Monday, July 15, 2013

Forgiveness, Part 3 of 6

My dad eventually found a job. As much as I wanted to live near my best friend, it meant that I had to leave a new love that meant so much to me (small livestock farming). I cried and cried, but we could never afford any land in that part of the country. Still, I was going to be near my best friend again, and I hadn’t made any friends since as the same church that forbade teen crushes also forbade having best friends. And even though I was screamed at from the pulpit, I never took off my half of the BFF necklace we had bought together. In that one thing, her friendship meant more to me than the approval of the pastor and youth pastor.
We arrived. I was still so broken hearted—and then I found that I was a pariah. My best friend wouldn’t talk to me. If I sat down, the person either moved, or if they couldn’t do that, they sat as far away as they could. When I was paired up with someone on activities, they were given sympathetic pats on the back. I think one girl was even crying. It was that awful to be associated with one such as me. I didn’t understand why. At first I thought it was just because I was new, and maybe my friend and I had lost some of the closeness having been apart so long. But she made no attempts to try to renew that closeness. My dad went to the pastor and demanded he put a stop to the gossip. The preacher said that while he did not believe it was true, since my dad refused to write an article criticizing the pastor at the church we were coming from, he would not do anything to stop it. Furthermore, I wasn’t allowed to participate in any areas of service that put me in contact with church children. I found out later that I actually was approved to work with bus kids. I guess they figured either they didn’t matter or that I couldn’t corrupt them anymore than they already were.

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