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.
A number of years ago now I was meeting a pastor friend at the Ram Café in Owasso Oklahoma. I will never forget him asking, ‘What’s the matter Mike, I’m one of your pastors can’t you trust me.’ My response was quick and to the point, ‘If you knew how many pastors had hurt me and let me down you would know that I can’t trust anyone except myself and the Lord and sometimes I doubt myself.’ Having someone to trust has been a critical part of my recovery in the last months, not just recovery though, but in my ability to find peace.
I meet with that friend on a regular basis and he has become someone I can trust, it has taken some time to get to this point. I know I can trust this person and he will be honest with me, even today, I had a meeting I was not looking forward to, yet he found a way to tell me that while it may not be something I will enjoy, I need to go to it and I will be a better person because of it. This person has earned my trust so his wisdom is valuable.
In the process of developing trust I want to say it’s all on me, but I have come to realize it isn’t all on me. I don’t trust much of the time because people have given me reason to not trust. I would caution just as the book states today, make sure you are careful in deciding who you trust. After years of struggle, I have my wife, children, and no more than 2 or 3 friends I can trust. I still find myself in the dangerous place of trusting people I shouldn’t and getting hurt.
Today I pray; Father I realize my own need to have more people I can trust, I ask that you provide them. I thank you for those I can trust now, it has been a hard and long journey and even though I find myself at times doubting, you have provided those who care and who love. I thank you for that. I ask the same for others, I know I need friends and so do others.
The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil ~ Matthew 12:35
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. ~ Proverbs 17:17
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24
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