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 I start the 11th and final step of the process within the journal process for the book, Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps To Spiritual Freedom. I started this journey some months back and am grateful that in many ways I had started my own journey to recovery earlier with the writing of my book, The Keystone Kid. I wish I would have had this book years ago when I struggled with my own recovery. I realize now, that the understanding of who God is, and relying and trusting on Him is critical, if not key to the recovery process.
As I think back on my walk with Christ over the years I reflect on things that have stuck with me like, ‘Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words,’ or ‘let my life be the light that shines on a hill,’ or even the recognition that when observing Jesus’ interactions with others, he didn’t beat them over the head with his message, and most of the time they actually initiated the conversation with him. I have realized, my life if lived in a loving way with God, will result in others asking me about my faith. For those that know the horrors of my life, they find it hard to believe because I have moved to where I am no longer the person I was. God lives in me and I have a loving, lasting relationship with the creator of the universe.
In that relationship I have found security that can’t be explained. While others seek to tear down, destroy, or ruin the ministry I am involved in, they simply don’t understand, I have peace with the creator because I have a relationship with him. With that relationship, comes an understanding that no matter what anyone else says or does, I have peace because I serve a creator who gives peace.
This process of living for, sharing Jesus with others has moved me over the years; it is the single thing that drives me to keep on doing what I do, not to proselytize of beat people over the head, but to share a love and forgiveness that awaits them that can’t be understood unless it is experienced. I am grateful that years ago I learned to surrender in order to experience the goodness of God. I make mistakes, I may even forget, but I am always drawn back to the goodness of God that sets me free.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. ~ Philippians 2: 14, 15
Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~ Hebrews 12: 1 – 3
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth.”
And after he had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. ~ Acts 1: 7-9
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