My relationship with the church has closely resembled the person who continues to run back to their abusive partner. Concerned friends have told me to leave a hundred times, but “like a dog that returns to its vomit”, I have continued to go back for more, even after the time I nearly died.
I’ve heard it said that “love is a give and take,” and that’s been true for me for the past thirty-five years. I have given my life to the church, and they have gladly taken everything I would give, always demanding more. More performance. More perfection. More time. More blind faith. More money. More, more, more.
I sang my first solo in the Christmas play at church when I was only five. I served as a youth leader in my local church all through high school. In my twenties, I attended 2 years of ministry school. And yet, at the age of twenty-eight, when I tried to die, I didn’t ask for help from the church where I worked. This article explains why I didn’t reach out, and how I believe we can all work together to fight stigma in the church today.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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