Elizabeth Esther writes:
I don’t trust pastors. I want to trust them â€“ but I’ve experienced so much church-related devastation that I doubt if I can ever again believe the best about their motives, preaching or how they conduct their lives.
My trust is utterly broken.
Still, the last thing I want to do is pass that disillusionment on to my children. I don’t want to cheat them of having a solid faith identity simply because Mommy can barely sit through a sermon without having a panic attack.
I know of families who drop their kids at church while they go have coffee or run errands. I can’t do that. Because while I believe that authentic faith is more about inner transformation and relationship than it is about how frequently you attend church when I did take a break from church, it just wasn’t ideal for my children. They missed me. They begged me to come back.
Going to church is something we’ve always done together as a family. Not only is it part of our faith practice, it’s also inextricably woven into our family identity. We go to church and then we go to lunch as a family. This is what we do.
When I took a break from church, it was a major departure from our established family tradition. It was like letting disillusionment win. I’ve since started going back to church with my family. It’s my way of saying yes. Yes, there are traumatic divisions within our faith, but if we can’t find a way to work through this, who will?
Yes, I am hurt and broken, but I still want to find the good and yes, I still believe the good exists. Of course, peaceful Sundays will never be easy for me. But maybe that’s the whole point of faith: It’s not all about me. My faith and the faith of my children won’t grow in isolation. We need each other.
Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Going to church with my family is how I remind myself: We belong to each other. Elizabeth Esther, a mother of five, writes a weekly OC Moms column about faith and motherhood.
(Via The OC Register)
How sad. But this story is repeated thousands and thousands of times be people that have felt burned by the church.
How would you respond to Elizabeth?