Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Now? From Victim to Overcomer (Life after Abuse in Church)

                                          What Next?  
                     After you have left an Abusive Church....

It has been almost 4  Years since our Exodus. Leaving an Abusive situation is one of the most courageous things you will ever do, (so, I am told). I wouldn't say I feel courageous for leaving in fact,  I felt more alone than anything else. There is something about Abusers that strip you of your identity and make you dependent upon them for your every thought. 

Everything you think about yourself has been given to you by them, this is what makes you a victim. You are a victim of their perceived Identity of you. They feed you lies about yourself, about them and about every detail of your life, that sound so convincing you hardly recognize it as a lie. This happens so subtail  that you are hardly even aware it is occurring. I know this to be true because I have seen the common thread amongst victims of abuse. Its as if  youve been slowly  feed poison through an I.V.

Once you do manage to leave You will be free, but its not without a cost. Infact, your new found freedom does not come without a cost. You will feel lost, alone, betrayed, confused, and your foundation will be shaken to the core. You will wonder if you did the right thing, especially as you experience the shunning of those that were at one time your closest friends, your prayer partners, your after church fellowship buddies. Things will be hard, but you will be FREE. 

                                                Freedom always comes at a cost......

No, it has not been easy, there have been times in weakness when I have wanted to wallow back, I have been tempted to crawl back into the abusers arms. I suppose its because their is familiarity there. Perhaps, its comforting to know that no matter what they were always there, even if the relationship was dysfunctional, hurtful, painful and abusive, I knew that they would always be there, and as long as I was doing/saying the right things (doing and saying the things they wanted me to), I knew I could count on them to stay in my life. I dont know why I found this comforting perhaps its because no one ever wants to be alone. After all, the abusers are very good at reminding you that an isolated life apart from them is sinful and impossible because you NEED THEM.

So what now? Having gone from church to church trying to find a place to belong, I must say I  have felt like those tweleve tribes scattered abroad mentioned in the book of James. What was said to them applies to us all, count it all joy my brethren when you fall into divers temptaions, knowing that the trying of your faith produces patience. 

Yes, that's it, its patience being worked in us. Patience a by product of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) working in us that we may be perfect, wanting nothing. (James 1:4)

So I will wait for the day when the Lord returns, and set all things right. Yes, there will come a day when he will make all things right when His church will be complete lacking NOTHING. So while we wait, we can ask for wisdom and he promises to give it to us without reservation. We can hold to the promise that in Him we are complete, we lack nothing and we have a future glory awaiting us, we have HIM. 

As we wonder scattered abroad searching for a place to fellowship with others that gather and call themselves the "Church", there is great comfort in knowing that we are the Church we are the Bride and he is the Bridegroom, and our identity is found in what he has done for us. 

We may bear the scars and wounds of the abuse that took place by those that were called to shepherded  but rather they used their position to prosper their own "Vision" their own "Agenda" using our Lords name as a means of gain and a means of power to rape our souls. Yes, the scars may remain and will be sensitive, some will say, "Get over it"  but the thing is you never "Get over" abuse, you only rise above it and you only Overcome.

 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 3:5

You overcome because the one that has overcometh all EVIL OF SIN lives in you. Jesus lives you. 

Trusting leadership in a church setting will not come easy after this and relationships will be hard. You will always proceed with caution and with new eyes. Some will understand, some wont. But through it all in your going forward there is one who sticketh closer than a brother. He will never leave you nor forsake you and he will lead you beside still waters, beside green pastures. He will restore your soul. His grace will be sufficient for us as we press on towards that upward goal forgetting what is behind and reaching to new heights, new depths, knowing that all things work together for the good to those that are the called and love him. 

Yes, we are the called, by him, he has called us to be his, to suffer with him, to be partakers, what a glorious calling. 

So, maybe you are reading this now having left your abusive church and you are wondering What Now? May I offer a word of encouragement to you be reassured in your identity in Jesus the identity he gave you and know that you are more loved than you can ever imagine. You are valued in Christ. And you are not alone in your Exodus journey. 

No comments:

Post a Comment