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.
Well here is where the rubber meets the road; today, I want to wallow in the pain, although I know its not the best thing for me. It has been tough to feel like others don’t appreciate my efforts. I have willingly given up much of my income, but is it wrong to want to feel appreciated for the efforts I have made? Right now, at this moment, I don’t feel appreciated and I want to wallow, not so much in the pain of the past, but in the pain of the present, unfortunately, I can’t help but wonder, how the past has impacted my present.
That all said; I know I have to see the promise of things God has for me. I know God knows my heart, He knows of the sacrifices my wife and I have made, but it doesn’t always make those sacrifices easy, I guess that is why they call them sacrifices. I know I have to focus on the eternal things of God. That may require changes but I don’t want to make changes if it means I can’t serve and help others who have been hurt. Someone has to be there to share the hope that exists.
I want to be happy, I want to have my needs met, but the appreciation, respect and value placed on me as a human being are in many ways more important. I want people to respect the work I have done enough to value it in various ways, yes including not just the respect level, but also financial. I want to make a living touching, helping and blessing others. I know I can use my education and skills to do that with conditions on sharing my faith for others, making money, but the extreme poor, those who can’t afford those services are the people I know God can use me to touch; those are the people Christ in part died for and commands us to reach. Even here though, I feel guilty. It goes back to the Tony character and others who don’t understand, who say things like, ‘get a real job!’ I know that if they and others got it, they would understand that many people can’t afford the help I have given so someone or some ministry has to be there to provide. Is it wrong to want to help the poor so much that you yourself are poor because of it? I see what I do as a real job because I see, touch and am used by God to touch real people. I guess it goes back to that long-suffering concept for me.
I pray that a year from now, I will be able to provide for my family all they need. I grieve and hurt due to the sacrifices my wife has made to enable the ministry I am involved in to take place, yet I don’t know if many have ever thanked her. I want her to have fulfillment and be at a place of joy in experiencing the blessings of touching others that God has provided me.
God can do these things; I think He wants to. I also believe others who have a free-will are a part of the process. I don’t think it was God’s will to hurt me through the abuse of others, but He did find a way to bring it to a place where good can happen. I know He can do the same thing with my current situation. God can turn that meant for evil and turn it around for good. I have to keep the confidence that if God will and has turned the bad around for good. It is my hearts desire to touch others, I know God will continue to bless, if not now certainly in my eternal future. Emotionally, God has worked miracles in my life. He has regarding finance but there are too many valleys to keep me happy all of the time. I have to grow in this area. I want to feel appreciated.
Dear God, I just want to be appreciated and take care of basic needs in my life, it is really hard. Please, let your Spirit work on my heart so I can be satisfied with what You have provided.
Today I will quote the two recommended passages from the book but I will use the CEV.
~ Psalm 25:15-17
(15) I always look to you, because you rescue me from every trap.
(16) I am lonely and troubled.
Show that you care and have pity on me.
(17) My awful worries keep growing.
Rescue me from sadness.
~ Genesis 50:19-20
(19) But Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid! I have no right to change what God has decided. (20) You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing.
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