Hurt people hurt people when they don't know they are hurt!

For the last 6 months, I have had little desire to write on this blog. Every time I began to write, it became a venting post and I realized what my writing might cause more harm than good. The last few months have been especially hard. For a while, I thought this was because of the presidential primaries coming or struggles I was experiencing within the church I have been serving. Day after day I would beg God for a clearer mind and less heavy heart. For the last few months, I have sunk deeper and deeper into ... depression. For the first time in a while, I realize that the depression I thought had left me has really been there all along.

I thought I was managing it well or that it wasn't as bad as it felt, but it has finally overcome me in such a way that I needed help. Most of my Christian life, I have been praying not to feel so hurt all the time. You see, every time some one gossiped about me or lied to or about me, I felt rejection and abandonment. Every conflict I have experienced as a believer in Jesus has been met with an overwhelming battle of fear, anxiety, rejection and abandonment. I have often joked from the stage that the person preaching had abandonment issues only to make light of the weight of abandonment I have been carrying. Recently, this weight had become so heavy that my wife and I have had enough. I have become tired of feeling rejection and walking around with armor around my heart that I only allow a few people to know what I am thinking or feeling. This has led me to more loneliness. I know I have several people who have offered to be an ear or that they are supporting me, but it has been hard to trust anyone, even my wife. This feeling of loneliness has been heavy and I am tired of it.

Through one of our Elders at Faith, I have been connected to a counseling center in McDonough, GA. Over a span of nearly 2 weeks, Michelle and I spent time speaking to a counselor unraveling why I feel I overreact through most conflicts. As we have talked, I have realized that I am carrying around wounds from my past that have been covered up in a way to survive. I have wondered for years how people can live in such confidence under the same truths I am learning, while I drown in them only to find myself not able to apply them to myself. I have often preached the incredible truths of the Gospel, then walked off the stage into the abyss of my depression, wondering when these truths could be applied to my life. I am wounded and I have been carrying around these wounds for years. In reflecting on the last few sermons I have preached, I see that those sermons were preached out of my pain and probably not out of my intimacy with Christ Jesus. I am saddened by my possibly hurting others, but also realize that I have had little control on my emotions and struggles. I am wounded and I hope I have not wounded others.

Today has been especially hard. Something that should not hurt so bad has. So I am going to reveal to you something that has happened today not to get anyone mad at anyone else, but to show you how my wounds have affected my perception. Here we go: while on twitter these last weeks, I have been analyzing who I am following on twitter and who is following me. I have found it funny that people will follow me on twitter only to unfollow me a few days later. This hasn't bothered me but today something stuck out. While looking through my followers, a few men I highly respect had either unfollowed me or have never followed me and I assumed they did. This threw my heart down and felt like it got stepped on. The feelings of rejection and abandonment rose up again, therefore I headed back to the only place that has felt safe for the past years; my bed. I could not shake this feeling nor could I describe it. My chest hurt and my heart felt rejected. Why would social media hold this kind of power over me? Why had I handed it the cup of my Love, Acceptance, Worth and Security and why was I asking these men to fill it?

Because I am wounded. My past rejections had been applied to my current circumstances. I contemplated calling those men and asking them "what did I do for you to reject me?". My wife tried to talk with me through it, but I didn't have words or did I even know how to express my feelings. I was crushed but it didn't last as long as other crushings I had experienced. I cried and then I took a shower and cried some more in the shower. I asked God why did this hurt so bad only to be returned to the thought of "I am wounded and I am powerless over the wound". Then something strange happened that I don't know how often I have experienced this strange feeling; my eyes dried, I took a breath and I felt fine. It didn't crush me nor did it throw me back in bed. God had comforted me and helped my heart to see He hadn't rejected me, nor had probably these men that I have respect for. God showed me that He has made me worthy and my worth is found in Him. He showed me that I am fully accepted by Him even if I didn't feel fully accepted by other men. Therefore, I decided to write about it just now.

I know that many others carry around anxiety, depression or other emotions that we have lost control of long ago. I know that there are many of us that walk around wounded not knowing how to have our hearts whole again. I know that I have felt my heart has been broken for a long time. However, you are not alone and God has highly esteemed you. He has placed His immeasurable love over you and wants you to know you are fully loved, fully accepted, fully worthy and fully secure in Him. Please don't walk alone in this, find Godly counselors that you can partner with to find God's healing journey for your heart.

For those who do not suffer as we do, we are not cry babies. I had been trained by my father and then by bullies not to show emotion. Every time something would hurt, I was scolded when I cried. Anger was the only thing I was allowed to show. That is damaging and to mock those hurting because they do not know how to express that hurt is damaging. Please know that many of us are hurting because we grew up in a painful world that taught us not to express emotions in a healthy way. We are not crazy, we are just wounded and hurt people can hurt people, even when we don't know we are hurt. Please love us, talk with us when we can and walk with us through these dark times. If you can't, that's okay, just please don't say to us what a pastor once said to me "There is something wrong with you, I can't help you". He was right on both accounts, he can't help me and there is something wrong with me, but those words are damning. Instead, pray for us and beg God to heal us.


  1. I totally hear you Pastor Shawn. I grew up with a bunch of older guys that lived in my neighborhood and they chose to pick on the younger smaller guy. I learned to cope by not giving away my pain in a visual sense by hiding it. Even it is something small, it continues to grow. Negativity does have a habit growing faster than positives. Also, we relationships dry up, we cling to reasons why and point fingers at ourselves as to the cause. Lastly, as a strong guys, we are made to fix our problems. I struggle by trying to fix things on my own without anyone's help instead of giving it to God in the first place. I digress, but I just want to let you know that my wife and I will be praying for you and your family for a resolution. WE LOVE YOU GUYS AND MISS YOU! My wife and I really looked forward to seeing you again. Especially to the time when we go on a double date!

    Love you brother! Matt

  2. Been praying for you and sensing that your depression and difficulty with rejection maybe weighing on you to am overwhelming point. Will continue to pray for your healing and for you to find healthy ways to cope. I know God grants His peace when we become ready to accept and rest in it. I have been there. My depression got to a point were I couldn't get out of bed or do anything. I had a godly friend who helped pick me up, push reset, and slowly start to get back to living. It is a process and cannot be rushed. You will get through this. You will heal. This process cannot be rushed. Wait on Gods timing and no one else's. I am here if you need anything. Mainly I will just be continually lifting you up to Christ in prayer.

    Ps. You are under no obligation to respond or to reach out. Only letting you know you have someone else praying for you and available to you.

    Love and prayers,



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