"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Three Women and a Girl

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Three Women and a Girl

Photo by Kinnéidigh Garrett, used under CCA 2.0 Generic license
Thanks to "My View" for sharing this fictionalized account of what happened to a teen she knows.
They don't know that I am in one of the bathroom stalls. The church ladies. They don't realize their voices echo around the huge bathroom. They would have realized, if they had stopped to listen. They would have heard my gasp, my stifled sob.  
They are talking about me. The fallen one. The unmarried teen who is pregnant by a worldly. They are speaking in hushed tones, but didn't they know that hushed voices can be heard the furthest? I will find out later that hushed tones can be heard from coast to coast within a few days.  
The loudest woman is saying that she won't let her daughter Sara hang out with me anymore. "Who knows how that girl will influence her?! I always knew she was trouble." 
Another woman says, "I heard that she don't even know who the baby's daddy is. The parents should have kept better control. Shame on her and shame on them! I don't think I want any of my children hanging around any of their kids. Who knows what could happen!"  
A third voice chimes in: "Exactly! It wasn't long ago that my little sweet Billy, he's five now ya know, anyway I overheard him telling his buddy that their Emily kissed him at recess. I was shocked but now I know — it runs in the family. I told Billy to stay far away from her and to never talk to her again." 
Their voices fade as they leave the rest room. My tears come rushing out now. I can't hold them back. I rage at myself:  
"What did I do!? My younger brothers and sisters are going to be shunned because of me. Because I fell for his stupid lies! Because I am evil! Because I am carrying a baby! How will I ever look them in the eye again?"  
I pray: "If you still hear God please don't allow them to be shamed! I will do anything! Just please leave them peace. Shame me, but please, God please, don't let my family suffer."  
I stay in the bathroom until there are no tears left, and my heart feels dry and empty. Only a few people are still in the church as I leave. Over the months my baby grows within me, his strong body shoving aside their words, but they remain, like pieces of shrapnel, leaving permanent wounds.


  1. That makes me sick to my stomach. Just imagine, what if that was your daughter that they were talking about? That is the ugly part of the laestadian religion that people who have been on the inside have seen and heard, but those on the outside may have not. The current members of these churches may claim is doesn't happen, but I can attest to it also. I have heard it from my own ears.

    It was only until after I was out of the church for several years, that I saw it for what it really was. I realized the hypocrisy of it all. Growing up, I got the impression that I was supposed to go to church to be around other true christians who love and forgive, when in reality, that love and forgiveness wasn't given to everyone. Those families that claim to be so pure and innocent have their own secrets and issues. They just don't always get forced out in the open like an unmarried woman having a child. I believe in karma, and believe that if you are nasty to people, it will come back to you. Case in point, the FALC minister in Cokato who recently had the truth exposed about himself.


  2. I have seen the same karma, in action. A woman, my mother's first cousin, spread a rumor, long before it came true, that I quit coming to church. The truth was, I missed twice in a row. At the time, I had begun to struggle with a chronic pain syndrome and had a small child and my husband, who had converted, wasn't keen about attending alone with our child when I was ill. So we all stayed home. I was confronted by my sister, who told me, "You miss church so often "Rhonda" asked me if you quit going; there are rumors you have quit." "Rhonda" wasn't a very nice lady. She was always up on the most unsavory gossip, and she could be heard whispering, "Did you hear about..." and it was hardly ever good news. Mostly bad. I felt sort of bad about her asking that of my sister, who didn't ask in a concerned or caring way, rather in the kind of way that made me wonder if my sister was worried about the reflection on herself. I felt especially bad, because "Rhonda" had never ever talked to me, not even once, didn't know me, despite our relation, and could not even begin to see my struggles. As her children grew up, they began to have their own problems, the same flavor of problems she gossiped most about when it was other peoples' struggles. Then "Rhonda" at a young age suffered some kind of stroke, and now she has a lot of problems with her memory, and cannot remember details, facts, or even remember who everyone is. I would think it was a blessing for her, that her struggles with gossip may over, rather than a punishment. --Punahilkka

  3. Exodus 20:5 states, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: (v6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Within Laestadianism the gossips are usually like verse 5 where they remember (and whisper) every discretion a person committed even if it happened 50 years ago. They will then tend to track a wrongdoer's next generation and view them with a jaundiced eye too and the rumors and whispers often will continue to the grandchildren too. The gossips think seem to think they were appointed as judges and juries. The problem is the same people almost always ignore verse 6. There is not really much room for heart felt forgiveness nor compassion within Laestadianism. Unfortunately, the emotional wounds you speak of are often permanent based on what I saw and remember. However, I do recall that a number of young women who had a baby out of wedlock later found husbands within the church and they seemed to do well in life. Old AP

  4. Well written and all too true