helped us form bonds with others in a short amount of time. It also helped us grow in our faith and to learn to reach out to one another in compassion.

Sometimes real-life doesnít have happy endings. The whole church, but especially our small group Care Cottage, suffered a terrible blow at the hand of our minister. In forming close attachments, it is imperative that the relationships are pure and holy. Men should talk things over with other men and women with other women. This was learned the hard way.

Our minister ran off one day with our worship leader. To say that it was a traumatic experience would be an understatement. It was life shattering. I was working as the church secretary at the time and when I finally started putting pieces together I talked to his wife. Between the two of us, we were able to figure some things out but it was too little too late. He was gone, just like that.

I stayed with my friend, the ministersí wife, for days on end. It was like going through a death only worse; the person was still alive but dead in his sin. We all were faced with questions about our faith and all that he had taught us but to this day I cannot deny the fact that he helped me and so many others grow spiritually during his years of service to the Lord and the church.

Our group held together and maybe even grew stronger through this experience. The former minister had a baby with this worship leader but they never married. He married another woman and now they have children of their own. He barely acknowledges his children from his first marriage. Two families were directly involved in this tragedy including five children, not to mention the grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest of the church family.

I am still working at forgiving this man. The day he left, he took away two of my very best friends: himself and Terry, the worship leader. He also bruised and battered his wife emotionally. Watching so many people get hurt because of sin is extremely hard. Itís like a freight train that has lost its brakes. It squeals and squalls and makes a vain attempt at stopping but doesnít get the job done. It continues to build momentum until it causes serious damage. We all were in the path of that speeding freight train and were unaware of the danger.

Larry now ministers in another church. I canít understand why God would continue to use him. It is far beyond the reaches of my comprehension. To this day I canít say his name or talk about the experience without breaking out in a cold sweat. If I ever saw him I might even throw out quills, when I bristle much like a porcupine, and hope they hit their mark.

Weíve since left this church, having been released by God to do so, and are extremely happy where we are now. Itís totally different than the first. Itís a large church in a larger town but it also has big dreams.

My family and I would not be the people we are now without having been involved in this first church and the Care Cottage. In spite of the problems that came out of it, we were taught so much and are benefiting from that knowledge to this day and on into the future.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/06/07
I can tell this is close to your heart. What an awful experience. I'm sure this was a therapeutic write, and that it will bless and convict others.
LauraLee Shaw12/07/07
I commend you for writing on such a painful subject AND for showing that it is possible to be hurt at church and still go back to another. So many would have given up on church altogether. Lord, help "Larry" before he hurts anyone else.
Dee Yoder 12/07/07
It's a painful thing when a brother or sister in the Lord falls. We seem to always be hurting each other with our sins. You wrote honestly about this time in your life. I'm glad to know God has given you another church home that is healthy.
Beth LaBuff 12/08/07
God can somehow use dificult circumstances. Your heart-rending story is very well written.
william price12/09/07
Honest, stark writing. Communicated your point well. God bless.
Temple Miller12/09/07
Horrible experience, wonderfully written. Great metaphors - like the porcupine quills.
Jan Ackerson 12/10/07
Told in a frank, simple narrative style that really fits the difficult subject matter. And you had some really great images--the freight train and the porcupine come to mind.
Patty Wysong12/10/07
Even good things (lessons learned) can come from bad things. I LOVED the image of shooting quills! Hugs!
Sara Harricharan 12/11/07
Loved your opening line. This is such a, (I hesitate to say 'tragic') bittersweet tale. You told the story well, I'm glad that even though they went through all of that, they made it. Your title made sense afterwards. Great job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/18/07
Aww, I too have been through those oh-so-hard times in churches when you hurt so much, but grow so much as well.
Rebecca Jones12/19/07
Wow... That was so sad, but written well. I understand the bristling quills part, and I pray that the first wife and their children have allowed God to grow them through this terrible occurrance.