About the Author

Jami, wife to Nato and mom of four, is an entrepreneur and leader who focuses on faith, community, authenticity, and courage. She’s passionate about not doing laundry and uses awkward humor & honesty to convey the truth of the gospel and navigate tough conversations.

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things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Jami,

    I don’t think I’ve ever contemplated the *friendship* of Jesus and Judas, the intimacy they shared…the LOVE they had to have shared! I carry the shrapnel of fractured relationships, wounds whose scars still remain. It’s bewildering to me to have someone I loved on a deep level, walk away, and nothing I do to reengage makes a difference. My only solace has been to trust that God knows the pain, and He had His purpose in the relationship…and maybe it’s not for me to know “today.” Thinking about how Jesus responded to Judas’ betrayal in light of what he already knew brings solace.

    ((Hugs)) to you as you continue to walk this out (I think?), and thank you for stirring my thoughts this morning :).

    • Love you robin. When I wrote that, well you know as a writer–I didn’t know that was going to come out. And as I thought about it, it gave me such compassion for Jesus. I know it doesn’t compare to the compassion he has for us, but it did make me feel really understood. I’m sorry it’s been so hard! The scars are definitely hard to look at some days.

  2. Thank you Jami,

    Your reflections on how church can be a family which both loves and inflicts hurt on others and ourselves. Like Robin shared, it is bewildering…I have only been through these things later in life and am amazed how God protected me from any real fall out of major hurt in early years after I came to know Christ personally.
    Some years ago I had my first major experience of a church in turmoil and people taking side. Then soon after in a Christian group working to support others, I experienced the same divisiveness, but this time with unspoken prejudices and fears or suspicions between workers from difference denominations.
    I talked tot eh Lord about it, asked for wisdom, prayed intensely for all, listened to the hurting, prayed for them to heal and let go the hurts and past and forgive, and then I moved back a few steps as the trauma was too great to bear after several years. I also sought out scripture from the beginning to guide me through in Godly way. I weighed up scripture and wrestled with the way Jesus lived His life:
    i. John chapter 17 has the most profound verse ‘Father, I pray they may be one as we are one’ and ‘I pray for you to keep each one from the world and evil one’ …John 17 ‘I have not lost one’…and John chpt 10 Jesus said: ‘none shall snatch them from my hand ..as well as John 10 ‘My sheep hear my voice and follow Me, a stranger they will not follow.’
    ii. Regarding the pitfall of gossip or perpetuating and prolonging hurts by repeating them publicly, I was led to remember the exhortation in Ephesians ‘Redeem the time because the days are evil’ and 1 Peter ‘The devil is as a roaring lion’ seeking whom he may devour’
    iii. Also James ‘no man can tame the tongue.’ ..only Gods spirit can help all as we yield our tongue and life to Him and thoughts and conversations…(Ephesians) so ‘speak to one another with hymns, psalms and songs and encourage each other all the more as the Day draws near.’
    iv. As for Judas, Jesus warned him, kept him in his close circle of 12 and loved him to he end…knowing all along Judas was going to betray Him and also that he was ‘the son of perdition.’…Since He forgave all who betrayed Him, we know Jesus kept forgiving but he knew what was in Judas heart. In the end it was too late for Judas to repent and he met with a terrible death and had not repented in time. Nothing would be more tormenting for a living soul, to face that truth….Judas could not bear it and hung himself in the field of Blood. (I believe Jesus own blood was on his hands).
    v. At the cross Jesus said ‘forgive them Father for they know not what they do’ ..One thief repented there and one soldier acknowledged that Jesus was the very Son of God…while the other thief mocked and tried to ridicule the On dying in his place.
    Putting this altogether and trying to find my way through church conflict became a pre occupation and a hurtful one. Every time there was more talk of divisiveness, hurts and suspicions I felt sick and didn’t want to be there or hear more or to become entangled more than I had, as I had tried to help others resolve their differences, hurts and to pray over their wounds and help them move on. Nothing though came of that on the surface…there was whispering and I sensed upheaval and a sowing of bad fruit.
    I asked ‘What should I do Lord…’ I have given 7 yrs of prayer for this church that you Love, that is the bride of Christ…’?
    Then as COVID struck deeper in the next 2 years we didn’t have a lot of services except by ZOOM, so I branched out and did extra Bible study units wit others in a group on ZOOM, extra prayer meetings on ZOOM for our country and nations in need and supported missos and local believers reaching out.
    I found a church that was unified and I was able to experience some healing of my own spirit and joy in being there. There was a respect of one another, also no gossip and no rumbling and complaining and strong leadership with a full focus on the word of God and also outreach and sharing faith.
    I would have continued in the other ‘broken’ church and I tied to continue but I sensed I have given 7 years of intercession, sowing words of peace and prayed for strong leadership, deeper prayer and a stronger focus on the word of God and unity in fellowship….but when i tried to go back I found some still destroying the unity with gossip or judgement or grievances comparing the past years with the present and complaining it was different to earlier (It was just like the dynamic Moses faced as he led Gods people through the wilderness and I realised the pastors were always at a disadvantage while this went on)….so resolved to keep praying but to have my own needs met. To belong to the Body of Christ and forgive but to be aware that not every church is a healthy place to be and it takes much prayer and those who will help steer the ship back on course, sot he word and Christ has pre-eminence…
    if I had been younger, healthier and called would have stayed the course but I kept getting a strong feeling I wasn’t meant to carry that burden anymore after 7 yrs of prayer and continuing prayer, but to let go and heal and move to other pastures and learn from it all.
    I learnt how damaging the tongue can be, how much we need the word taught and not to look to man but to God and His word, and the Holy spirit and how we need to be guard our own spiritual health when we minister in places of worship that may be going through ongoing trauma and recovery.
    COVID unfortunately has caused great issues for all churches and Satan has tried to divide and stumble many churches and church goers, so like Paul says ‘we are not ignorant of his designs.’
    We have all been sifted as wheat through the COVID era and now with war at our doorsteps and floods and people in great need due to loss of jobs and health, there is a huge need to have a unified army of Gods soldiers…’refined by fire’ and ‘ready for any good work.’
    I have concluded we can only be really effective where there is unity in the word, there s trust and integrity and also love so others will want to join that church and feel welcomed. 1 Corinthians 13 ‘Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love’ and to make love our aim.
    Paul said in Corinthians that the presence of the Lord through a united church would attract the outsider (unsaved) who would fall down and acknowledge the presence of God in their midst and praise God.
    That I think is what we should aim at.
    but its all been a hard learning curve and not easy as I have tried to be faithful to a denomination and found I can only be truly faithful to Christ and His word in the end…and follow The Good Shepherd.
    Thank you for sharing Jami, with honesty. It’s a heart matter but also somehow we must discern the voice of the Lord through these matters so we are a sheep joining in with others who Love the Lord and His word and who want to follow His commandments.

    • thank you for taking the time to share all that wisdom. I think you’re right, we need to find a way to unify despite our differences. God asks that from us, and I do long for it. I don’t know how he’ll make a way, and I guess that is for him to do not me (although I sure do like to “help” him LOL).

  3. This is a lot to process with only one cup of coffee. So much value in what everyone has written. I will only add that I once read a book- sort of a “what if this is how it was” with Jesus. The author wrote about a complicated relationship between Jesus and Judas, and that Judas was chosen to do the deed of betrayal because Jesus knew He could rely on Judas to obey. And that is the reason after the betrayal, Judas reacted as he did. And sometimes in church, those we think we can trust are the ones that can hurt us the most. Having both left a church in the past and having stayed in one to fight for what was right and good, I will say in spite of its shortcomings, I now have a faith community (a tiny one for sure) that was my reason to maintain my sanity during these 2+ years of Covid. And it pains me to hear how once thriving communities of faith are now struggling.

    • It is very painful. I know that through pain, God will provide his presence, not necessarily the way we want it to turn out. His presence is the reward, not a thriving church community (though I do long for that). always complicated! ha.

  4. I needed this today: “He is looking you in the eye, hand under your chin saying, I do understand. And I am making a way through this.”

  5. Through the pandemic, I have felt embraced by my church, so I haven’t entertained thoughts of leaving. However, I have a group of friends who have disbanded because of differing political and moral beliefs. Maybe we will mend our fences. But I am leaving space for the possibility that it isn’t possible or even desirable. Prayerfully we move along.

    • It’s been a really difficult rode walking through the pandemic and the election. I do think we need to find a way to pursue friendships despite differing beliefs.

    • Is it possible that your friends felt put out by the church? I know I did with my church and many of my friends (who have never bothered to ask what any of this must have been like) don’t understand why we haven’t returned by now. Some simple conversations along the way could have been very fruitful, but they didn’t happen, drilling it in to us that we were not even worth the consideration. I’m sure it’s not so sinister, but it feels that way. If there’s anything you can do to mend those fences, I implore you to try to reach out. Just some thoughts I thought I’d share, if they don’t help you maybe it will help another reader.

  6. How insightful and precious your words are. I’m in the midst of relational conflict and deep hurt. I wonder how this mess turns out? It soothes my soul to know I don’t have to figure it out. I just have to follow the one ☝️ who has it all figured out. Thanks

  7. Jami, I’m in the actual middle of church hurt happening, in real time, right now. Thank you for this balm.

  8. “He’s looking you in the eye, hand on your chin saying, I do understand. And I am making a way through this.” Great visual of His tender love & mercy toward us!

  9. Holding to His words through you!! & to His Word with you Thank Yoouuuuu so very much!!!!!!!

  10. Jami,

    Prayers for everyone going through church hurt. Asking God to help heal those wounds. The church isn’t a building. It’s people inside. All flawed humans created by a loving God. If Jesus can love the people He knew would betray Him then how much more can He tenderly love us. We are after all His bride. He cares for us so much He even sings over us. Don’t let one wound or hurt feeling from friends or church family get you down. Remember Jesus is with you in the pain. Cry out to Him. He truly understands.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. I am in this same predicament – I won’t says its a mess but I’m deciding if I should return to my church when it reopens.

    But this is what will hold me: He is looking you in the eye, hand under your chin saying, I do understand. And I am making a way through this.

    I’ve been praying for God to give me clear guidance and discernment.