STAY or GO? – STAY! At a recent meeting with the women’s ministry at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Vanessa Long spoke about her personal struggles during husband Eddie Long’s sexual misconduct allegations in 2010. We could tell she wrestled with the decision with whether to stay or to go as she announced that she was filing for a divorce, then rescinded, then filed again. And now she is back again and revealed an intimate part of her life with the women at New Birth.
HURTING, ANGRY, SHAME, EMBARRASSED! She stated that last year she was in a storm and she got off the ship. She stood before the women bare, saying “As much as I love my husband, my family, my New Birth Family, I could not take another minute PRETENDING to be OKAY.” This spoke to the pain she felt. The infamous MASK church folk usually wear was off.
AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY. I must say that I respect Bishop Long and the leadership of New Birth who gave her the platform to share what many churches have come to term “AIRING THEIR DIRTY LAUNDRY” instead of hiding them like most churches do. I believe it speaks to humility and a greater concern for the healing, restoring and reconciliation process.
HEALING TAKES TIME. As I write this post, I am happy for Vanessa, Bishop Long and the New Birth family. However, counselors, both secular and Christian, would agree that before Vanessa can help minister to others, she will need totally healing. I would suspect that that wound is still open and susceptible to a great number of triggers reminding her of those painful events.
NO APOLOGIES. NO FAILURE.Vanessa tells the women of New Birth that it was also extremely difficult to return because she felt like she failed the very people who needed her to be their strength because, they too, were in the storm and they elected to stay. To that I say, “WHAT?#! But they were NOT the wife.” That’s not reasonable. How could you give out strength you did not possess yourself? “How could you minister strength to others when you needed ministering to?
ENTITLED.Vanessa was entitled to do what she needed to do for the sake of her sanity. And for that, she owes no one an apology. Eddie was her husband. When you get married you become ONE. She needed to get away to preserve herself for how ever long she needed.
THE SPIRIT WORKS! I am happy that Vanessa allowed the Spirit to give her the strength to return, pulling up the ‘LOVE RESERVES’ to make a bold move in order to extend forgiveness and to reconcile.However, it must be said that before she can minister to others, she needs to be ministered to. Weighing in on her statements it is clear that her healing will be a work in progress.
LEARN FROM OTHERS. Lastly, I pray that all pastors truly realize that ‘betrayal’ cuts deep and is extremely painful for SIN extends and has a long reach as it impacts everybody attached to you or who has things in common with you. As pastors, I pray we learn from the painful experiences and mistakes of others lest we too, fall prey to the traps of the enemy and risk losing it all.
May God Bless the Long & New Birth Family
What are your thoughts on the video clip? What sayeth you?