Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kaelee's Story ~ A Follow Up

It’s been a crazy few weeks for me. After sharing my story on this blog I was asked to do an interview with a local news station about my experience at Mars Hill. I also finally made the decision to talk to the wife of the couple I spoke of in my story. After telling Sophia about my conversation with this woman she asked me to write a follow up post.
This is a poem I wrote after my experience at Mars Hill. I wrote it during the hardest part of recovery from my eating disorder:

I wish I could reach across the void between us,
I would fill it with all of the things we won’t say,
“You’ve changed,”
“You are judging me,”
“I envy you,”
Each tightly caged word, if spoken, could create a bridge,
We would meet in the middle.
But I am selfish and cowardly,
I hope you will do all the work.
So the void grows bigger,
Hope of crossing diminishes.

After reading the stories on this blog and choosing to share my own story, I began to find myself often thinking about healing, and what that would look like for me. Once again this brought up painful emotions, so I ignored them. I found it much easier to remain in an us-vs-them mindset regarding Mars Hill, and to simplify a very complicated problem down to Mars Hill and it’s mindsets.
After gentle encouragement from my therapist I finally decided to face my fears and speak with the wife of the couple who had hurt me. As displayed by the poem I wrote above, part of me always knew this is what needed to happen for my own healing. When I imagined this meeting I feared judgement, condemnation, and believed she would try and convert me or guilt me back into attending Mars Hill.
I am pleased to say how very wrong I was. Our meeting went wonderfully. We were both honest and open with each other about the events that had transpired and how they made us feel. She opened up to me about the religious pride she and her husband had struggled with. The flakey actions I discussed in my story had hurt her more than I realized. I also discovered that my own feelings towards Mars Hill turned out to be just as much to blame as their desire for my husband and I to attend. While she did say that Mars Hill preached the truth, and it was hard for her to see me rejecting the truth, she allowed me to disagree with her. For the first time she demonstrated that our relationship was more important to her than the matter of what church I attended. I don’t know if this attitude has always been there, or is more recent, but either way it is enough for me.
Virginia Woolf writes, “I have lost friends, some by death…others by sheer inability to cross the street.”
We have all been hurt. Some of those people who have hurt us will be unwilling to try and right their wrongs, they might try and shift the blame to you. If you risk it and try to talk to them you may leave even more wounded than you were before, but for me it was worth it for any amount of healing and clarification it could bring to my life. I can’t give anyone a formula to find forgiveness, I wouldn’t dare to be that presumptuous. Crossing the street happened to be the best decision I made during this process. My anger is gone and by pursuing my own healing I was finally able to forgive her in an honest fashion.
After my experience, I really just want to encourage everyone to be honest and open with themselves about what they need for healing and to trust that their own healing will lead to forgiveness. Don’t allow others to give you a formula for this process, and try to be realistic and understanding in your expectations of the people who have hurt you. There is always hope.


  1. I love to see how you are growing in this process. Remain open and honest. The Lord will heal you.

  2. That is awesome. I know identifying hurts and if they are real or perceived is important. I pray for continued reconciliation in your life!

  3. God is so faithful. He gives us beauty for ashes!~ Love you Kaelee B.