I took some time this week to go back and read some of my posts here since I started writing almost four years ago.
Time has indeed healed a lot.
God has kept me from drowning in grief.
After reading several things I’ve written, I recognized a common thread. Almost every post has been an effort to process the abuse and manipulation that I succumbed to and understand how it happened. I have struggled to get to the root of the problem and how to prevent it from happening again.
On a side note, I recently did an Enneagram personality test and discovered that I am a 5, also called The Investigator. I laughed inside a little when I read it, because my husband has been calling me this for years. I do not like not knowing, and I will keep digging and asking until I figure things out. Sometimes it’s helpful, however sometimes I struggle to let go of what I do not understand. I become obsessive, get frustrated and disillusioned when I am powerless to get the answer I am looking for. That’s when I start to wrestle with God. Often times what results is a blog post.
I believe as I have written here, not only have I recognized some core issues of my own that made me vulnerable to being abused, but I have also seen some problems in the church and it’s pastors that have made these institutions ripe for abuse. However, I still do not know my former pastor’s heart and if he intentionally set out to abuse me. Only God knows.
I wish I could understand and know everything that caused the spiritual abuse to happen. I wish I could solve the problem and find a way to prevent it from happening to anyone ever again. It is truly one of the most most harmful things that can happen to a person. When our souls are attacked, so much of our identity and hope is, too.
A couple of days ago, I listened to a seminar by Richard Rohr called Emotional Sobriety, and realized a big part of healing that needs to occur in my own heart is learning to let go of the unanswered questions. To trust God with what I do not know. To begin to release these things that I have held onto in an effort to feel in control.
I took a big step of faith last week, I shared a recent blog post with the pastor and a female minister in the church. I received encouraging and affirming feedback from both of them. It helped a lot. They have suffered their own spiritual wounds in the church, too. Wounded healers are the only ones who can bring us relief.
Richard Rohr says,
When a person is on a serious inner journey to his or her own powerlessness and is also in immediate contact with the powerless men and women of the world, then community will result.
“Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go” by Richard Rohr
There is still so much that I don’t know, but what I do know is that I have to move forward one step at a time, letting go of control and trusting God with what I do not know.
It’s taken me a long time to get here, and I in no way imply that where I am is where others need to be. God works in our lives individually. He meets us where we are. Some spiritual abuse victims do not believe they will ever trust the church again. God will meet you, too, wherever you are. He is a good Father who loves us very much. His desire ultimately is for us is to find peace in knowing this.
Driving home the other day from coffee with a friend, a picture came to my mind of a boat coming to rest on the shore. I heard it scrub softly against the sand so clearly it was like I was sitting inside the boat. It was a strange thing to think about as I was traveling through the hilly countryside with the radio turned up loud, but somewhere deep inside it made me feel at peace. Maybe it means at least for a time that my soul has found rest from the stormy sea of confusion and doubt. Maybe it means I am finally learning to let go and trust God with what’s ahead.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
James 1:5-8 MSG
Song for reflection:
I Won’t Let You Go by Switchfoot