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How is the Rebellious Leader?

I remember when I brought my first “outsider” friend to church. She was wearing rainbows, so I was asked by multiple members if she was my “girlfriend.” If so, then I needed to pray because that was against God’s will. I adamantly stated she was just a friend and that was it. 

The following service, the youth pastor at that time went and talked to the “influential” group of girls in the youth group. They cornered me, dragged me to the front of the church at the end of a service, and forced me to get prayer multiple times. Then they shuffled me off to the side and continued to pray for me and lecture me to not be tempted by the outside world, and to be cleansed from my ungodly desires. 

This went on until I realized I wasn’t going to be let go until I asked God for forgiveness.

I also brought my then “wordly” boyfriend to church youth group. I was called out in front of the group and told I would marry him. After being raised with the manipulation at that place, those words were law to 16-year-old me. Eventually, the youth pastor found out I had slept with my boyfriend and  I was told I would absolutely have to marry him. 

We did get married because that’s what I was told I was supposed to do despite him being emotionally, physically, and verbally abusive. After one month of marriage and my son being born, I was told to my face that I was a bad example  and advised I needed to stay away from anyone who was younger than me because “you’re giving them bad ideas and examples.” 

I tried to talk to the youth pastor about the abuse I was going through. They said, “You’re not a youth anymore; you need to talk to a different pastor.” I was then told, “maybe you just need to pray harder.”

 I got a divorce shortly after, and was told I needed to step down from Infant and Toddler Ministry (the only thing keeping me there at that point) and I left. After that, I ran into a care pastor at a funeral of a mutual church person who said “Oh, how is the rebellious leader going?

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