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.
One of the things I did some time ago was to forgive those who abused me, whether, physically, sexually, of spiritually. It was one of the best things I have done. I don’t know if those I have forgiven fully understand the forgiveness that has been offered, mainly because a part of my ministry is helping others who have been abused. There is an assumption that because I choose to help others, that I haven’t forgiven them. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I know that abuse is a cyclical thing, my abusers; at least many if not all of them were abused themselves, especially those sexually abused, but not just them, many others I have come into contact with that has been spiritually abused. The cycle is something hard to understand unless you have been there. I am grateful that God gave me the courage and ability to address the abuse in my life. I decided it would stop in my life. That isn’t to say it has been easy, it hasn’t, but it is to say, that to get to a place of forgiveness is to discover a place God can work. I am grateful that I hear daily from people who have been blessed by the work God has given me. While I care for those I have forgiven, if they aren’t okay with my work then that is on them. I’m not wishing anything negative on them; instead, I am finding satisfaction in doing the things God has done for, and through me. God has truly taken the tragic events of my life, the abuse of all types, and allowed me to see him work.
There is much good that has come about through my abuse, it isn’t to say I am thankful for it, I am not, but I am thankful for the work I have seen God do. He truly can take that meant for evil, and turn it around for good if we allow him to by forgiving those who have done us harm.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free. ~ Galatians 5:1
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. ~ Colossians 3: 14-17
I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
For Your loving kindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. ~ Psalm 86: 12, 13
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