i had someone tell me last week that i needed to “get over it.” i need to get over my hurt and pain related to the white, suburban evangelical megachurch and move on. i read the words several times and wanted to scream and shout at the top of my lungs “don’t you think i want to, you idiot!” of course I want to get over it. do you think i want to waste any more time feeling the pain of this wound? of spending any more energy afraid, angry, or crippled? of course i don’t, who would? but it’s so much more complicated than a simple, “well, it’s time to get over it.” this right here is my problem with the unwritten rules of the evangelical church—if we believe enough, we won’t struggle…if we will our minds to submit to God, it will all be over with…grief is bad…feeling angry is prideful…if we say the right words that will make everyone feel comfortable right, we will get off the hook. i am absolutely positive that works for millions of avid church-goers. they can do it, they can pull it off. but what about those of us who can’t? where does this leave us? i have more compassion than i have ever had for those who are struggling with forgiveness, confusion, and just plain old anger at God. He just doesn’t make sense a lot of the time. He calls us to hard things, He asks us to look at the ugliness in our hearts, He asks us to turn the other cheek….and He also asks us to stand up against the status quo. the status quo when it comes to pain in the church is “it’s time to get over it.” that is nothing new. for years and years pastors and ministry leaders have been telling hurting people that it’s time to get over it. and that timetable always seems to be written by others who somehow have the bead on how long it should take. i heard a story a few weeks ago about someone who was struggling a few months after losing their spouse, and a ministry leader said “is she still having such a hard time?” unbelievable but true. we always presume to know that we understand what is going on inside of a person; and we base that on whether or not they are saying things the way that we feel comfortable with. if we hear words that include “prayer,” “the Lord”, and “oh yes, i have forgiven” then we feel better but if we hear rawness, honesty we start to get uncomfortable, fidgety. i know Jesus wants me to get over it, i am quite certain of it. He and i are working hard on this but it is not coming cheap or easy. i might not ever be able to give some people the exact response, use the right language that will make them feel comfortable that my “heart must be in the right place.” no one knows what it’s like exactly to be me and i don’t know what it’s like exactly to be anyone else. you see, that is my problem with trite spiritual answers like that—they presume. no questions were asked: how is your healing process going? where are you now compared to last year? what do you think God has really been teaching you about His heart through all of this? how can you use some of these things you are learning to build a healthy ministry? what is Jesus really busting you on right now? that’s why i so desperately cling to the glorious people in my life who can do that for me, who don’t expect me to “get over it” but keep calling me towards Jesus, who believe it’s possible to lead and also be wounded, who aren’t waiting for me to say the exact right words so that they know “i’m healed”. they accept that i am getting over it and will stick with me as long as it takes. i think that’s what real spiritual transformation is all about—the long haul, not the quick, right answers that make the outside of our cup look clean.