To be human is to live by sunlight and moonlight, with anxiety and delight, admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up. To want a life with only half of these things in it is to want half a life…
Step 1 of learning to walk in the dark is to give up running the show.
Barbara Taylor Brown Learning to Walk in the Dark
Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
John 9:39 ESV
4 survivors of spiritual abuse closed down a restaurant last night.
We didn’t fix one another.
We didn’t have any answers for each other about what our futures would hold.
We listened to one another with great understanding that can come only with having walked the same path.
We have all had to learn to walk in the dark feeling our way around like a person who has recently lost their sight.
And great comfort came knowing that we were not alone.
Thank God, we are not alone.
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
Philippians 3:10 ESV
My heart broke all over again listening to stories of crushed expectations, shattered lives, and devastated hope.
Spiritual abuse deals the worst kind of wound that stabs us in the most important part of our lives – our faith.
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
Acts 20:29-31 ESV
We don’t have to wonder why the author of Acts admonished fellow Christians with tears about savage wolves who rip apart the flock. We have cried these same tears, and we don’t want anyone else to suffer in this way, and that’s why we are crying out.
Yet one of the most crushing truths is that so often our tears and cries are not heard by other members of the flock that we want to spare from this same pain.
So many have walked away, not wanting to believe their pastor was capable of such evil.
So many have given sage advice to just forgive and forget – hold hands with their abuser once again singing kumbaya.
So many have called the victim a perpetrator, because that is easier for their minds to comprehend.
So many have chosen to protect the institution of the church, rather than the victim.
So many have left us to suffer alone.
How did we get so far away from the original message of the Gospel? The great truth that sets us free? The love that ministers to the hurting and casts out fear? The unseen hope we cling to together when things get very dark? The fellowship of His suffering that brings us closer together not further apart? How did so many conclude that Christianity is supposed to be more like Disneyland than a life where we are called to walk in the steps of our Lord who sacrificed His life for our sins? How did we get so comfortable? Where did we go so wrong?
I don’t know, but what I do know is Jesus was with us last night as we shared our stories, and I believe that He wept.
If you are a victim of spiritual abuse, He is weeping with you, too.
You are not alone.
He will never leave you alone.
So please hold on.
The Hope of Survivors is there to support you, if you need help.
Were it not for them my husband and I would not have met Tammy and Eddie last night. I’m forever indebted to this organization.
To be understood is everything.
Don’t suffer alone. Reach out to The Hope of Survivors
And if you are able to give, please do so at this link.