Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
Today is a kind of strange place for me to be in regards to the journaling process. To be honest, I don’t blame God for the situations I am in, have been in or will be in. There was a time I did that, but not the last number of years. I have been able to see the differences between the actions of God, and the actions of those who call themselves followers of God.
I do desire recovery, I desire to move beyond, but there seems to be something that digs at my soul, my spirit that at times has me wanting to get even or get back at those who have hurt me. I realize in this area that I am not at the place God would have me. Is it natural to want to get back? How do I respond to these desires? Are the desires ever appropriate? Does anyone stand up against those who hurt, abuse, and treat others in an inappropriate way, all in the name of God? I don’t know these answers.
In my journey, I often get asked when doing presentations as to why me? Or maybe, how have I overcome? The truth is I know I have a long ways to go on my journey. I am not yet at the place God would have me. I also know there are those who are at times called to bring awareness and attention to those who would do harm, and misspeak the ways of God. I have been told that people never need to do that; God will take care of himself. While I know God can deal with it, I am just not convinced that we should remain silent when we see the wrongs, or the falsehoods presented in the name of God. It is here, that I know I need clarity, direction, and healing.
I know God is good, I know He cares for me. I am convinced He has been there with me all along the way, including the times I have cursed and questioned Him. I just need delivery in the way He wants; I can ask for God to bring me to the place He wants. I am hesitant though to forget about the past, the abuser, and the hurt because I am not sure that is what God wants. I know of His healing, I know of His love, I don’t know that he would have me address the hurts and pains others perpetuate on others in the name of God. I know that at times God calls people forth to speak on His behalf, I want to be careful, I don’t want to abuse or hurt anyone, but I honestly don’t know if I am ready to let go either. That isn’t to say I don’t want there to be a place of love and forgivingness, I do, but I want to follow the ways of God, not just God. I honestly believe that when I follow God I will follow His ways. To hold each other accountable to do the same is something I desire for myself.
God would have me find peace, of that I am sure. Peace is not always an easy place to find, but my primary relationship has to be with God. I am confident; it is the place God would have me. I think God would tell me, that it is in Him that I find my assurances, my hope, not people. I can look at the longevity of our relationship, and know that while there have been mistakes on my part, that it has been a good relationship, with growth and progress. I think God would also tell me to look at the consistency of those who make it difficult at times. When one has gone through so many broken relationships, I need to be careful to use caution and judgment when they give me advice on things like relationship or marriage. When I have spent time in the Word, and others question or use the wisdom of men, or political parties, I need to have confidence that my assurance is in God, not my country, or a political party. There are those who would hurt, be critical yet they don’t walk in the light of God and make excuses why they aren’t becoming like Jesus. I think God would tell me to remember that when I am hurt by others, or when others choose to reflect on my past by using scripture out of context, to remember, that even the Devil uses scripture, and the way scripture is used is critical in the determining what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate.
Make sure to check the blog archive to follow this journal through its entirety, plus an interview with author Jack Watts and the review of the book.
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