Spiritual Abuse: Jamie’s Story

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Jamie posted this comment on another post, but I was afraid that people might not see it and be able to respond.  Do you have any words of comfort or advice to share with Jamie?

You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.  

Psalm 32:7-8

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PHOTO

photo credit: Darwin Bell via photopin cc

For twenty-two years I suffered spiritual abuse. Always trying to be the best Children’s pastor that I could be, but more times than not always feeling that I never met their expectations. While serving as Worship Leader, I was silently pushed aside without even being told that I was being replaced. I was accused of horrible things only in a secret round about way to where I was made felt like I knew very little about how to move with the Holy Spirit and I should follow their direction, even to the point of putting my family aside in order to be at their every call, whim, being totally used and drained. I don’t even know what my spiritual gifts are anymore because I could never reach their expectations.

It has been almost three years. I have attended other churches but all I can see are church leaders trying to squeeze all of the life out of you until you don’t know who you are or purpose for which you’ve been called. There was a time when I truly felt I was fulfilling God’surpose for my life. I don’t know who I am or what my purpose is anymore. So much abuse that I couldn’t put it all down in words.

Will I ever trust again?  Will I ever know the purpose for which I have been called like I once knew in the deepest part of me what God had called me to do?  Maybe God is finished with me and it is time to????? that’s just it.  Time to do what? I am completely lost.  I don’t know who I am anymore and I am so afraid of getting myself into a cult-driven church again.  I want the peace of God that I once knew.  I feel as though I have disappointed God and should have stayed and stuck it out because if you leave, you are the one who is weak and can’t submit to authority.

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37 comments on “Spiritual Abuse: Jamie’s Story

  1. I am in a very similar position. I do not know the answer on what you should do.I just know that going back is not the answer. For me personally I left behind most all my life for the last 20 plus years. Friends, rejection, accusations, etc. It is hard and painful. But for me, it is worth it. Submitting to authority is not life. It is not freedom. It is putting yourself back into the bondage you were set free from. For me, I wait. I wait and remain patient and God will come.
    He is doing something, be patient. Ask and wait. Take time to find out who you are. You are better than you now know, and you will get stronger, wiser and you will not be afraid anymore. It has been three years for me too. Church is not the answer. Jesus is.

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  2. Jamie, I’m really sorry to hear your story! That’s very stressful sounding. Not sure if you’re reading this (and I’m quite sure some of the other readers will disagree w me) but I’d recommend you leave the institutional church altogether and find a simple house church where people love each other and there is no much money, pride, or power at stake.

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  3. Jamie, I am sorry to hear about your experience as well. Seth is right about disagreement. I would not advise you to abandon the local congregations that God established for our edification but to find one that is operating in a biblical fashion. No Scripture indicates that Jesus gives up on His churches and neither should we. We are all part of the solution of calling our churches to not just believe the Bible but to practice what the Bible teaches in a visible way that provides light and hope for our communities. God Bless.

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  4. Jamie- I am with ya…… I saw that in many of the churches I had been in and I have felt (and still feel) the same way- no trust in anyone, even my own feelings.
    You KEEP doing what the Holy Spirit is guiding you to do – you can trust in Him. My husband and I had been without a church for 8 months and we had family church. It was one of the most growing times in my Christian faith. We are now in a small but loving church that values Gods people. Go where the Lord leads and trust in Him for He is faithful. He will always be with you and you will grow because I can tell you love Him. Its ok to be at this place and have these feelings; there is no judgment here.

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  5. Jamie, I can empathize with your feelings. When my cult fell apart my worldview shifted overnight. It was such a scary, bewildering season. Few churches felt safe. I disliked anything that reminded me of my former church: hymns, pews, small congregations, suits and ties, the NIV, and any confident speaker. I loved missing church, and often had melt-downs just prior to walking out the door to attend a local church.

    My fiancee was very supportive of me in this season. We had many tearful counseling sessions. We talked endlessly about my trauma and abuse. We would often stay at home and listen to sermons online from Tim Keller or Rich Nathan–men who spoke and acted very different than my former pastor. This was a season of healing for me.

    I also felt lost in my relationship with God. I used to feel so confident that I was doing God’s will by obeying my former pastor. I felt special, loved, and significant, even as I wore a spiritual strait-jacket. But when my cult blew apart, suddenly the world seemed huge, scary, and confusing. What was right and what was wrong? So much of what I had been taught was false. I had tried so hard to be such a good boy, and I had always been sincere. I had even suffered. Was all of that wasted? Was any of it true or good?

    I think that some of it was. God knew my heart–he knew I was deceived, but he also knew I was sincerely seeking him. He knew that a false shepherd was leading his sheep astray.

    I contemplated walking away from God, but I knew that Jesus was real and that God exists. I couldn’t walk away from the faith even as I distanced myself from church and licked my wounds.

    After a couple of years, my wife and I have found a church in a different part of the country. It does not trigger me. For the first time in my life I enjoy going to church. The Bible is taught well, but in a way that does not remind me of my former pastor. There are no pews–only chairs. No suits and ties–just business casual or blue jeans. Few hymns–more contemporary worship. And the overall vibe of the church is one of warmth, hospitality, servant-leadership, and humble adoration.

    I still struggle with feeling loved by God, and I often wonder if I am pleasing to him or if he is angry with me. This is toxic mental residue from my former cultic worldview. Overall I am in a healthier place than I have ever been in my life, even though it FEELS uncomfortable and scary. There is a light that grows brighter these days. I think it is called hope.

    Blessings to you in your healing journey.

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  6. Jamie- I hear you, you are not alone in suffering at the hands of church leaders. I suspect that it is going to take some time for your heart to recover-it has mine. I am sorry that they robbed you of your innocence & identity in Jesus, and though you might not be able to see or feel it at this point: You are His beloved, nothing can separate you from His love.

    I have been helped by reading the stories of others here at SSB & TWW, relieved that I was not isolated, alone, crazy, and most important: disobedient- the leaders are. They beat the sheep, place heavy loads on our shoulders.

    Now we wait, but one day, it will be shouted from the rooftops. It is the bloggers who are bringing it into the light. Thank God for the internet.

    I remember wrestling with the Lord at one point over the reality of: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    Nothing in my church experience filled me with rest, and Jesus via my pastor cracked the whip.

    So many of us are in the same boat only rocked by different seas. I don’t know if the response that GaryW wrote will sing to your heart as it has mine, but even if you only hear a whisper, I want to share it. God bless You
    Gary W
    March 31, 2013 @ 9:44 PM

    About the time you were posting your previous comment, I was reading that we are “. . . heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:17 ESV). I do not understand suffering. Having not suffered much myself, I cannot offer that kind of comfort that can flow only from the experience of shared suffering. My words, I fear ring hollow on the subject. Yet, I will dare to suggest that to the degree that we suffer, so we also are able to better identify with our Lord’s suffering. Just as He, by His suffering, was and is able to identify with our suffering–to know and feel and participate in what we experience in our pain–so also we by our suffering are better able to identify with Him, and thus to know him, in his rejection, condemnation, mocking and crucifixion. I wonder if our Lord doesn’t have a special place in His heart for those who, like himself, have suffered at the hands of the religious establishment. Words, and more words, but labor, however long, is followed by birth, and death, however slow and painful in coming, is followed by resurrection.

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  7. Hello Jamie. If you want to speed your recovery, I would recommend (1) read, read, read and research about how cults and high demand groups operate and the techniques they use. There are so many good books out there. You are not alone–this is very common and your reaction to your experience is common as well. Since there are others that have gone before you, then you can know that there are testimonies of people who recovered and how they recovered. (2) Find a good therapist that specializes in cults/abuse/trauma. I don’t know where you live, but Wellspring Retreat in Athens Ohio was a great source of information for me and they even recommended a “cult” specialist in my area that my mother and I saw for family counseling for several months who really understood the issues.

    Although the journey and breakthroughs will be personal, it helps to know that this is a phenomenon and there a people who study it and know how to help you and steps you can take to replace community, learn an new way to relate to God over time, and develop confidence in your own discernment again.

    I am sorry if I sound like I am just sticking to the “practical.” The pain and loss are great and they usually don’t go away over night. It may not sound very encouraging right now, but the freedom and wisdom on the other side of this is empowering. I believe with all my heart that you will get there.

    It’s NOT you, it’s them. 🙂

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  8. I have to say after reading the comments here, it has really been encouraging today for me even if they were meant for Jamie. Thank you Lord for a body of believers who are hurting, but willing to let their souls bare and love one another. Is this not what the Lord is pleased with? I hope and pray that we all truly see how Jesus treated those who were the outcasts; and understand that in even in ourselves He is gracious and merciful in the dealings of His children.

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  9. O, Yes Lisa, I couldn’t agree more on finding a therapist who specializes in abuse/cult/ trauma. Gotta be careful, listen to your gut, when trying a expert out.

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  10. Liberty for Captives – I concur- your post made me cry… This is the body of Christ that I have longed to be a part of.

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  11. I’ve been gone all weekend with a 5-hr drive arriving late last night when I saw Jamie’s comment. I did not have the energy to give a thoughtful reply, but thought – – – why not just make a post out of it and see what happens when I get up in the morning. You guys blow me away. Wow! This brings tears to my eyes. This is the beauty of having gone through similar painful paths, having understanding, empathy, ears wanting to truly listen to a story and understand that pain, sharing what has worked for you, offering suggestions. This is so, so beautiful. Thank you, friends! Now I need to read through them all.

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  12. Jamie, What has surprised me over the past couple years of reading others stories who have suffered at the hands of spiritually abusive churches is that we all have injured souls and the ones doing the damage appear to feel superior to the ones they are leaving forever wounded. The situations are different but our crushed souls are crying out together. I will never be the me that I was and I, too, wonder if I will ever trust again; I don’t trust myself, I don’t trust God, I don’t trust others. After a couple years of numbness and depression, I am finally able to move forward and grieve all I have lost and search for the newness of life and the hope that I will find peace. I wish the same for you.

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  13. by the way Gail if you go on Liberty for Captives blog he wrote a post about all the books he recommends to help you heal; plus his blog is very refreshing and healing anyway- (that one goes to you Stephen).

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  14. Hey Jamie, Thanks for sharing your story online. I trust that you are encouraged by the love and wisdom offered by brothers and sisters here who know and understand how spiritual abuse works and the things that aid in recovery. Knowing that you are not alone in your pain is one of the first and most helpful insights into this type of distress.

    I invite you to check out the various articles posted on my website just for people like you. Yes, it will take time for you to process your negative feelings and grow in ways that you never imagined. As others had said, you will be stronger spiritually and have a greater compassion for others as you journey further along.

    For now, it is a time to grieve. Allow yourself to grieve your many losses. It would be good to have someone close to you, who you trust, who you could share with and/or a counselor, as others have suggested. We know that Christ is there for you every step of the way, even though you don’t feel like it some days. This, too, is a common feeling that many have experienced. Things will and do get better! Sending some love over your way.

    Check out: http://www.ChurchExiters.com

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  15. HI Jamie, I know I am arriving at the party a bit late, but I will share a few thoughts. I think you are still “detoxing” from leaving your former unhealthy church family. …And it is a process. I liken it to recovering from an extremely bad case of the stomach flu. You want it to be over with quickly, but it just takes time. It takes a long time.

    My wife and I left our “bad situation” in 2006 and we still find ourselves correcting wrong thoughts and “venting” to each other as we process what happened to us. Things get so twisted in unhealthy churches that it takes you a long time just to unravel everything. -And you must unravel it because your identity, self worth and purpose were wrapped up in all that crap. (Please excuse the wording, but we all know it is accurate.) My wife and I are ‘called” to the ministry and were on staff at the church we left, so we experienced many of the things you described.

    Here is what we have done that I think helped us the most:
    #1 DO NOT GO BACK TO THAT CHURCH OR ANY CHURCH LIKE IT. You will be tempted when you are weak. -Just like recovering drug addicts, alcoholics, etc or tempted to “go back.” No good will come from it.

    #2 Cling to Jesus. Not being cliche or preachy; He is just your best medicine in recovery. I am not saying read your Bible and pray 10 hours a day; I am just saying stick with Him. Pray honest prayers, ask Him hard question. God is a big God, He can handle it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your steps.

    #3 Refuse to get bitter. Every time you feel any bitterness rising up, confront it as sin. I have never met a bitter person that was healthy; period. Bitterness is your worst enemy and will turn you into a person you do not want to be. It’s OK to get mad; trust me, I have worked through a ton of anger. But allowing yourself to wallow in bitterness will only hurt you.

    #4 Find a friend that you can honestly share with. You need someone that you can share with as you detox. Writing and talking about my past has helped me a lot.

    #5 Don’t give up on the Church. Remember the Church is NOT a fancy building with slick talking preachers and video projectors; the Church is the Bride of Christ. The Church is the people who have already written comments on this post to encourage you. Don’t give up on us. We need you and you need us. Find a local group (established or not) that shares your values. This may take time -and searching. I will not paint a rosy picture; it may not be easy but it is possible.

    #6 Understand that the “detox process” takes time and you will have some scars. I am sorry, I wish I could say that God waves His magic wand and makes it “all go away.” That is just not the case. What I am finding is that as time goes by -and I continue to cling to Jesus, God is using my past experiences to transform me into a better person -and minister. IT HAS NOT BEEN A FUN PROCESS, but I must admit that it has been a fruitful process.

    As far as the uncertainty of your calling and purpose goes, I know exactly what you are saying. I experienced the same thing. I think it is a part of unraveling the “twistedness.” God has redefined my calling and purpose as I have navigated through recovery, BUT I have had to trust Him with my calling and purpose. And as I type this, I trust Him with it even now. I think it is a part of the process of learning to follow Jesus, -in the correct way. Really trusting “Him,” Really learning to hear, listen and obey “His” voice and really learning to be obedient to “Him.”

    Sorry for the length; and I hope my ramblings made sence. Your story just tugged at my heart a bit.

    Blessings to you and hang in there. It takes time, but it will get better.

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  16. Jamie – There are so many good words of advice here. I also do recommend that you click on “Liberty for Captives” link in my sidebar or above in the comment. Steve runs that blog and as you can see he has a very compassionate heart having gone through spiritual abuse, too. There are wonderful articles there to read that you might find helpful.

    As evidenced by the many comments on this post, there is obviously a support network here, so at any time if you are having difficulties, feel free to comment in any article (regardless of the subject). Don’t worry if we are discussing something unrelated. The purpose of this blog is first and foremost to support those who have gone through spiritual abuse and so you and others take precedence to me. I have a gut feeling that so many others here also agree with me. We can argue about complementarian vs egalitarian issues and so many others forced agendas that lead to unhealthy church environments, but if we miss the boat on helping a brother or sister in need, then we would not be showing the love of Christ.

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  17. Eric – – Nice to “see” you. Those are great words from someone who has definitely walked the path. Thank you so much for your heart-felt response. Wow.

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  18. Hey, Eric, Well thought out points and helpful! Don’t apologize for the length, since it is right on! You have nicely covered the main points that people wrestle with at this time in their negative church experience.

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  19. Eric, God has given you a gift of expressing yourself and your experiences in words that are easy to understand and digest. Your words and advice has brought comfort to anyone that has experienced spiritual abuse. I was a part of the same abuse that you experienced and each time you write about it, it helps in my healing. I know that Jamie and others will take comfort in knowing that healing does come.

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  20. I want to thank everyone for your uplifting and encouraging comments. I have to some point had hope that things would get better…. now I have a new hope, new hope that my heart will heal in time & my bitterness will go away. The memory will be there but I believe being able to completely forgive will come. Thank you ericpstarkey! My heart says that you know exactly where I have been and what I have encountered. Thanks again for being Jesus with skin on!!!! NEW HOPE, NEW LIFE in knowing the purpose for which I’ve been called!

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  21. wish i had more words, but what’s been said here is right on. Give yourself time to detox (that was such an appropriate term). It took me at least a year after our last church and we didn’t leave ugly. You kind of come out of a fog, and start to feel some sweet release (hopefully!). Also don’t give up on Jesus. When you sit down to read scripture ask Him to show you only HIS Truth. i can’t promise the search for a good body of believers to fellowship will be easy, but it’s worth pursuing. At least now you know what to avoid! But you don’t have to hurry. Just try to rest in Jesus and pray for His guidance.

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  22. Jamie

    Thank you for your story. Much of what you say sounds very familiar. Ouch!!! 😦

    And feel free to cry as much as you like. I watered my pillow with many tears…

    Much agreement when you write…
    “all I can see are church leaders trying to squeeze all of the life out of you until you don’t know who you are or purpose for which you’ve been called.”

    So, after I left “The Abusive Religious System”…

    Oh yeah, I NEVER left “the Church of God, The body of Christ – I love His Church – His Body – I left the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church. Yukky Pukkys. 😦

    So, after I left “The Abusive Religious System”…

    Thru much Pain, Tears, and “Spiritual Abuse,” I checked out “church leaders” in the Bible because that’s where ALL the Pain was coming from. 😦

    Well – Go figure – With all I had to endure – Submitting to Authority – NOT being Rebellious – NOT touching the head of Gods anointed – NOT Gossipping to anyone about what I saw these “Screwy Louie Pastors” doing – Having to Give 10% of my income to God or I was cursed of God – But – that money never made it to God – Seems the Pastor needed to buy some fancy stero equipment for his new home while I struggled to pay the bills. Hmmm? Did God need a new stero system? God must have – the Pastor said I was giving the money to God – A Pastor wouldn’t lie – Would he?

    Oh, you know the drill – it’s always – If you do NOT obey your “church leaders”
    You’re rebellious – and rebellion is like the sin of witch-craft…

    So, anyway, after I left “The Abusive Religious System”… Boy do I like saying that. 😉

    Yeah, I check out, “church leaders” in the Bible – And that term in NOT in the Bible.
    Huh??? “church leaders” NOT in the Bible?

    And NOT only that, I find Jesus telling His Disciples NOT to be called Leaders
    For “ONE” is your leader – Jesus… Mat 23:10 NASB. Yeah – Go figure….
    And the best part – NOT one of His Disciples called them self “Leader.”
    ALL His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    So, now I – “know the purpose for which I have been called like I once knew in the deepest part of me what God had called me to do?” To be His Disciple and learn from Jesus directly – NO middle man. Woo Hooo 😉

    To be “His Servant” – To be “His Sheep” – To “Hear His Voice” – and “Follow Jesus.”

    There was a lot of Pain – A lot of Tears – But…
    Now – My “church leader” is Jesus – He’s the best. 😉

    Lisa was correct – It’s NOT you, it’s them. 🙂

    Jesus really loves me this I know…

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  23. Eric that was very good advice and wisdom- well said…

    1. Do not go back or to any church like it- you betcha! Many will tell you no church or pastor is perfect. This is a fallacy argument. Most know that people aren’t perfect, but abusers should have no place in a church.

    2. Cling to Jesus- most important.
    Jesus is not the model for these men, they only feed off mammon.

    3. Do not get bitter…. So good. Bitterness turns inward and keeps one in a perpetual cycle of self. Turning to others for help, allowing yourself the pain, and then trusting that the Lord will keep you.

    4. Find a friend. I have one who has been with me since the beginning of my journey, although she was miles away. Friendship is so important.

    5. Don’t give up on going to church. Yes, I agree, but it does not have to be in a church building per say- it is any where the body worships and fellowships together.
    I thought i would never want to go back to church again, but I did find one, small, but people who love Jesus.

    6. Understand the detox process- yes! It is OK to go through this- God gets it and there is nothing He can’t handle. Job was not placed in the OT for nothin’ and Job was never blamed by God. God claimed him to be a righteous man even with his anger and questioning.

    I am actually glad I did go through this process because now I understand this pain; I have more patience with others and their pain and I have a tenderness for Christians and unbelievers alike.

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  24. Jamie

    These verses became very real to me.
    There have been a few trajadies through the years.
    But – Having to leave a group of folks that I loved – Much Hurt and Pain…

    Ps 6:6
    I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim;
    I water my couch with “my tears.”

    Ps 39:12
    Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry;
    hold not thy peace at “my tears:”
    for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

    Ps 42:3
    “My tears” have been my meat day and night,
    while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

    Ps 80:5
    Thou feedest them with “the bread of tears;”
    and givest them “tears to drink” in great measure.–

    ——

    And – After a long, long time – After many years – And many tears.

    These verses also became very real – Thank you Jesus.

    Ps 116:8
    For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
    mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

    Ps 126:5
    They that “sow in tears” shall reap in joy.

    Pro 3:5-6
    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Ro 8:28
    And we know that all things work together for good
    to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  25. I love this, “I am actually glad I did go through this process because now I understand this pain; I have more patience with others and their pain and I have a tenderness for Christians and unbelievers alike.”

    I agree with that thought 100% I know this may sound “backwards” to some of you, but I am at the point in my journey where I am almost thankful for my past experiences -and most definitely thankful for how God has used them in my life. Wow, I have grown so much over the past five years -and it is because I had to deal with my past church and all the gory details.

    Given the option, I really do not think I would trade where God has brought me to erase my past. And I lost a lot, friends, position, reputation, etc. My wife and I had to start over completely. But we REALLY like who were are now.

    This is the reason why I am so big on responding correctly to the hand you been dealt. Yes, it might have been a crappy hand and yes, we were wronged and taken advantage of and abused. BUT, God can take ANYTHING and turn it around for His good, “IF” we let Him. I know it’s hard, I know it hurts, but if we keep responding correctly, God WILL bring us to a good place. My family and I are proof of that.

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  26. Jamie – I’m so glad you came back to read the responses and were encouraged. Thank you for sharing once again. I smiled when you wrote that you have new hope. To me, that is a gift that came from people who have gone through the same pain you have experienced. Yes, a gift that they would not have had if they had not walked the same path.

    Eric: These words of Jamie’s touched me:

    “Thank you ericpstarkey! My heart says that you know exactly where I have been and what I have encountered. Thanks again for being Jesus with skin on!!!! NEW HOPE, NEW LIFE in knowing the purpose for which I’ve been called!”

    You mentioned that Jamie’s comment tugged at your heart, which caused you to ramble. Ramble on, brother. And don’t apologize. You are very gifted in writing and a mutual friend of ours and I were discussing that we wished your comment wasn’t so short 🙂 Your heart/words are powerful and authentic and loving. Keep writing, Eric.

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  27. Jamie you did not let God down. Like many of us he is allowing you to see things from another perspective. While the experience is not pleasant you can now be free to love and serve however God may lead in the future. After much talk about finding Gods purpose in the church today I one day realized that the best thing is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. People will load us up with all kinds of do’s and don’ts and ways of doing things based on their programs. But what matters is what God thinks based on his word not what men think. Be encouraged others understand what you are going through.

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  28. Jamie there is a great statement that I read in “Center Church” written by Tim Keller that I believe you will find encouraging. He says describes our self-image based on the Gospel instead of religion with these words “My self-view is not based on a view of myself as a moral achiever. In Christ I am at once sinful and lost, yet accepted. I AM SO BAD HE HAD TO DIE FOR ME, AND SO LOVED HE WAS GLAD TO DIE FOR ME.” He explains that when we get our identity from the Gospel we realize we are not loved and accepted by God because of our performance but in spite of our performance because Jesus has made us acceptable to God through His sacrifice in our place. When we realize we are accepted by God because of Christ we can stop performing and start living. It doesn’t matter if people think we have failed or even if we think we have failed because of conditioning. Ecclesiastes 4:7 gives us God’s view of us, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.”

    I will be praying that this truth becomes a reality for you and that you are able to find a group of believers who have embraced this truth and have stopped trying to impress Christ and are living to enjoy Christ. Be blessed.

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  29. I sit here with tears flowing down my face as my heart soaks in the words of encouragment you have given me. Thank you Wesley Roy. To be reminded of Ecclesiastes 4:7 brings many tears to my eyes & rest to my soul, yes I truly believe that “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” ( I just needed to be reminded!)

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  30. Pingback: Healthy & Abusive Spirtual Dynamics (Part 1) | Spirit2Recover

  31. Pingback: Healthy & Abusive Spiritual Dynamics (Part 2): Demolition & Reconstruction | Spirit 2 Recover

  32. You are not weak just because you cannot submit to authority. We are called to test the spirits first AND IF THEY ARE SHOWING US THEY ARE LEAD OF GOD BY COSISTANTLY BEARING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT THEN & ONLY THEN SHOULD WE SUBMIT! Stop beating yourself up about having ‘discernment.’ With all the crazy stuff going on in the church right now you are more than right not to trust anyone. Don’t just trust everyone vrs.. Prov 6:1-5, Phil 4:6-7, Isa 2:22. Spiritual fruit vrs Gala 5:22-23. God has a great plan for you & your life Jeremiah 29:11, Rom 8:28. God just wants you to use your gifts wisely, You have gifts Rom 12:6, 1Cor 14:1, Ephes 4:7, Jhn 3:27. So pray God will put you where you can use them wisely 1 Pet 4:10, Jhn 3:27, Rom 12:6-8, Phil 2:12-13. Remember you have great value to God & are greatly loved by Him. Jhn 3:16 & Ephes 2:10NLT You are His masterpiece!

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  33. Hmmmmmmm. This sounds s familiar……I left an abusive church 2 years ago and have done a lot of research.The freedom I feel out weighs the pain.I thank God daily that he set me free and have decided to look on the bright side.What if I did not escape……..I hate to think.
    Jamie ……….God loves you,so he made a way of escape…….you are highly favored and your road to recovery is Sure

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