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’s journal entry requests that I write about the pain and difficulty of dealing with my own difficulties of dealing with my abuses, the wrongs I have done and so forth. I did this some time ago but think it is worthwhile to affirm the steps requested in the book, especially Step 7.
As I was writing my book The Keystone Kid and dealing with my past there were many transgressions on my part. I found myself not only dealing with the pain of my past as I was in many ways reliving it, I found myself doing some pretty stupid and damaging things to myself. I have spoken about those things but I don’t know if I have ever written about them. There were times as I was going through the process of dealing with the pains of my past that I honestly didn’t know if my marriage would survive. We even spoke about the likelihood of divorce. I regressed in my behavior and actions which I have greatly regretted. On one occasion, I had a friend holding my head as I threw up from drinking too much, I had other issues I dealt with, none of which were good regarding how I thought of my self, or how I behaved around others.
In many ways, this process was the most painful, difficult time of my Christian walk. I rebelled against God and was so far from being like Jesus it was ridiculous. One Easter Sunday after arguing with my wife where I spent more time away from home than at home it was on the drive to work I heard a story of Yolanda Adams on the radio. Her story had me reflect on my grandmother and the prayers she had said for me as I was growing up. I was reminded that I shouldn’t ‘throw away my grandmas prayers.’ It was then I decided to surrender to God and get my life back in order.
Over the years, I have thought, was it worth it to go through the pain? Looking back on it, I honestly don’t know how to answer the question. What I can say is I am at a better place now having dealt with the issues of my past head on. If being in a better place makes it worth it, it was worth it. It doesn’t negate the difficulty of what I went through. Things could have turned out worse than they did, thankfully they didn’t and for that, I am grateful.
Today, I know people are reading this that is dealing with this type of conflict and they know how much it hurts, and how difficult it is to deal with the issues regarding their abuse and subsequent actions. To accept the monsters we have become is not easy, but recovery, healing, and becoming whole is a better place to be. I still need healing, but I know God will continue to forgive and help me. I suspect, if he has, and will continue that for me, he will for you.
Father, thank you for forgiving me of the things I have done wrong. Thank you for being constant through the healing process in my life. I ask that you would give confidence to those who need to go through the same process for their lives. I pray they will have wisdom, and stay on the path that leads to joy and ultimately the light you can provide in their lives.
I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only a little love. – Luke 7:47
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