Dear well-meaning (if cliched) christians I meet online,
If just one more of you says to me, "no church is perfect" as a way of dismissing the abuse I experienced, I will probably self-destruct in front of you.
I know this is true.
But I do not accept it as an excuse for abusive behaviour. I do not accept it as a cover-up for harming others.
You see, I am married.
To an imperfect person.
But that doesn't give my husband the right to abuse me.
I understand that he is not perfect. I also understand that I am not perfect. But we have each other's backs. We talk things through. We forgive. We overlook the shortcomings. We value each other, even though we are different. We are committed to this journey we have undertaken together. We live out real love in our relationship.
So if one more of you talks about 'the church' being the bride of Christ in a way that attempts to guilt me into attending an institution every Sunday...
...well, let's just say that I won't be very receptive!
I don't give up easily.
I hung in there when I was being bullied and abused by 'church leaders' who were only concerned with the reputation 'their' institution.
I tried again and again to find a way through the crap.
But at the end of the day, people didn't matter. The institution was everything.
And I survived.
And I'm actually in a really good place now.
And I am even thankful to my abusers for inadvertently setting me free.
So don't try and lock me back in my cage and try to distract me with its golden key.
I've chosen freedom!