Dear 100 Hour Board,
I'm a currently inactive member of the church who wants to come back. However, I'm a little bit nervous about returning due to my own foolishness. When I went inactive, I was in a bad place both spiritual and mental health wise. So out of a desire to be left alone, I lied to my local church leaders and friends and told them that I was moving to another city. Of course they believed me and now I feel horrible about this deception. I want to come clean but I'm also worried that they will judge me. Then again, I shouldn't have lied and maybe they are right to judge. How should I proceed? Should I just come back and not mentioning this lie? I don't think that's right either. Please give me some advice. Thank you!
It sounds like your decision was made out of extreme mental and spiritual duress. When you're under a lot of stress and pressure, you're not going to be the most rational person. So first of all, don't blame yourself too harshly. Now that you're doing better, you can see the decision you made isn't one you would make in your current mindset. But it probably made sense and was rational for you when you were in that previous state. Don't beat yourself up over an action you took when you were spiritually and mentally trying to survive.
If I was in your shoes, I would probably just tell people who asked that the move didn't work out. However, to my closest friends and church leaders I would tell them the truth. While I don't think everyone needs to know, there are some people who do. I would have faith that the people I confide in would have the love and understanding to support and encourage me. This may not be the right action for you, but that's why we have prayer, and I have no doubt that God will help you with this.
Best of luck, and if you ever want to talk to anyone about this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-guppy of doom