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  • Judith Parello

When Pain PUSH-es You Into Purpose

What separates the forgiver from the mistrust of hurt? It is the one who finds true freedom in forgiveness. Have you ever been stuck? Not knowing which doors to open and which ones to shut when sacred places become flawed, protocols abused, and authoritative figures no longer play by the book?

Richelle Milson a Torontonian and native of Jamaican-Panamanian heritage, is a devoted mother, daughter, sister, and a believer in Jesus Christ. With a background in early childhood education, she is a social worker and creator of the My Life’s Journey with Ri podcast, a platform where she freely speaks to empower woman to love themselves wholeheartedly no matter what they have done, been through, or where they are now in their lives. Richelle, now an author, also shares her story in the pages of her latest book, When Church Hurts, which is a powerful testament to overcoming pain, finding forgiveness and eventually reconciliation with one's faith.


“…I’ve been grieved, disappointed, hurt, you name it,” she wrote, “I thank God for healing. Even writing this book has brought healing and allowed me to continue to always check myself not through my lens but through the lens of the Holy Spirit.”

She keeps her momentum by breaking through barriers, crossing unceasing borders of wounds, brokenness, hurt and mistrust. She learns to cultivate healthy boundaries in her life’s journey to healing from the hurt of the church community and living again through her faith. Fuelled by the fact that many people have experienced church hurt with no one held accountable to confront the issues but rather to suffer in silence, Richelle made the bold decision to put ink to paper.

Her story connects to the many lives of individuals who have experienced being stuck in unforgiveness resonated from the people and environments who toil in church hurt. How to achieve true freedom by pushing past your hurt, pain and severed faith.

“I took breaks as it was overwhelming. It was like you were going to battle,” she explains.

In isolation, she had conversations with her God where she told him that she was done with His people, as she was becoming more reluctant and hesitant to get involved to do the whole church thing.


“But, I needed a break from church, I took a step back for my own mental health, for my own piece of mind,” she says. “Being amongst church members and attending church became a chore rather than a relationship.”


She was scrutinized and investigated for having friendships with individuals who had no longer attended their congregation. Noted in the Bible, we are not to forsake assembling with your friends of the church, but her reverence to worship became sporadic and led her into a sabbatical, which she describes as YouTube university on bedrock, at bedside tabernacle – that was her Ministry.


Where once discussions were eschewed and forbidden about unethical misconduct in the church and amongst the people, Richelle’s experiences have ignited conversations among individuals. Now, even religious entities are catching fire.


When Richelle is not busy volunteering, working or mentoring, she is diligently carrying the mantle of hope in her community and advocates for the many who have experienced church hurt. The My Life’s Journey with Ri podcast and newfound place of church fellowship is the driving force to discover, foster and nurture new seeds of hope to cultivate her reaffirmed faith. She expresses her sincere gratitude to the loving saints and overseers Apostle Daniel Wynter and First Lady Nadeen Wynter of Open Arms COJC.


“… just me having conversation with healthy leaders; I thank God for my Apostle Daniel and Lady Wynter,” said Milson, “even though I was at a place where I was a visitor at their church, I was still able to connect with sound men and women of God who had their own experiences…and I think made a major difference for me where I could trust again.”


Richelle’s book, When Church Hurts, is a true testament to her experiences, how she finds strength and, in her vulnerability, the power of perseverance and the push into her purpose, rising above adversity even when it hurts. Richelle’s writing and transparency as she shares her experiences of church hurt have tailored her healing process, slayed her fears, birthed her voice, and empowered her to be a ray of light for others.


Her life’s mission is to encourage and navigate countless individuals how to prevail through their own experiences of church hurt and push into their journey towards restoration.


“This ride ain’t easy,” says Richelle, “ but it sure is worth it!”


Story by: Judith Parello

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