First of all, I’ve not done much writing so this should be interesting. I really think this will be therapeutic for me as well as helpful to others. Hopefully, something I say will make someone feel less alone in their journey.
I was raised United Pentecostal by my mother. My father was in and out of our lives and refused to become involved in the church. From birth to 6 we attended a church with a pastor that my mom considered to be a father figure in her life. From what I’m told he was a kind man. When I was 6ish he retired and a different pastor was voted in. This pastor was not as loving and kind he was extremely strict. My mom decided to move us to a neighboring town to attend the church school there ( I think it was to get away from the new pastor). During that time my dad came back in our lives and that church was extremely cult like ( more on that later). We stayed for about a year and then moved back to the other church.
When I was about 9 my mom had had enough and we moved to another neighboring town and attended what most considered in our area a liberal church. My mom didn’t like it, I was not accepted, but my sister thrived. The year I turned 12 we changed churches 3 times. By this time my sister had left home and it was just myself and mom. We ended up staying at the third church, my mom still attends there.
At the age of 17, I met the guy that I would marry. My mom was super negative about male attention she believed all men would abuse us. It was not a good time and I wound up moving in with my sister and bro-in-law. They soon found out that I wasn’t “pure” and I was confused and wanted to do what I wanted so I moved in with my dad. I married my husband 2 1/2 months after my 18th birthday. The months leading up to my moving out of my mom’s house I had become very bitter. While living with my dad I attended a church a few times but my heart wasn’t in it.
I lost my job and found out I was pregnant so we moved in with my mother. I felt “convicted” and started attending church with her again. Thus began my adult life with the “church”.
I’m not sure yet in what order I will write my story, but man do I have a story to tell. As for the present, we have found a non-denominational church to attend. The pastor as well as about 1/2 the congregation is ex-upci/aljc. It has been nice to have people that understand where we are at. On the other hand, we are starting over with friends and that has been extremely difficult.