It has always been easy to tell your story when it is based on the past.
That is why we call it a testimony. Something that we struggled with in the past and have conquered. At this point of “victory” no one seems to respond negatively, shames or accuses you. Actually most people if not everyone will rejoice and celebrate you. And in turn you will feel empowered and brave. However if the truth is told, the imagine of the “past” remains in l the “present”.
I am not infallible
I am a 25 year old lady and with parents that are pastors. I do my best to be in church every Sunday, to which I enjoy. I have friends and family who deeply care about me, which is fantastic and l am aware of that. I value fellowship amongst believers as it is of paramount importance. My relationship with God is exciting and l am enjoying it. I am not infallible. I make mistakes and usually need some guidance to get back on track. Most of the times the chastening comes straight from the pulpit during Sunday sermons.
I have to think before I act
It is difficult being in a service where a particular message is preached and requires immediate response. For example heeding to the altar call in order to be prayed for. Yes, we dread those messages. I would like to think that most people love prosperity teaching and everything that is to do with one being a great achiever. Such messages will always have people ready to respond to and be prayed for, myself included. It is not easy being a minister’s kid. When a message has been shared that requires me to go upfront, openly repent and be prayed for like everyone else, l have to think before l act. Most of the people who are heavily involved in the church would identify with this.
Did I just expose the family to judgment?
At the age of 19, I set in church and listened to a sermon on sexual immorality. It was a message l needed to hear at that point of my life and I went up front with two other people. However, l can not explain the shame, guilt l felt at that point in time. I needed help but every step l took towards the altar seemed to be extremely long. All felt as if all eyes were on me. There was such a heavy burden on my shoulders but the unconditional love of God wrapped me around. I wept all the way to the front. Someone prayed with me, gave me a hug and a warm smile. As I turned around I noticed a few people I knew were also struggling with the same issue decided not to ask for help. That’s okay Wendy, people can confess their sins wherever they are. To my left sat my mother in tears and my father’s head hanging down as if in shame. What have I done? Did I just expose the family to judgement? Is this the end of my parents’ legacy? Immediately I sank into a black hole in my mind. I shouldn’t have gone for prayer, I thought.
It would have been better if I was not known
Out of the three that went up to get prayed for, I seemed to be the most singled out of the lot. I regretted the move and blamed myself for responding to a prayer relating to sexual immorality. It was as if God had stripped away the shame, guilt and sin but as soon as I turned and focused on the people in church, I soon felt condemnation. On that day l decided l not respond to a teaching even if I was convicted. Like others I would always remain in my seat. The simple act of conviction, accepting that I had sinned and making my way to the front had suddenly left me as an outcast. I saw my own parents having their friends over to provide comfort and support to them whilst I continued to be asked why I had been sexually active. Why did it feel easy to accept love and forgiveness from God but such condemnation and pain from people? Perhaps I too got it all wrong but it seemed like it would have been better if I was not so known in church and my parents were not pastors.
I will continue to confess privately
Now back to my present, I am here again. Yes, I have sinned yet again and really want to go for prayer and be open about it. Then reflecting on what happened before, I cannot afford to do that and be condemned and have my parents feel shame. So as pastors’ kid, I will continue to confess privately until I find a safe haven. The only time it has been safe to talk about it, is when I call it “testimony”. Sadly, I have to live through it again but perhaps never use it as a testimony out of fear of pride and condemnation.
Am I consumed with pride?
I ask myself “is this what it should for a pastors’ kid or am l falling in the category of those who consumed with pride? Whichever answer I get, I know I just want to be in right standing with God. Should l wait for help to come or should l chase after it regardless of what people think or say? MT