Monday, April 28, 2014
*Church by the Glades Really-no perfect people allowed?*
When I began volunteering as a VPK teacher on Sundays at the Church by the Glades Sample Road location, I informed the director that I was pregnant. After the fact, there were no questions asked and I volunteered at the church for three months before I was harshly approached by another teacher. The woman pulled me aside and asked if I was married. I answered truthfully and said, "no." I didn't understand why this woman was pulling me aside and interrogating me about my personal life. I began to feel extremely uncomfortable. She said, "well, I don't think this is going to work out then." I was like, "what do you mean?" She went on to tell me that their had been other "situations" as she's referred to them and people were asked to leave the church. I started to become offended and my adrenaline was pumping. I kept thinking, "how dare this woman judge me? who does she think she is?" I kept saying that I didn't understand where she was leading with her questions. She said, "I wanted to approach you before I went to the director about this." I said,"the director already knows." At this point tears were traveling down my face. "Do you plan on getting married? If so, how soon?" I said I was going to get engaged soon, but I felt extremely uncomfortable. Then the words came,"as a leader, you are expected to follow the word of God." Apparently, I wasn't following the word of God because I was pregnant out of wedlock. I was a horrible influence on children, who half were probably the product of unwed mothers. Her approach was extremely uncomfortable and I couldn't stand the judgement anymore. I took off my volunteer badge and walked out the door hysterically crying. I never felt so judged or betrayed by people who love The Lord as much as I have. I couldn't let it go. I messaged the director and wrote this: "Hello, had I known that I would be judged because of my current situation, I would have never volunteered at church by the glades. I have always loved children and wanted to be a teacher. I wish I was told from the beginning that I couldn't volunteer or pursue my dreams of teaching, I would have gladly stepped away and turned elsewhere. Church by the Glades has always accepted all people and I was glad to call it my church. I never shared my personal life with anyone because I didn't feel it was appropriate. I have never felt so judged in my life. Church is not the place of judgement. God is the only person that can judge me. It was very inappropriate and out of place to crush my dreams and humanity. That is no ones place. I feel extremely hurt and betrayed." The responses I received were that I could return to church by the glades as a volunteer in another field. I could no longer work with children. I didn't need their pity or the scheduled meeting with the pastor that they offered to discuss my situation. My "situation" did not involve the church and I never brought it through the doors. My personal life is my business. My lifestyle shouldn't influence my teaching and they had no right to let me go because their motto is, "no perfect people allowed." I didn't want to return to church because of what was done to me. Eventually, I did and I decided to voice out what had happened to me. I hope this never happens to you! Speak up for yourself, call the media, or post a blog. Make sure the world knows what kind of message people of God shouldn't send. I wasn't the only person that was volunteering that had a "situation", but unfortunately mine was publicized and I wasn't permitted to return as a teacher. It broke my heart. My heart still breaks and I hope that this story is spread and that the individual that did this to me is punished. She had no right and crossed a thin line. Don't let someone do this to you!