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.
After this mornings readings I am thinking of the old Hee Haw song, “Gloom Despair.”
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Truth is, and I know I have done it; sometimes it seems as if I think the world owes me a nice bottle of whine (pun intended) on a silver platter. I am glad I am not at this state as much as I used to be, I can’t help but think it may make me more likeable to those I come into contact with.
Unfortunately, there are many who still think that because of their situation, because of their environment, the world owes them. Abuse is a characteristic that doesn’t help this attitude, we know we have been done wrong, we know others are trying to exercise what they think is their spiritual wisdom or ‘authority.’ It is time to stand up though, not in the area of complaining, but in the area of challenging and moving forward, expecting, and knowing, it rains on the just and the unjust. In other words, yes it is true, bad crap happens to good people and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it because God loves us so much, he created us with a mind of our own that allows these things called humans to at times, do stupid things, even things that hurt other people. The alternative would have been for God to create robots, but if he had done that, we would have no freedoms of our own to do anything.
While others have done wrong to me, I have to get over it and move on; doing what I know is best and what God would have me do. I think the thing that helped me in regards to this was my mother. While she was one of my abusers, I always focused on myself. It wasn’t until close to her death that some things I had suspected were confirmed. It was as I looked at her life, her own abuse, that I considered the life she had led. I think the difference for me is I had God in my life. I am still working on areas of hurt, confusion and more. Yet, I needed to look at and consider my mother. It was as I was able to forgive and find a love for her that ultimately I begin to experience the fullness of God’s mercy and call on my life.
I am not saying any of us should forget the pain, nor should we ignore the situations, and hurt, or like those who have abused us. I am saying this, as I have learned to look at those who have hurt me through eyes of compassion and an attempt to understand them, I am able to find peace in my life and move on. It isn’t easy, heck at times it seems nearly impossible, but it is for my benefit.
I don’t expect God to ‘do everything for me’ and/or ‘make life wonderful.’ I realize the nature of the fallen world we live in and I appreciate the freedoms God has given me. That doesn’t mean it is easy though, the cross Christ calls for me to carry daily wasn’t easy for him either. Was it worth it though? I think that for the sake of relationship, and seeing others come to the place of salvation, it was absolutely worth it and I am grateful. I can only imagine, if I give in, I can see his message of love carried on to others with the forgiveness and sacrifice I offer them. I pray that God helps me do that, even in the hard times, and man oh man, I know there are places, with people I need to do that today because their intent on tearing my life apart, or hurting me isn’t God’s intent, but it is God’s intent that we love, even our enemies and those who would do us harm.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~ Philippians 3: 10, 11
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Fr the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. ~ Romans 8: 18, 19
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you will rejoice with exultation. ~ 1 Peter 4: 12, 13
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