January 1, 2017
I said yes to life by jumping on board to help a friend with his kids. I don't normally go that far because I have enough anxiety issues surrounding my own kids. It was fun and I really enjoyed myself. I won't be posting this on The Mighty today, but will probably compile each week and post it that way. Also, my letter to my church. Yes to Life by not allowing myself to be discriminated against.
I am leaving Westside Church. It completely breaks my heart to say this. Over the years I thought that I was being brought up by a church that would not stand for discrimination or stimga. Recently I was proven wrong by one of the most important leaders in my life. It turns out that more than just myself have recently been turned away from serving the church due to a history of mental health issues - despite being functional, and willing hearts who only wanted to help do God's work. This is a slap in the face to those who are working so hard to beat their mental illnesses. In every platform you go to for mental health or addiction recovery - one thing is always, always strained. Be of service to others. Help other people.
If Westside Church is going to stand in the way of steps toward healing for their most vulnerable denizens then I can no longer attempt to serve this church. I will be moving to Boise to serve the Syrian refugees living there and to practice for my Voice audition. I hope I find a church that will not bow down to stigma like Westside has. I have found a large handful of people in the Bend mental health community who were turned away from serving Westside church on the grounds of their brokenness.That is both shocking and disappointing,
It has been a wonderful 12 years between attending in person and watching online almost every week. I will admit, yesterday - when I did neither - felt off and out of place. Thanks for trying to keep up the illusion that me - with all my pain and scars and hurt - was welcome at Westside. I have been mostly in tears since Friday over this, and I feel that I am making this choice for my own good. I need to find a place where I will be welcomed into serving God's kingdom regardless of my history.
I will be praying for your church. You guys really need it.
Peace, Love, and Bulletproof Marshmallows