Date: October 04, 2016 04:11PM
My story, simplified:
I felt controlled by my bishop, because I had asked for a second food order in 4 months and I was told that I was too needy. He said that he needed to see my bank statements and to set me up with a budget. He assumed that I was spending too much money because I had sold my home for $250,000 (he was the Realtor that got me that amount) I used that money to pay off my fathers home, put $25,000 in a CD account to live on for the next 3 years. I had just lost my husband (Sept 25, 2008), my job (May 2009), so I went from about $3,000 a month to $0.
I not only paid off my dad's home because I was going to move in with him to take care of him (he was on Hospice). I paid off all my medical bills, all credit cards. I became debt free. I now only had $25,000 in my CD account, and I acquired 25,000 life insurance from my work. (I regretfully had to withdraw small amounts of the CD funds to live on, until it was all gone) My two sons and I lived on $50,000 for 3 years. My sons are disabled, so I helped provide for them. I found myself selling possessions for food.
I did remarkable well on the limited funds that we had. The three of us learned to do without. i learned to shop in thrift stores, go to food banks, and always seemed to have the money to pay on my bills, until I could get SSI. I learned to go without, and I did not understand how my bishop thought I spent my money foolishly. I was not going to let anyone make me feel hopeless by having my finances controlled like that. All of this judgement was hurtful, I became afraid to ask for anything of the LDS church. Soon I studied other religions and left my former church for good.
I felt a freedom like no other. No longer feeling inadequate, useless, or needing to live up to high expectations of their perfect life. I did not cook, my husband did that, and all LDS women were suppose to know how to cook well. I started to feel more inadequate and got thinking how the LDS main focus was on Joseph Smith and less on Jesus.
I started to loosen their grip on me. The day before being baptized into K2 the church and a renewed embracing of Jesus, my bishop came to try and talk me out of it: he told me that I would lose my Temple blessings, and could not be with my family in Heaven, and would not have the spirit in my home any more. I looked calmly at him and said, without anger, "Bishop, God knows what is in my heart, and he wouldn't do that to me".
I have not looked back and from the moment I was baptized this second time, I have felt Jesus with me more and more each day. I am no longer judged by what I can not do, I am not judged at all. This new awareness in me has been the best thing for me and it has made my heart soften towards my former bishop, who caused me this pain of judgements. All bishops are not like this one, but this last ward I was in was cliquish, and seemed everyone was now judging me. I no longer find it difficult going to church, because I found a new church family. I feel bless each day I walk with Jesus and I look forward to being with my new church family at K2 the Church. They enlighten me, lift me up, and each day, I am slowly beginning to repair the damage to my self esteem that my former church had done to me.