I have been a member of my church for my entire life. I am 35-years-old, but I never got married. The reason I never got married is very simple. The man I have been in love with is already married and has a family. He is the pastor of the church. He knows that I am in love with him and he has told me numerous times that he loves me too.
I was dismissed (read out of the church) because I got pregnant. I am not saying that I got pregnant for my pastor. I am saying we have been in love for several years.
Once it was discovered that I was pregnant I was branded as an adulterer and my membership was terminated. I have been banned from getting near to my pastor and lover and I have been left all alone with no one to provide moral support. Sometimes I feel like I should go public with my story and other times I feel like I should end my life.
How could the church where I have spent all my life and the man I love and looks up to be so harsh on me simply because I got pregnant?
WOMAN WITH A HEAVY BURDEN
Dear Woman with a Heavy Burden,
Ending your life is not an option! I sense that what you’re looking for is happiness and you have convinced yourself that love will bring you happiness. Let me hasten to tell you; happiness is your choice. Nobody can “MAKE” you happy.
It must feel really nice to hear this married pastor tell you he loves you. Does his actions, in your opinion, demonstrate to you that he loves you the way you believe you should be loved? Your complaint tells me you are not convinced. You see, my beloved, until you first deeply fall in love with YOU, you will never be able to demand the kind of love you deserve.
Nowhere in your letter did you mention the child from the pregnancy. Is that child alive? If so, why not consider the best life you can live for the both of you? You’ve ignored this child and have devoted your love and attention to a hypocrite, lying pastor and a judgemental congregation.
I cannot seem to understand your desire to remain in the space that brings you such pain. You need healing. Perhaps you should consider removing yourself from that space. Go to a more affirming place where you can practice your faith (if that is your main reason for going to church). Healing will make you ready for love and desirable to someone else. The truth is, as you are in this broken state, this is no time to consider bringing such brokenness into someone else’s life.
Your pregnancy was a gift. See it as such. Blessed is your womb. I know a few things worse than getting pregnant out of wedlock and a lying, cheating, hypocrite and judgemental pastor is one of them.
Forgive yourself. Forgive the pastor for playing you. Speak your truth if you must for your healing. Talk things through with a professional counsellor. And NEVER forget, even though your church doesn’t see it, #YouAreWorthy
Damien Williams is a Minister & Bible Teacher at Ekklesia Bible Fellowship in Kingston, Jamaica. He is also an Educator, Life Coach and Human Rights & Justice Advocate. His day job is as a Field Operations Manager at Habitat for Humanity Jamaica. If you have an issue that you need advice on, send an e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org