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.
As I have been going through the journal process I have been able to pretty much do, and post every aspect of the process, that is with the exception of today. To maintain the confidence of those I have done wrong, I will leave names out. I know there are those I have wrong to due to my abuse. I have and will continue to try and make amends with them because it is what God expects of me. Unfortunately, many of those were also victims; it doesn’t make the process any easier.
Today I also think about those who continue to do me harm, continue to be critical, and continue to care about all of their issues, without ever taking into consideration the issues and experiences I have gone through. I would hope for a little joy regarding my own recovery, instead I seem to get the opposite. It is one of the reasons it is so easy to isolate and not trust. To think that I may have perpetuated this type of attitude on others as a result of how I have responded to my own abuse is troubling. I find myself asking God to remove whole blocks of memory, he doesn’t though. I have to learn the importance of coming together in community with those God has commanded me to love. It isn’t the lovable I love that is a witness to my relationship with God, it is my willingness, and my efforts to love the hard to love, those who have, and will continue to hurt me that my witness is displayed.
Today, I struggle; I struggle because trying to do things Gods’ way is not easy, in fact, not only is it difficult, it is difficult trying to figure out which thing I do first.
God, help me forgive those I need to, help me to know what to do. I also ask that in my own struggles I don’t forget those I have hurt. While others may not be willing to do right by me, I ask that you will motivate and move me to do right by others. Help me to not only forgive, but to seek forgiveness in areas I need to.
Dear Children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. ~ 1st John 3:18
If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. ~ Matthew 5: 23, 24
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