October 19, 2021
Some of us join support groups, are members of clubs, and may even take part in social media communities; yet sometimes those things can leave us feeling lonely. Then there’s the church, a place you think is safe. It’s a place that can bring us real refreshment along with a sense of belonging, until it doesn’t.
What happens when we feel alone at church? What happens when the church lets us down? Church hurt is painful. I had a front row seat to church hurt. Pain lingered from my experience. There was bitter heartache and disappointment. I felt unsupported, unseen, and unforgiven. Maybe you can relate.
The wound I had cut deep; and if I’m being totally transparent, it was one of the most painful hurts of my life. I lost a dear friend, someone who I really cared about and trusted. I thought the person was a forever friend with whom I’d always remain close. After one misconstrued conversation, our friendship was over. I wanted to forgive and move forward. In turn, I wanted her forgiveness and for her to agree to move forward with our friendship as well. That didn’t happen. She was just done. It took me a long time to get over the loss. I grieved.
Sunday, Pastor Holly said, “Wounds are a reminder that we loved deeply.” I had deeply loved my friend. Perhaps you’ve deeply loved someone and lost a relationship too. I wish I had a magic wand that could remove that pain from you. There’s no pill or special formula to make the hurt go away. While I can’t, God can. He also provides real possibilities of healthy, loving, and genuine relationships and communities. That’s what we strive to have here at The Well Columbia. This is not a sales pitch. It’s just my personal experience.
After my church hurt, admittedly we drifted away. My husband didn’t even feel like going anymore. People would tell me, “You shouldn’t let one person drive you away from your church.” If only it were that simple.
For a year and a half, I prayed every single day for God to send us to a place where we belonged. I longed for a church where we could get involved. I longed for my husband to join me there. I knew it wasn’t in my power to get my husband to go. I could ask. I could pray. Ultimately, though, it would have to be the power of God. After repeatedly praying my same “church” prayer, God faithfully answered. He brought us here, to The Well.
Whether you’re reading this and searching for a church home or just hoping for some healing, I hope you will find it in Jesus and in fellowship with believers. God has redeemed that for me. My husband and I are both so happy to be back in church with a beautiful community. The Well is a community of authentic and loving people. We may have a past. We may be broken, but Jesus fills in the gaps. He can restore us. He can bind up our wounds and heal those hurts. We all have brokenness, but with God and a Kingdom community filled with caring people, those broken places in our lives can be mended. Those painful scars can fade.
Jesus had His own wounds. Wounds in His nail scarred hands. Wounds He got on a cross for the sins of those who might not even believe in Him. While we were still sinners, He died to save us. Jesus wants us to be united here on earth until we go to heaven to spend eternity with Him and His Father. The night Jesus was betrayed, he prayed to His Father, and the disciples listened. He was praying this prayer for all believers.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” – John 17:20-23
Jesus was always in unity with His Father and the Holy Spirit. He asked His Father, our Father, that we would be brought to complete unity.
I know it’s difficult to trust, especially after you’ve been hurt, but I pray you will ask Jesus to heal what has been broken. I pray you can move past the pain and find fellowship in a healthy, supportive Kingdom community. If you’re looking for a church home, I invite you to The Well. If you are already part of this church body and want to get more involved, reach out to Pastor Chris, Holly, or one of our staff or volunteers. We will be more than happy to help you. If you need to talk, or if you want prayer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We want you to find the unity Jesus had in mind. We aren’t perfect people, but you are welcome here. You are a special part of the body. You belong.
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