Laura Lentz is breaking her silence six months after her husband Carl Lentz was fired from Hillsong Church.
On May 5, the couple's 18th wedding anniversary, the mother of three took to Instagram to send a message to her followers. In her first post since last October, Laura shared a picture of the palm trees she's looked at every day for the past few months and reflected on their symbolism.
"A few that have resonated with me during this season of my life," she began, "they are strong, can weather the biggest storms, they always grow upwards. Freedom, righteousness, reward, resurrection just to name a few..."
And while her post didn't mention Carl's scandal specifically, it did paint a picture of what life has been like over the past few months. For instance, Laura explained she's been away from social media because it's not been good for her soul.
"I have blocked & deleted more people & comments than I can count," she continued. "Trolls are cowards, SOME 'Christians' are anything but kind, gracious, or loving...but that won't stop me from growing upwards & getting stronger."
She also said she's learned a lot about herself. "Now more than ever I know the kindness of God, His grace, forgiveness & strength," Laura wrote. "I have found true friendships—the ones who have been with me on the mountaintops are the same ones who are with me during my darkest valley!! I will not forget who abandoned us, but I choose to keep my heart free of bitterness & remain thankful for those that have stayed & loved us."
Near the end of her post, Laura noted she doesn't "want to judge others" nor does she want to be judged. "One thing a friend told me during this time is, 'I would rather be accused of being too gracious toward someone, over being accused of judging someone too harshly,'" she concluded. "I want to be known as a woman who sees the good in people & truly loves people unconditionally. #YouCanOnlyChangeYou #LoveWins #GrowUpwards."
Hillsong Church's Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston announced Carl's termination in November 2020, noting this action was "taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."
In a later Instagram post, Carl, who had been a lead pastor at the church's New York location, admitted he had been "unfaithful" in his marriage. About two weeks later, a woman named Ranin Karim told Vanity Fair she and Carl had an affair. Page Six also published an audio recording that it reported was of Brian talking to church executives and top donors about Carl's termination and saying "these issues were more than one affair." E! News reached out to Carl and Hillsong for comment at the time but did not hear back.