It is bittersweet to wrap up the series on Spiritual Abuse. My original intent was not to continue into my story of the aftermath, but as I neared the end, I felt compelled to keep writing. It has been vulnerable, even unnerving, being so open, but I have no regrets.
The process has been therapeutic, making me realize how fortunate, and how blessed I am to have that freedom, and taking me to deeper freedom.
A highlight has been the messages I received from you, my friends and readers, thanking me for giving a voice to your pain, and your stories. My experience with Spiritual Abuse is not uncommon. Many of your lives have run parallel in many ways, causing you to feel and experience your pain. I pray that you will sense Jesus as your Comforter, through the Holy Spirit, and that believers will come along side you, and support you. We were not created to walk through these things along.
This blog series has opened doors to friendship and communication that are encouraging to me and make me realize that I am not alone in my experiences. It is exciting to see God move and to hear testimonies of what He is doing in your lives. Thank you for sharing your hearts with me. You gave me courage to keep writing, when the raw vulnerability made me want to start deleting blogs, rather than posting them.
Like many of you, who have carried your pain and your story in silence, I struggle with the same thoughts and fears you have. Yes, I share openly and write it for the whole world to read, but that doesn’t silence the fears and the doubts.
…Will I be judged by Christians for my story? …Was there something wrong with me that I brought these things on myself? …Did I deserve the abuse? …Will people believe the truth? …Why stir the pot and bring the pain of other victims to the forefront? …Does the church have the right to do these things—is it biblical?
As I shared my story I muddled through these feelings. Some days were harder than others. But the most difficult question of all is …Can the reader handle the truth or is my story too overwhelming?
No one wants to be too much, too overwhelming. So we choose silence because we fear the isolation that comes with the awareness that no one can handle our story. We fear the rejection. And judgement.
Some of you shared these struggles—the fear that you would not be understood, the fear of opening up the raw pain inside of you. Some of you shared and then sent apology notes for having ‘dumped’ on me. I consider it an honour that you trusted me with your stories. And I know that God holds your story dear to His heart. (Psalm 139:14-16)
I have concluded that, whether the world and the church can handle our stories or not, isn’t of greatest consequence. Clearly, keeping the truth hidden has caused great destruction and continues to leave the body of Christ wounded, broken and unable to live to our full potential. It has left us trying to ‘fight the good fight’ and ‘run the race’ with gaping wounds, and broken limbs that need healing. God offers us so much more!
The better question is; Will things ever change for the better if we remain silent because of fear? Vulnerable or not, the truth has potential to bring freedom.
In John 8:32 & 36 Jesus says, “And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free….Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!” In every situation, in every dark story, in every circumstance, Jesus is the truth that remains constant, steadfast, and freeing.
Hurting people don’t need another sermon preached, another rule outlined, another Bible verse quoted out of context. They need the raw truth of our stories, and a ‘Jesus in action’ in the pain and hell of our experience. Seeing His work in our stories will make Him real to people around us, and help them understand that He is for them and their broken stories.
The Bible says that we ‘…overcame (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of (our) testimony.’ Today, I am delighted to say that Jesus has been more than enough for me, in my journey back to wholeness, hope and into dynamic faith. He is the reason I share my story. It is His story, written in the pages of my life, and I am blessed and honoured to know Him!
I will be moving into a Series on Sex & the Abuse of It, because it does need to be talked about openly, especially in Christian cultures and closed cultures, where perpetrators use religion to hide. However, since it is also a heavy topic, I am going to take a breather and focus on writing spiritually encouraging posts for a little while, before tackling another painful topic.
Thank you for joining me in this series! I look forward to interacting with you–whether on the blog or privately–and encouraging each other on the journey!
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/