I used to go to a Chehalis church. It was “the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

The darkness of the youth room during worship was what I needed. I cried often and cried out to God during the worship. God was right there with me. I was so very broken from my two years at WWU.

It was the worst of times. “Sisters” in Christ excluded me from friendships and social gatherings, while “praying” over me during worship services. Others used me as a third wheel and were manipulative. They were so very toxic for my soul. To each their own. I left them to their own sin and fled.

But God was there. He showed up, despite the spiritual sickness of that church.

It was the worst of times. I had never felt so uncomfortable and so much like a piece of meat. My “brothers” in Christ hovered and cast sidelong glances at me and only wanted my friendship for personal gain. I felt like nothing more than a piece of meat. They fought over me like ravenous dogs. And the other “sisters”? They chased me down for my friendship, just to keep me away from a guy I had liked at the time.

Now, I can only name two people there (a young married couple) who were beautiful and godly to me. The rest were snakes.

It all still hurts, so I guess I’m not healed yet. I wanted a home so very badly, and I was given stones instead of bread. And I was fed poison.

God, save.