Spiritual Abuse Part 27__Shunning: The Aftermath and Rebellion ….Continued (3)….

I lived life by the seat of my pants, with no particular sense of direction. Lived here for a while, then moved there. Landed a job, and then found a different one. I was as tough as I was sweet, if you stirred up the demons in me, and I took flack from no one.

I learned to out-cuss the best and the worst of them, back then, when I felt helpless or threatened. This reaction was particularly true when it had anything to do with God and religion, or if I felt vulnerable.

Apart from Jesus, apart from hope, we are all capable of evil. Every one of us. Those years I learned what I am capable of, and how much I need a Saviour.

While I openly displayed my anger towards religion, in the area of sexual abuse I had been silenced. When boundaries were crossed in subtle ways, I stood my ground, but when violated to any extreme, there was no aggression in me, just silent tears. On one occasion I had the courage to ask the man not to do what he was doing, but for the most part I internalized the rage, and accepted their guilt as my own.

I share my story, and this anger because I know I’m not alone. Maybe you feel trapped and have a dark story buried deep inside of you. Secrets that no one knows, except you and God. Lost. Wounded. Angry. I share this especially for you. Because there is freedom. We don’t have to be slaves to our pain or our circumstances. The answer that worked for me, will work for you too.

My tough exterior—cussing and flipping the birdie when threatened, never antagonistic but always prepared to throw a punch—was nothing more than a shell to protect a hurting child. A little girl, lost in the shadows of the past.

Every now and then, my inner being—the lost little girl inside—would break through. Alone at night, I stood at my bedroom window, looking at the stars, and wondered if God was real. And, if He was real, did He love me? Was He disappointed that He had created me, if He really did have a hand in it? Was He a good Daddy? Did He miss me? Want me? Did I matter to Him at all?

The story of the prodigal son, displayed by Ms. Harms on the felt board, back in grade three, told me that He was waiting and watching, ready to run and welcome me into His arms, if ever I turned my heart toward home. What if that was the real God…

Tears poured down my face. I wanted desperately to know truth, to know God… if He was real. All I wanted was to be loved by Him, to shake the torment of never knowing truth, the trauma and uncertainty….

Then the moment would pass, and I would again wear the mask, cover the pain, and turn to my ‘little gods’ of cussing, smoking and partying to get through. At least I could see them, feel them and get lost in their effect.

If I had known the truth, I would have seen that God offered the ‘real deal’ with no side effects. But I wasn’t ready. I had not come to the end of myself, to a place where I understood what it was I needed from Him, and that all He wanted from me was my heart.

Hard living would teach me that truth…. Eventually.

……To Be Continued…

© Trudy Metzger 2012

Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/

Are You Connected?

My cell phone ‘beeped’, warning that it was about to die and drop the call I was on. Fortunately Pastor Rob was wrapping up his prayer—it would have been rude to interrupt and, dropping a call in the middle of a prayer wouldn’t feel good either. Not to mention that I wouldn’t want my pastor to think his prayers are too long and I hung up on him. It definitely wasn’t that! In fact, the prayer was beautiful, energizing and encouraging. He affirmed God’s voice in my life, His purpose for me, and empowered me to ‘stay the course’.

I returned home and plugged my phone into the charger. I would need it in a few hours when it came time to leave home again. That done, I went about my business of the afternoon.

 

 
We are not created to do life alone. Not even the hermit. We are placed here for many reasons and one of them is relationships.

Some of us are energized by large crowds, others ‘come to life’ spending time connecting ‘one-on-one’ with an individual. There are friends who energize us, and friends who drain us, and we cannot be too careful in whom we invest most of our relational energy. Our future depends on it.

The friends who energize us are usually those who are transparent and purpose-filled. They might be calm and quiet in nature, or they may be passionate, bubbly, outgoing and… well… not so quiet. It isn’t the personality that influences the energy, as much as it is their sense of identity, confidence, and purpose.

Friends who drain us are those who lack purpose and direction, and are not willing to get help. They are the ‘poor me’, and ‘I can’t help who I am’ friends, who usually blame life circumstances on others. It’s never their fault that they are stuck in the mud, spinning endlessly on the spot, with no future outside of themselves and their needs. Offer advice or point them to a resource that could help them, and they are offended or defensive, always offering excuses.

Even the best of relationships, fall short. No human being is designed to fully complete or fulfill another. We are spiritual beings living in human bodies and, while we have the ability to encourage each other spiritually, we cannot fill the spirit of another. For deep spiritual fulfillment, we need to be connected directly to God, our Creator and whom we were designed to reflect in other relationships.

As we interact in these human relationships, we gradually drain our spirits—or batteries, for the sake of the analogy. The more we give, the more we will be drained. We may be temporarily recharged by the best of these relationships, but eventually we run low and have to ‘plug in’ to the Source of our power. If we choose to neglect going directly to the source of power, it will cost us.
 

I returned to pick up my ‘recharged’ phone a few hours later and was surprised to see the battery still dead. My first thought was that my phone had really died—not just a drained battery. I pressed a few buttons. No life.

I followed the cord and discovered that it wasn’t plugged in to the outlet. I solved that problem easily enough but it meant I would not have my phone until evening.

 

Sometimes, in life, we neglect to connect to God, the source of our inner strength. We turn to other relationships, hoping they will fill us, thinking we are ‘plugged in’. We turn to materialism, hoping it will fill us. We turn to many different things, but each one, eventually, leaves us as empty as we were before, or worse.

We were created for many things–things that can temporarily recharge us–but it is only God who is able to fill our spirits with lasting life and energy, through Jesus.

Are you connected?