I am afraid. I suppose I’ve never stopped being afraid since the night I was told I was being thrown out permanently and might not even be able to be saved. Seventeen years ago. And I’m still afraid. I can ignore the fears for awhile… as long as I’m not trying to connect in a church. But as soon as I find a church that might work, as soon as I start to feel myself starting to grow, to relax, to trust, I jerk away. I run. What if it’s not a safe place? What if it’s another unhealthy group? What if I’m missing something or deliberately overlooking something, some warning, some red flag… what if these people can’t be trusted?

I can’t very well walk into a church and say, “So, are you healthy? Are you abusive? Can I trust you?” I wish I could. But it would do no good because the unhealthy ones would lie anyway. And the others would begin wondering if they could trust me.

There are times a person has to take the risk of trusting, but to risk the kind of hurt that an entire group can inflict on one… That’s a big risk. Is it a risk worth taking? I can’t say. I haven’t been able to get past the fear to take that risk yet. I’d like to, and if the outcome is positive, it would be very worth it. So I either have to get over wanting to be part of a local group of believers or stop running away. But it’s going to be a difficult process, and I’m afraid.