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How the Church Hurt Me and How God Brought Me Back by Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

 So excited to share these words, written by Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros. She recollected a moment when her family was hit with racism. It occurred in the most unlikely of places. And it reminds me that even still, we must be reconcilers of LOVE ALONE. Because Christ is a spirit, and our skin tones should be the last thing we are judged by. A crucial story indeed. Please visit Cisneros Cafe and subscribe to her lovely words today..

 

Have you ever felt left out at church?

When I was a teen, my family sampled churches like one samples wine in small town Texas.  My family and I were always trying to find a place to fit in.

I remember the time when we had rushed out of a church toward our car, our chests struggled from lack of air.

It was then that my grandma managed to heave her declaration, “Esa gente!  Those people!”

She jolted her tissue around like a fisherman yanks their lake-line, when the snagged fish is too big to reel in.

Something about esa gente making fun of her crooked English.  More hurt she was than angry.

“Don’t they know who God is?” She fought back tears, her words spilled over in Spanish.

That is the first time the church hurt me.

I would find we were not welcomed at many of these churches because we were not white.

And I blamed God because I had thought that “where two or more gathered” there He was supposed to be.

How could He be there and let them do that to us?

I placed my anger on a pedestal of pain.

Years later, I found myself sitting in a church, which would later become my home church.

You see, God always drew me back even if,

I rolled my eyes

stubbornly walked in the doors

and counted the minutes until the closing.

I was there because my heart could not be apart from Him.

God needed me to hear something after many years of hating the church for dividing me.

#offense The experience had divided me--it blistered my soul with its supposed hatred.

It blurred an image of Christians and I had idolized pain and offense.

The pastor uttered many words from the pulpit that morning, but the phrase that pierced through my very core was:

We were not meant to follow other Christians; we were meant to follow Christ.

 

Did you know that, friend?  I cried on it for days.  I had idolized the churchgoers because I let them hold so much of my heart. I disconnected from Jesus because of people.

God always welcomes us home like prodigal children.  His ways are higher.  His grace is sufficient. When we make people feel unwelcome because they are not like us, it sends the wrong image of whom God is. There is also a real danger in idolizing people and feelings.

 

Both are absent of the peace of Christ, which is the greatest blessing God gives us.

But he changes our name in the midst of the struggle; He casts us in a new light.

“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”  Genesis 32:28

So when I find myself digging up this past hurt, I bring myself to the beginning because there is no healing like the grace of our Savior.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Genesis 28:15

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I am Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros. I am a writer, poet, card maker, and creator of Cisneros Cafe. I love finding value in my mess. Grab your coffee, let’s go! Together, let’s shine God’s light on the mess.

 

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14 COMMENTS
  • Megs
    2 years ago

    Carolina, what a light of Him you will be throughout your life to others… Who will be welcomed in with open arms and not have to experience what you did… Because you let God touch your heart and teach you through it. Happy Weekend!
    Megs

    • Amen, my sweet friend. Life is a constant lesson. What can I learn from God through every situation. Sometimes I forget, but always imperative. Happy weekend! ❤️

  • Carolina, what a beautiful post! It reminds me a bit about my recent post on racism and the Church. It is so unfortunate that you and your family encountered such racism in the Church. I truly believe racism is such demonic spirit because of the way it makes people treat other people. Racism hurts people and causes wounds! Yet, it’s good to know that God truly confirms our identity. Whatever racist names or statements we have heard from others cannot compare to the sweet words of Jesus! He calls us beloved! Thank you for sharing another powerful testimony.

    • Thanks my wonderful friend. The post you wrote definitely sparked something in me to be able to open up about it. I have to learn to be as gracious as my family. My grandma no longer remembers that incident. She made peace with it. I thank God for the peace he allows us to hold. And I thank him I am no longer bound to that lie. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read. You’re an inspiration. God bless you dearly. Xoxoxo

  • Jessica,

    Thank you so much for allowing me to write about this and for sharing that with others. I am honored and grateful to be a guest blogger for Malleable. Many blessings to you on this journey.

    xoxo

    • Jessica Galán
      2 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank YOU for your PALABRAS! Mujer divina de Dios. Xo

  • Christina Hubbard
    2 years ago

    Carolina, this is right on. I was just thinking today—I don’t have many friends in my mostly white suburban area that are different than me in ethnicity. Your post spurs me to fill that void! I’m so glad I have your friendship and words to challenge me and inspire.

    • Jessica Galán
      2 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Caro will have Christina speaking like a Latina by the time SheSpeaks is over…more like: She Speaks Spanish ; )

      • Hahaha, Jessica. La verdad? Pensabe que posiblemente Christina era Latina. It was a thought I had that possibly, just possibly, Christina might be Latina. 🙂 Excited to meet everyone. One day I will get to hug you too, Jessica.

    • Thank you, my beautiful hermana. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and for the encouragement for us to all press forward. xoxo Have a blessed week.

  • Vernice
    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this my beautiful sister! Truly a reminder to keep our hearts and souls on Christ not Christians. Selah. Blessings 💖 Vernice

    • Gracias, Vernice! I enjoyed your post as well. Beautiful. Thank you for reading and have a blessed week, friend.

  • Martina Gallegos
    2 years ago

    Again, my friend, this hits home. First, my mother was betrayed by the church she was loyal to when she most needed and sought support. Then it happened to my older brother who also sought support during difficult times. It happened to me when I needed a place to do my Practicum; my local church ignored all kinds of communication and visits in person especially when they saw me using a cane. I then contacted all other Catholic and Christian churches just to be ignored or rejected without explanation. So I decided they could keep their hypocrisy, but I also know there are many good and great Catholic and Christian people. Thank you for sharing, Carolina.

    • Martina, my beautiful friend. I’m so sorry for the hurt the church caused you. I’m so glad that you know good people that show you hope. The church’s superiority complex is a virus that must be stopped, but alas it takes good people wanting to do right by God to link arms to promote goodness and hope. You are not alone, friend. How powerful and humbling to know that among the mess, God’s love holds us all. So much love to you. I could just wrap you up in hugs right now.

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