After being expelled, I spent several weeks in a daze. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I visited or called several churches, and found each troubling. Several refused to have me when I told them I was looking for a church after my pastor asked me not to return. Another said I could come, that they had a visiting minister who would lay hands on me and ‘feel my spirit’ to see if my former pastor had been correct or if I had been wounded. Depending on what he felt, I could stay or not. I declined the offer; I believed that if my pastor said things about me and what I’d thought or had in my heart, he must be right, and I didn’t really want another person “feeling my spirit” when my spirit was raw with grief. I felt very vulnerable.
In the end, I began driving to a town 50 miles away for church. They already knew me and would not turn me away. The pastor and his wife were kind, but the people wanted to know why I was there, what had happened, and so forth. The gossip was outrageously direct and rampant. The pastor told me not to talk about it. People guessed enough. Another couple in town were attempting to start their own church and they also tried to get me to talk about my former church, as well as trying to get me to join them in starting a new church. The men in the church tried to lay hands on me, touching my shoulders and back. I panicked, not wanting to be touched since I’d been accused of what I was.
Then the pastor’s wife was badly injured. They encouraged people to come see her at home, where she was bedridden. They asked me to come alone. I would have had to go, be let in by the pastor, and be led through their large house (which I’d never been in) alone by the pastor. They knew I’d been accused of lusting after my former pastor, but they still insisted. I refused… and I started looking for a different church.
I found it in another state.