Natchez Trace – Friendly Savages
I am a Christian. It’s not a fact I try and hide. That does not mean that I wholeheartedly agree with the church or what it does. I had opened up to member of my previous church about my mental illness, and was informed that I was “faking it” and needed to “get over it.” Which was a huge issue with me, and ended up being one of the major reasons I stopped going to church for a few years.
When I moved up to North Dakota to be close to my family, I decided to go back to church. Mostly because I didn’t want to deal with being constantly hounded to go on Sundays. I gradually started helping out with the church, doing worship on Sundays, going to a small group, and helping out with the youth. Eventually, I decided to open up to the assistant pastor about my mental illness. It went a lot better than my previous church, and we started meeting once a week. I was impressed and surprised by how I was treated and not looked down on.
However, it turned out to be a lot of talk, and not a lot of action. At the start of the month, I lost my job. I still haven’t been paid for the hours I’ve worked, and am now down to my last $4. When I informed my former boss that I was going to file paperwork to the department of labor against him for failure to pay me, I was told that I logged excess hours, and that if I threaten him, I won’t get very far. Which I took as a personal threat against me, and also as a sign that I would never be getting paid. On top of this, my car can’t make it in the winters up here. I don’t have a heater in it, and it’s frozen and undrivable.
I’ve taken these problems to my church, and explained to them the situation I’m in. It’s gotten to a point where I have to ration the food I have, to keep from completely running out. I’m currently unable to get a job, because I don’t have reliable transportation. I’m also moving at the end of the month, so getting a job this late would be all but pointless.
The response I’ve gotten from the church multiple times is “don’t worry, God will provide.” or that by worrying, I’m sinning. But, when I ask for practical advice on how to get out of this, or what to do, it always goes back to trusting God. My faith in God is not in question. I believe that he does provide a way, however, my faith is lacking in people. The church is suppose to be God’s instrument, but instead, they are turning me away with no practical help. When I leave the church, I’m still hungry, still have no car, still don’t have the clothing I need, or anything else that might come up.