Pastor got the church to shun me
THE REASON Days Of Our Lives, The Bold and Beautiful and other such television series are popular in Barbados is that many Bajans live lives that are similar to the deceitful, hypocritical lives of the people portrayed in those shows.
Just like those characters, we cheat on our partners while presenting a face of innocence; we lie and bad talk our family, friends and colleagues through jealousy and resentment; and we pretend to be nice and accommodating when most of the times we only do things hoping they work to our advantage.
This is why Barbados is going down the drain, and all the talk the churches are putting down about God doesn’t mean anything because their people are some of the most worthless too.
I know it isn’t right to paint everybody with such a broad brush, but the reality is that, as said in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. And more church leaders must wake up to the reality that many of their members use association with the church to cover their sexually predatory ways.
If I come over as bitter, I have to be. I went into the church to escape my sinful life, and all I traded was one pit of poisonous snakes for another.
Prior to going to church I used to party a lot and I occasionally smoked herb. As I had two children early in life, I never finished school, so I ended up doing dead-end jobs from the time I was 17 years old like pumping gas, working as a cashier, a maid and with a cleaning company.
And as I was making my own dollar, I lived my life to suit me. My mother helped me to do this as she took care of my children, so I never had to look back at them.
Then at 27 my life changed. My mother had a stroke, was ailing for a while, then died.
I had to deal with my children, had to be up and down with my mother for the couple of months she lived after the stroke, and I had to cut out the partying and smoking as my small money now had to look after a house, the bills and my children.
Like too many women in this situation, I did a foolish thing and brought in a man to help cover the bills. But that move came with abuse of me and my children. So after nearly two years of this, I got rid of him and decided to change my lifestyle completely by going back to church. I was determined to let my children see a better life.
For the first few months the adjustment to my new lifestyle was more difficult than I imagined. What affected me was meeting a couple of men in the church who, though married, flirted with me.
What made their interest in me difficult to ignore was because I liked the attention. They made me feel special, and having not been treated like this for much of my life, it felt good that seemingly decent men thought I was worthy of their attention.
One of these men advised me to offer cleaning, washing and ironing services to church members. After I did that, I started to get so much work that I was able to quit my job and work for myself. Then I saw first-hand why it is said that nothing in life is free.
That same man who helped me get started began trying to get fresh with me, and just because I did not let him live with me, he bad-talked me and, quick so, I began to lose customers. Some of the friendliness that had greeted me when I came to church also stopped as his lies quickly spread among church members.
But I could not complain to anybody in a higher position as he was the pastor, and the other man who flirted with me was the head of the affiliated church.
I left that congregation and joined another church, but the nasty rumour that man spread about me caught up with me and I was shunned. So I also left that church.
That was nearly two years ago and now in my early 30s I feel disillusioned about life and people. I went into the church and tried to live a clean life, and the men in church wanted me to do immoral things. And when I did not play along, a wicked rumour that I was dealing with men for money was spread about me.
How can I, or anybody who wants to change their life, feel good to be treated this way? That’s why I am speaking out because people need to realize the sorts of things that poor, young, single women have to go through and why it is so difficult for you to change your lifestyle.