Calvinism, Doctrine as Idol, Julie Anne's Personal Stories, No-Talk Rule, Personal Stories, Shunning, Spiritual Bullies

Why Does Calvin’s God Feel Abusive to Me? I Didn’t Choose This!

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The Lord works righteousness and

justice for all who are oppressed.  

Psalm 103:6

I have never, ever connected so deeply with someone else’s spiritual experience as I have recently with reader, Oasis.  The tears . . . . oh, the tears.  This deep, gut-wrenching, sobbing pain is so real for some of us.  I cannot believe I am doing this, but I’m feeling that right now I need to try to clearly articulate my feelings about Father God and how He relates with the abuse some of us have incurred.

I want to discuss my abusive background and tie in with it how some thoughts and words I have heard from Calvinists – people close to me – have affected me spiritually.   If you would like to challenge or debate any of this (and I am absolutely fine if you do), please take it to the Calvinism thread (feel free to post a comment in this thread letting us know so we can join you).   Thanks for your understanding so we can keep the space on this article safe.

Some of us have been abused as children and the underlying message of abuse is always about control.  Someone used their power in a controlling way over us.  We were not allowed a choice.  We were not allowed to say “no.”  We were told to be quiet.  We were told to get over it.  We were told to stop feeling.  We were told to stop crying.

I think these powerful messages are more compounded when it is sent to a child from a very early age.  The child has no way of refuting the message and so the painful messages have been  repeated in their mind over and over again.  The messages become the truth for the child and they believe the lies that their abuser told them.

Oasis shared how she was part of a pedophile ring as a child and has struggled for years with the notion that God saw the abuse and stood behind a curtain and allowed it to continue.   That tore me up because it is a similar feeling I have had.

Here were Oasis’ powerful words that really hit home for me:

I remember being in church at five-years-old and staring at a drawing on the wall of Jesus surrounded by children. I was so jealous of the child whose face Jesus held in his hands! He was smiling and there was so much love in his eyes. I asked my teacher more than once if someday Jesus would hold my face in his hands like that, too. She said he would, and I believed her.

Instead of responding to Oasis’ original comment, I will do it here:

Hi Oasis:   I think I need a warnindisclaimer on each of your comments. I don’t think I have ever gone into full-blown weeping by anyone’s words the way I have with yours – and I mean the ugly crying, not just the shedding of a few tears.   The Kleenex on my bed is in shreds – I’m talking pain from the very depths of my being  – the pain that rarely comes to surface.

I firmly believe that God has shown His love to me through you and your words, Oasis.    As you shared, I felt your compassion and understanding, not this “God-is-sovereign-He-ordained-it”  justification stuff that we so often hear when talking about abuse.

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Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  Isaiah 30:18

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Right now, I am at a place where I choose to acknowledge God is real to me and that He ordained YOU, Oasis, to read my blog at such a time as this to be able to say the words that would validate what I have gone through and bring me hope.  God, the masterful Conductor, orchestrated this marvelous symphony for me, right here, right now.  The timing, the tempo, the phrasing is the gift He has given me through you to touch my soul.    Thank you, Oasis.

I am a musician and time and again, I am reminded by examples like this, that God meets me in ways that are intimately personal to me:  timing.    Any musician will tell you how important timing is.  If you are participating with a group of musicians, missing just one beat will yield a musical disaster.  God’s timing is perfect.  God knew I needed to hear from you this week.  He didn’t miss a beat.  I can worship this God who loves me deeply and wants  to connect with me in the most meaningful ways.  I  am thankful to God that He has given me this opportunity as a result of you to sort through this rubble of confusion and deep spiritual turmoil.

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And now I will share more of my story knowing the possibility that others who have gone through abuse can find similar hope instead of relying on faulty lies and messages that others or they themselves might have been replaying in their minds.

These words from Oasis melted me inside:  I remember being in church at five-years-old and staring at a drawing on the wall of Jesus surrounded by children. I was so jealous of the child whose face Jesus held in his hands! He was smiling and there was so much love in his eyes. I asked my teacher more than once if someday Jesus would hold my face in his hands like that, too. She said he would, and I believed her.

I, too, have always tried to imagine what it might be like to have Jesus hold my face.  The thought of Jesus’ hands touching my face is unfathomable to me, I cannot even picture it happening in my mind.  It is too good for me, but I can visualize it happening to someone else.  I also cannot imagine myself as a child sitting in the lap of Jesus. In my mind, I was always off to the side longing for that opportunity. I was not chosen for that. Just like the last kid left standing when being picked for school teams in PE, that was me and my relationship with God. I was damaged goods, never worthy enough to be picked.  I wasn’t chosen to have that kind off relationship where I could sit in His lap.  I didn’t have a teacher to tell me that one day Jesus would hold my face in His hands or allow me to snuggle in His lap.  That really wasn’t a possibility for me.  That is what the messages in my mind told me.  I’ve heard those messages for decades.

Most people come into the world because their moms go into labor at the appointed time. The baby’s fully developed body triggers a response in the mom’s body signaling her body to prepare for birth.  My entrance to the world was quite different.  I was not “welcomed” to the world.  I was beaten before I was born and I fought to remain alive.  My mom hid my dad’s drugs and he beat her, putting her into premature labor.  The labor did not stop and I was born 10 weeks early.  There was concern about my lungs and I was not supposed to survive that ordeal, yet here I am.  I was born to abuse and came home to chaos.  My mom divorced my dad when I was 1.  I never saw him again.  Ever.

I can’t remember how old I was when Mom told me the story of why I was born premature, but that surely sent me a message:  “my father didn’t care if I lived or died, so I must not have mattered to him.”    The lining of the lungs is one of the last finishing touches in baby’s development in the womb.  As no one else in the family has asthma, it is very likely the asthma I have had my whole life is due to my premature birth.  I didn’t have a choice to be born early or to have asthma.  As I went through life, some of the burning questions in my mind have been:  did my dad care about me? Did he ever think of me?  Such simple questions, such powerful questions for a child.  And you know what?  Those same questions remained powerful even into my forties – you don’t just get over it so easily.

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He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,

according to the purpose of his will . . . Ephesians 1:5

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My Dad had a college ring.  He was proud of that ring.  Seeing a big clunky college ring on a man’s hand brings back painful memories for me.   He chose to wear it.  I didn’t.

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My mom remarried when I was 3 years old and my new Dad legally adopted me when I was 5. We were now a legal family.  He is the only Dad I’ve known.  I liked him initially. But he had a rage. I will never have the answer to why, but he took his rage out on me, a 3-yr old skinny redhead, by beating me, leaving me bruised, with welts, sometimes a bloody nose, knots on my head, belt buckle imprints.  I’m a mom with 7 kids and as I sit here typing this I’m struck at the idea of a full-grown 6 ft 2 in.-tall man who could get in such a rage and take it out on a 3-yr old child.  This is some crazy stuff, isn’t it?

As I got older, he added kicking to the routine.  He would tell me to go to my room, kicking me and shoving me against the wall of the staircase as I attempted to make my way to the bedroom to get “spanked.”  Usually his kicking made me fall down which meant more kicks.  I finally got to the bedroom where I was beaten more, eventually ending up in the corner of the room, curled up into a ball to protect my head.  He’d then go back down stairs where life was going on as normal.  The television was on.  There was laughter.  It never happened.  It was never mentioned. It just was.

I’m an emotional person now, but as a child, I refused to let my dad see me cry during or after.  I would not give him that satisfaction.  There was no way in hell I was going to let him know how he was affecting me.  I had control over that choice.

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But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  2 Thessalonians 2:13

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Years ago I went to counseling dealing with this abuse and one of the questions that I heard time and again:  “surely your dad was an alcoholic, right?”  Wrong.  He did have a few beers while watching football, etc, but that is not when he had his fits of rage.  The fits came out of no where with no rhyme or reason.  My dad worked strange hours and so I never knew when he would be at home.  My first fear coming home from school was, “is Dad home?”  I haven’t thought about this for a long while, and once again, it’s hitting me:  in my childhood home, my home was not a place of refuge.  I never knew when a battle would ensue, so I walked on eggshells.

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According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:2

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My Mom and Dad had their own biological children.  For some unknown reason, he did not treat them the same as me.  I was chosen to be the victim of his violence.  They were not. Why?  I told many, many people about the abuse, even the police, trusted family and friends, and people dismissed it, didn’t want to get involved, or didn’t believe me.  The abuse continued until I was 19 years old and moved out.

So you can imagine that my image of “father” is quite skewed. I didn’t know unconditional love from either of my fathers. I did not hear messages from my fathers that said:  I love you for who you are, I’m so glad you are in this world, you are precious to me.

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My Dad who raised me, praised me for outward performance. I made him look good.  My grades were good and thankfully, for my emotional health, I had piano and excelled in it.

My heart and soul poured out through my fingers as they expressed the emotion that was penned up inside. To this day, people  say they feel an emotional connection when they hear me play – – – I’m not surprised, I spent many years practicing that – – – music was my language when I had no words as a child and no adult wanted to hear about the abuse. My piano was the safe-keeper of all unspoken thoughts and feelings and that is where I spent many hours wrestling with God asking Him, “why was I chosen for this?”

As I became an adult, I learned how powerful a father’s role and relationship is in the development of a child.  But I also learned that the relationship with our father has a direct impact on one’s relationship with God.  Our earthly fathers can somehow in our minds get confused with God the Father.  If I had difficulty trusting my earthly father, I’d probably have difficulty trusting my heavenly Father.

I’m kind of a stubborn person and I simply decided that was not going to happen to me.  I wasn’t going to let it happen.  Just by having that knowledge, I convinced myself that I could combat that common issue of earthly and heavenly father confusion that so many survivors face.

Well, the reality is that the lies that permeated my mind as a child resurface when I least expect it.  Those old messages from the deep recesses of my mind sometimes override what fact I know or what common sense I have.  It is a very difficult mountain to climb to fully trust, to truly believe that God loves me unconditionally, to understand that God forgives me as far as the east is from the west, that God loves me with an everlasting love.   These are the truths that I must repeat in my mind frequently . . . . . to this day.

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The Lord has made everything for its purpose,

even the wicked for the day of trouble. 

Proverbs 16:4

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For those who felt the love of their earthly fathers, their faith may come easy.   They probably don’t have these issues.  They are more likely to have a sure foundation.  This creates a spiritual conflict for those of us with father issues.  We can doubt our faith, question whether our salvation is real, wonder if it’s all in our head.  We are easily confused.

For me, sometimes it is a daily battle, not only with my mind, but with people around me.  I have been battered spiritually by those who should be loving and supporting me.  I have been told that I am an unbeliever because I don’t match the way they think Christianity looks like – whatever that means.  When I have been unable to read my Bible or pray for a season, that gets labeled as “rotten fruit” and proof that I’m an unbeliever.    Those same people who claim to know Christ and judge me are not willing to come along side and have compassion or understanding considering where I have come from or willing to simply say, “when you can’t pray, I will pray for you.”  I think they believe I have not accepted my lot in life, the lot that God chose for me.

Please imagine being in the shoes of someone abused.  Imagine the picture of a God who chooses whom He elects – there is no rhyme or reason. The dad who raised me chose which children he liked.  He didn’t choose me.  He said in words that he loved me.  He showed me off as his trophy prize when I played the piano well for company.  But when the company left, I could have been beaten for a “wrong look.”  It sure sounds like my father was playing favorites to me.   Did God also choose to let me get abused and not my siblings?

I’m sorry, I cannot allow my brain to go back to that. That is hell – – – every day coming home from school wondering if this would be the day that he’d explode.  What is it like every day wondering if I measure up to God, if I got the doctrine right if He’s going to elect me – even if I have already believed in my heart He has saved me?    Sometimes my feelings waver.  It’s déja vu, but now with a spiritual Father.

Do you sense both the physical and heavenly father chaos I have experienced?  It’s hell.  Do you see why hell might seem preferable than heaven – – if I have to acknowledge that this God, the One who sent Jesus to die for me, actually chose for me to be abandoned, rejected, and beaten by both of my earthly fathers?   I’m now supposed to be okay with the fact that God foresaw the abuse I would endure and it was in His glorious plan?

Finally, Oasis’ words articulated so powerfully what I have felt.  She speaks so well for me here:

It is IMPOSSIBLE for me believe that God loves me, if he was the man behind the curtain the entire time. I have cried so many tears over the concept. If any part of him, on any level, wanted those abusers to destroy me in the way they did, then I conclude that GOD DOES NOT LOVE ME. And if this is true, then my sorrow will never end, because my God is no more.

photo credit: m.toyama via photopin cc

170 thoughts on “Why Does Calvin’s God Feel Abusive to Me? I Didn’t Choose This!”

  1. Julie Anne, I am so sorry that all of that happened to you =( Thank you for sharing your story and for using your pain to help others. I see God redeeming much of your past for good. You are helping dozens of other victims and are standing up against abusers. You are giving a voice to the voiceless. I don’t know why all of that evil happened to you. But it wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault. You are loved more than words can say. Someday we will understand these mysteries. So we wait in hope.

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  2. I think it would be wise for the abusers to take responsibility for their own actions, rather than to chalk it up to mysteries.

    Julie Anne,
    I was really struck that you use the power of your fingers in music to worship God.

    You are a living, walking praise to God, reflective in your music to God, praise and worship.

    God is proud of you, because all of the evil that the enemy came to seek, kill and destroy, you have persevered. The ENEMY came to do those things to you. The enemy is not your father, or even your step father. The enemy is Satan. God did NOT come to seek, kill, or destroy you, NOR DID HE ordain any of this. But he took what Satan desired, YOU, and defeated Satan so that he can’t have you.

    Praise and Worship. From a Jewish perspective, we are told that when God created everything, that he sung things into existence. We are also told in the Bible that the angels sing to God continually, praising him. Before Lucifer lost his position in heaven, he was a walking musician. In a very real sense, Lucifer was the praise and worship leader. Music and song is extremely important to God. We see that thru and thru in the Bible. The Song of Moses, the Psalms, etc.

    We are created in the Image and Likeness of God. The Angels were not (They don’t have a body, we do). When God created us, all of us is a part of HIM. When he loses ONE OF HIS to hell, HE LOSES A PART OF HIMSELF.

    We are not created in the likeness of Satan.

    It grieves God, for each person that, by free will, chooses to go the way of the 1/3 of heaven that rebelled.

    It was the Angels free will to rebel, not God’s will.

    Satan is punished for what HE CONCEIVED, not for what God ordained.

    Ezekiel 28:5
    5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

    Ezekiel 28:15
    15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    Ezekiel 28:17
    17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:

    It is Satan that wants to bring us down with him, not that God ordained it. God turns the evil intentions of Satan into good. For Satan did not want Jesus to be born, so he went about to kill, so that Moses would not be born, and there are others in the line of Jesus that Satan tried to destroy so that it would foil God’s plan of a Savior to be born. This is a spiritual battle between God and Satan, not an ordaining of God that evil should occur to give him glory. Satan wants evil to take place, not God.

    Ephesians 6:12
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Ezekiel 28:1-19 (KJV)

    Forward:
    This is a spiritual story about Satan, not just a carnal story about the prince of Tyrus.

    1 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

    2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

    3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

    4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

    5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

    6 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;

    7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.

    8 They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.

    9 Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.

    10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.

    11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

    12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

    13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

    14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

    15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

    17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

    18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

    19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

    Ed

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  3. Julie Anne, your story has really touched my heart this morning. It took me back to memories from over 60 years ago, of sitting in my father’s lap as a child. One of my images of God came from seeing a friend, a very tall, broad shouldered man, get down on one knee and pick up his crying child and wrapping him up in his arms so that the child nearly disappeared in his father’s loving embrace. I ache for those who have never experienced that kind of fatherly love.

    When things are difficult for me, hurting emotionally, I sometimes seek God and imagine myself wrapped up in his lap, loved and protected. It is a reason that I cannot accept the idea of a god who would create a person who he planned to exclude from his love from before the child was created. If I knew a human being who did that, I would work to have that person excluded from the opportunity to abuse the child, so why would I worship a god who behaved that way!

    The theology of strong predestinarianism may can be derived from scripture, but I think there is an alternative understanding of the scripture that argues otherwise. And I think that interpretation of the nature of God is an abuse of those who are taught such nonsense.

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  4. Thank you for your wonderful and heartbreaking story. I am so glad you have taken your pain and used it to create blog-fellowship for others.

    I spend a lot of time with abused women who have every right to walk away from God, and some of them do. Yet somehow God has given them an amazing gift of faith. Often it’s just a tiny glimmer, but it’s something they cannot ignore even after decades of trying. Those who re-open the door to God, just a crack, find that he’s different than the image of God they had earlier in life.

    Sometimes I’m jealous of the level of faith and intimacy they have with God.

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  5. Julie Anne- thank you for telling your story. I am so hurting in my heart that many have experienced these abuses and yet the church is so willing to condemn and persecute even more. I am so sorry……

    “For me, sometimes it is a daily battle, not only with my mind, but with people around me. I have been battered spiritually by those who should be loving and supporting me. I have been told that I am an unbeliever because I don’t match the way they think Christianity looks like – whatever that means. When I have been unable to read my Bible or pray for a season, that gets labeled as “rotten fruit” and proof that I’m an unbeliever. Those same people who claim to know Christ and judge me are not willing to come along side and have compassion or understanding considering where I have come from or willing to simply say, “when you can’t pray, I will pray for you.” I think they believe I have not accepted my lot in life, the lot that God chose for me.”

    For real??? There are people who have talked to you this way?? Oh man, I have not been a victim of abuse and I have a very hard time picking up the Bible right now because of the state of the church. I am so sorry Julie Anne. I can not understand…..and am at lost for words at the state of our “church”.

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  6. Oasis and Julie Anne (and others who are hurting)

    Numbers 6:24-26

    24 “‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
    25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
    26 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

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  7. Julie Anne,

    You are a tremendous blessing to the hurt and abused. You are a door thrown wide open for the captives of tyranny…of the doctrines of fatalistic determination; of lording and exploitation. You and your blog are slowly but surely giving humanity back to itself. You are wrenching it bit by bit and finger by finger from the claws of spiritual abuse, perpetrated by those who claim that God can only love you if YOU are completely DESTROYED in the redemptive process. By those who pretend God can both be just and loving while at the same time condemning people to a life of torment and and eternity in hell when by their very own doctrinal definitions, humanity can have no say, and thus no culpability for either its temporal or eternal fate. An evil doctrine which saves the wicked abuser and condemns the innocent victim.

    After reading the Calvinism thread (well, some of it…over five hundred comments; I didn’t have enough free hours in my schedule, LOL)…last night I was almost overcome with emotion at seeing so many people starting to THINK…and then, starting to question honestly these destructive doctrines; and then starting, out of their own ability to recognize reality…but not only that, to admit that, yes, they CAN see and judge reality correctly…they CAN tell when things do not make rational sense, and they ARE worthy and right to call contradiction contradiction, and farce farce, and insanity insanity.. It was like watching scales falling off the eyes, like they finally fell off mine after 15 years of blind devotion to the destructive premises of the neo-reformation, which bind human minds and will and bodies and souls and property.

    And then, after that…to see people engage, and engage forcefully, refusing any longer to submit to the premises of “orthodoxy” that every Calvinist despot DEMANDS humanity accept for no other reason than “I say so, because I have the monopoly on moral truth, and God commands you to submit to my “authority”, just because”. To see people eschew threats of “excommunication”, to shrug of thinly veiled accusations of heresy, in service to the divine and self-evident right to stake a claim to the moral goodness of THEMSELVES as human beings; to admit that God has given them a mind which CAN know truth, which recognizes EVIL from GOOD, and can demand justice for breaches of the sanctity of human life, and they don’t need some gnostic to stand there and tell them which way is up and which way is down.

    To declare that they have a right to BE, and this is by design. And to see that God loves every one of us, because He is our Maker, and as such, we are the inheritance of LIFE, of TRUTH, of VALUE.

    Thank you for this.

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  8. Julie Anne,

    Whenever I read what happened to you and to so many others who come here, something in me would rise up and name the perpetrators base-born issue of the female hounds of hell. When I read that there are those who would assure the victims of such horrific abuse that the God of all creation predestined such soul-destroying abuse according to His good pleasure and for His glory, I find that I must resist the temptation to go beyond naming these “comforters” AS the very hounds of hell.

    No, Julie Anne, what happened to you, and to so many others I will not attempt to name for fear of omitting somebody–what happened to all of you is simply evil. I am so sorry.

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  9. re Gary W: “what happened to all of you is simply evil.” And I would add, and is NOT from God nor is it His Will for your life.

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  10. Julie Anne,

    I know it must have been hard to put all of these things out on the web, but you have done such a great service in helping others to step out of isolation and for your own healing by doing so.

    The Bible is God’s testament to us that points to Christ. It has great wisdom and information for us, but it isn’t meant to be a set of rules to be manipulated by men to put people back into bondage, nor an object of worship. It’s a story map that points us to the One who sets us free by and into His pure love. Jesus told us that all we need is a mustard seed’s amount of faith in Him, not in doctrines made by men, to receive His gifts and enter His Kingdom.

    Men make doctrines out of scripture, not to lead people into truth and freedom, but to consolidate power and gain followers; little more than creating their own powers and principalities by political means. Meanwhile, the people who take up their cross and follow Christ fully into service of their fellow man are looked on with distrust or bewilderment by those in the structures of church power.

    When people come to these painful realizations of the abuses of doctrine and power by those who seek political power through the Church, they reject the human power and seek Christ more deeply, and thus become useless to the leaders. Instead of seeking to help lift people up into a fuller service of Christ, they seek to put people under human authority.

    People that are kept in continued pain, and denied access to the truth of Jesus’ healing love and freedom are much easier to control and manipulate; they’re given false hopes of wholeness and made to blame themselves by the manipulators for not having enough faith or not following the rules well enough.

    You wrote:

    When I have been unable to read my Bible or pray for a season, that gets labeled as “rotten fruit” and proof that I’m an unbeliever.

    Anyone who has taken the time to pray through the Psalms can tell you that ‘proof’ is nothing but a lie.

    I pray that your message continues to reach people’s hearts and help bring them to healing, and to return to a faith in Jesus, not a church or a doctrine.

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  11. This is what I see happening here at SSB; It’s evident in the comments from people that been abused and are walking towards healing now:

    1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
    Because the LORD has anointed me
    To bring good news to the afflicted;
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to captives
    And freedom to prisoners;

    2To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
    And the day of vengeance of our God;
    To comfort all who mourn,

    3To grant those who mourn in Zion,
    Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
    The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
    So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
    The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

    4Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
    They will raise up the former devastations;
    And they will repair the ruined cities,
    The desolations of many generations.

    From Isaiah 61.

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  12. Why does the abuse of power and claimed authority tend to prompt such anger in me? I actually do not fully know. What little I do know I am reluctant to share publicly lest my anonymity be blown at some point (or voluntarily relinquished). I will risk saying this much: My younger siblings are able to tell of violence perpetrated against me by my father, violence of which I have no memory. (If evangelical dogma is correct, my father is with our Lord, which fact I celebrate. The grandparents who were there to love me, when my father could not be a father, are supposedly, according to the evidence available to me, suffering eternal conscious torment.)

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  13. Julie Anne,
    I don’t know what to say. My heart aches at the pain in your post.
    God is love. He loves you. He loves Oasis. He loves all of us. It is mankind who chooses to do evil.
    It is never easy to overcome the abuses we suffer as children. I think they affect us for the rest of our lives. But, hopefully, we meet other people down the road who show us something better. Perhaps we may meet them on a blog such as yours. Hugs to you and Oasis.

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  14. Oh dear Julie Anne,
    I am so sorry for the horror that you have suffered at the hands of biological, adopted and spiritual fathers. I too work with abused women and the lifetime of pain and struggle is real–and I have my own as the former spouse of a pedophile and the daughter of a conservative, abusive pastor.

    But I see God in you powerfully. Your sense of righteous justice reflects His character; your compassion for the wounded and hurting reflects His heart beat. And I believe that He was present every nanosecond of your abuse–collecting your tears in His bottle–more likely an ocean. And He is redeeming your pain through every aspect of what you are doing on this blog and elsewhere.

    I too know the struggle of believing in the god we have been taught about by the pharisees of our day, especially when we have been in abusive situations. But our current-day pharisees do not reflect the heart or message of God any more than the first century ones did. I see the healing process in my own spiritual journey as one of deconstructing that harsh, cruel, despotic image of God and allowing Him to love me to a truer one.

    Thank you for sharing your pain–for being brave enough to put it out there. I knew you had a story because rarely does one have a heart of justice and compassion, as you do, without one.

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  15. “Do you sense both the physical and heavenly father chaos I have experienced? It’s hell.”

    Julie Anne I am so so so sorry you had to go through that. It breaks my heart. I cannot imagine, just cannot. I do sense the chaos and absolute hell you went through and I want you to know I validate your feelings 100%, fwiw. You have gone through something horrible, simply horrible, and I acknowledge the horror with you and I am trembling inside. It’s a hard and scary thing to stare evil in its face, but I have found for me that I must do it in order understand it and conquer it in my mind.

    “Do you see why hell might seem preferable than heaven – – if I have to acknowledge that this God, the One who sent Jesus to die for me, actually chose for me to be abandoned, rejected, and beaten by both of my earthly fathers? ”

    Yes I do see it. It would take a very disturbed heart to believe God chose that for you.
    No, evil, mentally ill people choose to do that. Sin chose to do that.

    “I’m now supposed to be okay with the fact that God foresaw the abuse I would endure and it was in His glorious plan?”

    That line of thinking would seem to be a direct contradiction of the mercy of God, wouldn’t it? Remember all my persistence with the Jerry Bridges womb sermon and I kept asking the question and NO Calvinist could answer sufficiently? That was clarifying, wasn’t it? There is no answer other than to admit the hypocrisy and/or false teaching of Bridges. Since Bridges doesn’t even believe what he teaches, why should we? We shouldn’t. I plan to look to Jesus instead and see how He went about doing good and setting people free.

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  16. Julie Anne

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve endured…
    I’m so thankful for meeting you here…

    You are a Finely Tuned Instrument of the Lord…
    Now playing beautiful music – Even through tears…

    And a wonderful inspiration for all who are scared…
    For hurting souls with broken hearts who thought no one cared…

    You are loved by those who understand…
    The pain you suffered was not planned…

    By your Father in Heaven who holds your face
    with His Nail Scarred hands…

    Jesus loves you this I know…

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  17. Julie Anne,

    I ache for the little one inside of you, if it was possible, I would pull her into my arms

    and hold her in love, and tell her how much she is wanted & loved. I am weeping

    over the damage that your fathers did to you. I am at a loss for words.

    Oasis touched my heart deeply also.

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  18. I am really touched at all of your words. Thank you all so, so much. I have said it before, but I feel so much love here, so much love, that I want to bottle it up and send it out to those who aren’t getting it. I am very confident that you all are defending the other survivors you come across. We all can be such a powerful force showing the love of God to so many hurting people.

    Argo nailed it. I mean he really nailed it with this:

    . . . . You and your blog are slowly but surely giving humanity back to itself. You are wrenching it bit by bit and finger by finger from the claws of spiritual abuse, perpetrated by those who claim that God can only love you if YOU are completely DESTROYED in the redemptive process. By those who pretend God can both be just and loving while at the same time condemning people to a life of torment and and eternity in hell when by their very own doctrinal definitions, humanity can have no say, and thus no culpability for either its temporal or eternal fate. An evil doctrine which saves the wicked abuser and condemns the innocent victim.

    Yes, yes, and YES!

    I did not expect the response I got inside me from the Calvinism thread. I am much more in tune with myself now – – and try not to dismiss these kinds of emotional responses. I knew when I instantly wept every time I read Oasis’ comments, that I needed to go “there” and wrestle with it. Running from pain, numbing pain will get me in trouble, so I rode that uncomfortable wave for a while until I could piece it together and it was so obvious what the issue was and what has been such a stumbling block for me spiritually: the angry controlling God vs God of love, mercy, compassion.

    If Oasis and I got that strong of a response, you know there are others. We must help them so they can be free. If my story helps one person, Praise God, the many hours spent will be worth it. If nothing else, I’m hoping it will help others who may not have been abused, understand the challenges survivors face. This is precisely why I rant and rave about sex abuse in church and how I say that if sex abuse has occurred in church, most likely spiritual abuse has occurred as well (if it was not handled well). The sense of spiritual abandonment on top of any abuse is a horrific game of war within the heart/soul/mind of a survivor. It is a silent killer. It can kill emotionally, spiritually, or even physically, by suicide. We must not stop defending the abused. I know where my brain takes me in the dark hours. It’s not pretty.

    Here is another important point that I forgot to include: You simply cannot reconcile that God is a God of love, mercy and grace, that He defends the oppressed, the orphans, the defenseless and then tell me that the Calvinist response lines up with that. There is a huge disconnect. That’s making God to not only be evil, but crazy, too.

    Now I get to give myself permission to love a loving Father, not an angry God. I get to label and identify what has been said to me as “rubbish.” I might not get it all the time, but it’s a start.

    Oh, and there are some happy endings with regard to my fathers. I think that will deserve another post. Or course I wish there was no abuse for me, but I am at peace with it and I have forgiven them. I rarely even think about it anymore. It has shaped me, but it does not define who I am. I think the gift it has given me is compassion for hurting people and gives me an excuse to use my redhead ranting attitude in a productive way.

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  19. Oh, Amos, how did you know that song is so precious to me? That was music to my soul. I watched the whole thing – what a beautiful expression of worship. Thank you. Real church is happenin’ here for me. Thank you, Father. Do you suppose our Heavenly Father’s lap is big enough for a 6ft+ woman? 🙂

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  20. To my friend that I have never seen or talked to, Julie Anne. I would like to say again what A. Amos Love said,

    “You are loved by those who understand…
    The pain you suffered was not planned…

    By your Father in Heaven who holds your face
    with His Nail Scarred hands…

    Jesus loves you this I know…”

    I wish we could stop all the hurt in the world and I think that your blog is a step in the right direction. As I read your story, I cried. Not because of any abuse I have suffered but because of the hurt many have suffered. I would pray that all could have a loving father like the one I had. I guess it was easy for me to know that God is all about love because of my father.
    I am so sorry for those that had fathers that abused. In my minds eye, I see my God cupping His hands to His mouth, with tears in His eyes every time abuse happens, I’m not like that, I love you and would never hurt you. Now I have added to that, I, your Father in Heaven long to hold your face with my Nail Scarred hands, and tell you just how much I love you.
    JA, God loves you and we love you too.
    Jim

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  21. JA-

    God’s lap is big enough, it holds me often, and did so even when my 6′ frame was carrying 255 lbs, with room to spare. And it can hold his entire creation, with all of us feeling like he is at that moment there for each of us individually. It is the most amazing lap ever! And all parents need to emulate it to the best of their ability.

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  22. “Do you suppose our Heavenly Father’s lap is big enough for a 6ft+ woman? :)”
    He sure is and you can call Him Daddy (Abba)

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  23. My Mom and Dad had their own biological children. For some unknown reason, he did not treat them the same as me. I was chosen to be the victim of his violence. They were not. Why?

    I can answer that in three words of ANIMAL behavior:
    Not My DNA.

    A male bear putting the make on a female bear with cubs will kill the cubs before making his move on her. A male lion taking over an existing pride will kill all the cubs in the pride after he kills or drives off the pride’s alpha male. In both these cases, he destroys the bloodline of the Other male’s DNA/seed and replaces it with his own, with no competitor for his own seed. (The difference is I don’t think human females automatically go into heat for the killer of their offspring. Those that do tend to make the news.)

    With 20+ years in Furry Fandom, I have had to think a lot about the differences between humans and animals. Reading The Gift of the Jews by Thomas Cahill, it came to me that God’s purpose in Torah and later Christ was something I was familiar with from the previous sentence: TRANSCEND THE ANIMAL.

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  24. You wrote:

    When I have been unable to read my Bible or pray for a season, that gets labeled as “rotten fruit” and proof that I’m an unbeliever.

    Anyone who has taken the time to pray through the Psalms can tell you that ‘proof’ is nothing but a lie.

    More than that. It’s Christianese One-Upmanship.

    Think about it — the “proof” you’re an Unbeliever is “Whatever YOU do that *I* Don’t.”

    The “proof” you’re Truly Saved is “Whatever *I* do that YOU Don’t.”

    Count Coup on the Other.
    Me Sheep, You Goat, Haw, Haw, Haw…

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  25. I’m overwhelmed with emotion (in a positive way) this morning in reading these responses and now e-mails. This poem was just sent to me and must be shared. Someone else who completely gets it.

    I would hear him coming, stomping across the floor
    hiding under my covers, waiting for him to barge through my door.

    His raging voice tense, as he shrieked out my name
    fear broke out in sweat in anticipation of the crushing pain.

    Where are you? He would scream
    which would snap me back from any
    dissociating in a childish daydream.

    Under the covers my tears would threaten to stream
    but I would stifle my sobs, training myself as a child Marine.

    When the door flew open, I prayed to die,
    resolved in stubbornness that I wouldn’t let him see me cry.

    Recognizing that wild rage in his eyes,
    terror left my little body petrified.

    My resistance to tears seemed to enrage him more
    and I had to endure what anyone would abhor.

    Reduced to begging, pleading for him to stop,
    it didn’t take long for the first tear to drop.

    Those beatings were hard and severe,
    though time healed the welts,
    hatred towards him persevered.

    What did I hate him the most for,
    was that I told him I loved him
    while under my breath I swore.

    To have to say I love you when all I felt was hate,
    buried contempt alive under hurt with its tremendous weight.

    The bruises healed, the welts faded away,
    however, the scars that are invisible
    still reside in my soul today.

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  26. Julie Anne,
    If our Heavenly Father’s lap is big enough for my husband, it is most certainly big enough for you. 😉

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  27. Julie Anne – I, too, am very sorry about what you have gone through. My father was not physically abusive, but he certainly was emotionally. Most of my memories of him involve criticism and resentment. I also remember the dread feeling I had when he arrived home. Toward the end of his life, he became a believer. There was a definite change in him, and we had a partial reconciliation.

    Is there a disconnect between this and my (partial) Calvinism? I don’t think so, although I can pretty easily imagine someone coming up with psychological explanations. It’s just that I believe that God has all the attributes I listed on the other thread in response to A Mom – not just some of them.

    I’m truly sorry if any of my comments have upset anyone – I promise that was not my intention. No one should take anything that anyone says as God’s Word; ideally, what it should do is motivate one to go to the Bible to check it out.

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  28. JA, I have finally been able to read your post several times and process it. I hope others who come will read it slowly and imagine it from the perspective of a little girl.

    Thank you for honoring us by sharing it. Thank you for trusting us enough to share it. As Eric related in the last thread…these things are sacred and must be treated as such for both you and Oasis. I loved the way he put that. I am hoping the door Argo referred to earlier will help others who are suffering in silence to trust us to love and encourage them.

    I remind myself often that God chose to manifest Himself as a lowly nobody, Jesus Christ, who was not seeking Glory for Himself but was assoicating with folks the religious leaders of the day had disdain for. He loved them and offered them hope. THAT is MY KING.

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  29. You sweet woman. I understand exactly what you went through in your childhood and how living with the painful reminders of the past are forever intruding into the present. But Julie Anne, what you give to those of us who have been abused, molested and mistreated, by some of the “Godly folks”, have found nothing but a loving friend and confidante in you. Many people who have not personally experienced this betrayal know how wrong it is and fight to end it – but those who have personally experienced it and are years on the other side of it and fight for it do so with a fire inside that simply cannot be extinguished.

    Never doubt the importance of who you are, the reason for your survival and the hope and inspiration you offer with each word you speak. It is your destiny to be the strong advocate against these crimes that you are now and the stronger advocate you will become in the future.

    As you know I have recently decided to come out with my own story from so many years ago. I had bounced some ideas off you about it, but reading this from you today has convinced me that there is none other than you who should put my story out on the internet. Would you please do me that honor, little sister?

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  30. Jeff Brown,
    “Is there a disconnect between this and my (partial) Calvinism? I don’t think so, although I can pretty easily imagine someone coming up with psychological explanations. It’s just that I believe that God has all the attributes I listed on the other thread in response to A Mom – not just some of them.”

    Jeff, that kind of talk needs to be on the other thread, not this thread. Some of us disagree with you in this regard, therefore it is of the debate topics on the other thread.

    Ed

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  31. Thanks for your response, Jeff. I appreciate the validation. Emotional abuse is equally damaging, perhaps even more because it is silent and crazy-making.

    I read those attributes on the other thread, but I cannot get to the same result with Calvinism based on Oasis’ experience, SGM victims’ experiences, my experience. I’ve tried. For years I have tried. As I said, I think the mental hoops and aerobics it would take for me to get there might lead one to a mental breakdown if not suicide. I must believe that a just God (and I believe Him to be just) would not desire that a survivor go to those dark places. Because that’s what many of us have to do in order to justify what happened to us. If you want to take this further, I’m happy to discuss it on the other thread.

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  32. Billie, I would be honored to share your story. Darn it, Billie, you made me cry. Your story must be told. You’ve been holding on to this stuff for more than a half a century. It’s time. I have such love and respect for you, Billie.

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  33. I got permission to reveal the source of that poem above. It is Gail aka scared.

    Gail, thanks for allowing me to share it here. I was especially touched by this part:

    What did I hate him the most for,
    was that I told him I loved him
    while under my breath I swore.

    That is so, so painful, having to tell your father that you loved him for him to stop beating you (Gail explained this in her e-mail to me). UGH. You had to betray yourself and speak lies that you never wanted to say. I hate this kind of control that he had on you. I’m so sorry, Gail.

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  34. “I told many, many people about the abuse, even the police, trusted family and friends, and people dismissed it, didn’t want to get involved, or didn’t believe me. The abuse continued until I was 19 years old and moved out”

    Many have told me that it is like a kick in the gut to not be believed or just dismissed. This is another reason we must listen and listen closely. There is nothing worse than not being believed and people actually enabling evil by refusing to listen and take it seriously. We must never be guilty of that ourselves.

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  35. Julie Anne,
    I am thanking our gracious and compassionate God for bringing you into my life. I am thankful for Him using you and others like you to speak truth and love to a hurting world. I do believe that Jesus heals our broken hearts, shows us through our own pain how to reach out to others who are hurting, speak out for the children who have no voices and walk in the integrity of the Holy Spirit. He gives us forgiveness, both for our own sin and for the sin perpetuated against us. I am blessed by you, your family and your walk with our compassionate Savior.
    As for ‘calvinism’ I personally get a check in my spirit whenever I see ‘ism’ for it usually identifies to me a work of man. Do we ever hear of Jesusism? No not really. Think of the ‘isms’ and see if there is any fruit of the Spirit there…test the spirits as Christ calls us to do.
    Your story is one of pain, yet hope. I too have worked through pain of abuse on many levels and I know God heals through the pain and restores me. He is doing the refining and restoring through His Spirit, His Word and with those He loves.
    “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
    I am doing a bible study using a book called “Welcome to the Father’s House~bringing the Lord’s prayer to life through story and study” by Kathy Bricel and Kathy Myers. Look for it on Amazon.
    Beautiful hope in our Father, who loves us and cares for us deeply.
    Love you and pray for you often
    Meaghan

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  36. Lydia said:

    Many have told me that it is like a kick in the gut to not be believed or just dismissed.

    Now you know why I did my first Google review exposing Chuck O’Neal and the abuses going on at Beaverton Grace Bible Church. I made a vow with myself that I could not ever remain silent if I saw abuse based on my experience. Spiritual Sounding Board has a lot of deep meaning beneath the name (musical meanings, meanings of sharing our concerted voices, as an implement to project loudly, etc). We won’t be silent here.

    The silence of others when they know what is going on is crazy making for the victim. And even the legal process can be a kick in the gut, too, because of legal technicalities, both in the SGM case (statute of limitations) and Alex Grenier’s case. Alex is my friend and he’s made it very public that his faith has been rocked after the court decision – – (Alex and Tim’s attorneys are appealing the decision and it will take up to 2 years).

    We cannot dismiss the emotional and spiritual toll taken on survivors when people remain silent.

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  37. Meaghan, I love you, sister. Isn’t it funny how Chuck even last week is publicizing how evil and divisive we are. Yea, I’m telling you, look at your comment – you Woman of Mass Destruction!!! haha You, despite having gone through horrific abuse as a child and then also at BGBC, have always shown the grace and love of Christ. I, too, am thankful that our paths crossed in that abusive church. We are sisters in our crime of love. Shame on us.

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  38. Jesus suggested we call God “Abba”, which some say is “Daddy”, but it really is more akin to “Dada”, the first thing a baby calls a parent, like “Mama”, before they can speak plainly. It is the term of a one-year old, or even younger, rather than of a four or five year old. A very little child, wrapped up in love for the parent who holds, cuddles, cares for and protects the smallest child.

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  39. Meaghan

    Much agreement when you write…
    “I personally get a check in my spirit whenever I see ‘ism’
    for it usually identifies to me a work of man.”

    Yes – I’m tired of ALL the Commandments of Men – Doctines of Men,
    Traditions of Men – That Make Void God’s Word…

    Love this line…
    “Do we ever hear of Jesusism?”

    Name above ALL names and “isms.” 😉

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

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  40. With all this junk we have to put up with in – Christian-dumb….

    Just give me – {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} – Name above ALL Names…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} – There’s Just Something About That Name – Jesus

    A
    Jesus – Advocate – 1 John 2:1
    Jesus – Alive for Evermore – Revelation 1:18
    Jesus – All-Knowing – Psalm 139:1-6
    Jesus – All, and in All – Colossians 3:11
    Jesus – Almighty – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Alpha and Omega – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Altar – Hebrews 13:10
    Jesus – Altogether Lovely – Song of Solomon 5:16
    Jesus – Amen – Revelation 3:14
    Jesus – Ancient of Days – Daniel 7:13 & Daniel 7:22
    Jesus – Anointed One – 1 Samuel 2:35
    Jesus – Author of Eternal Salvation – Hebrews 5:9
    Jesus – Author of our Faith – Hebrews 12:2

    B
    Jesus – Balm of Gilead – Jeremiah 8:22
    Jesus – Banner over us – Ps 60:4 S of Sol 2:4
    Jesus – Bearer of Sin – Hebrews 9:28
    Jesus – Before All Things – Colossians 1:17
    Jesus – Beginning and Ending – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Bishop of our Souls – 1 Peter 2:25
    Jesus – Blessed and Only Potentate – 1 Timothy 6:15
    Jesus – Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13
    Jesus – Bread of Life, my manna – John 6:35
    Jesus – Bridegroom – John 3:29
    Jesus – Bright and Morning Star – Revelation 22:16
    Jesus – Brightness of His Glory – Hebrews 1:3
    Jesus – Buckler – Psalms 18:30

    C
    Jesus – Captain – Joshua 5:14-15 – Hebrews 2:10
    Jesus – Changeless One – Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus – Chief Among 10,000 – S. of Solomon 5:10
    Jesus – Chosen of God – 1 Peter 2:4
    Jesus – Christ – Matthew 1:16 – 1 John 5:1
    Jesus – Comforter – John 14:16-18
    Jesus – Consolation of Israel – Luke 2:25
    Jesus – Counselor – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Creator – Romans 1:25 – Isaiah 40:28
    Jesus – Crown of Glory – Isaiah 28:5

    D
    Jesus – Daystar to Arise – 2 Peter 1:19 Defense – Psalms 94:22
    Jesus – Deliverer – Psalms 40:17
    Jesus – Desire of all Nations – Haggai 2:7
    Jesus – Despised and rejected – Ps 22:6, Is 53:3
    Jesus – Diadem of Beauty – Isaiah 28:5
    Jesus – Door of the Sheep – John 10:7
    Jesus – Dwelling Place – Psalms 90:1

    E
    Jesus – Emmanuel – Matthew 1:23
    Jesus – End of the Law – Romans 10:4
    Jesus – Ensign of the People – Isaiah 11:10
    Jesus – Equal with God – Philippians 2:6
    Jesus – Eternal God – Deuteronomy 33:27
    Jesus – Eternal Life – 1 John 1:2
    Jesus – Everlasting Father – Isaiah 9:6

    F
    Jesus – Faithful and True – Rev 19:11 – Rev 3:14
    Jesus – Finisher of the Faith – Hebrews 12:2
    Jesus – First Begotten – Hebrews 1:6 – Romans 8:29
    Jesus – Firstfruit of Them Sleep -1Cor 15:20 Rom 11:16
    Jesus – Fortress – Psalms 18:2
    Jesus – Foundation Which is Laid – 1 Cor.3:11
    Jesus – Fountain of Living Waters – Jer 17:13 Ps 36:9
    Jesus – Friend of Publicans and Sinners – Luke 7:34
    Jesus – Friend Sticks Closer than a Brother – Prov 18:24

    G
    Jesus – Gift of God – John 4:10
    Jesus – Glory, my and lifter of my head – Psalms 3:3
    Jesus – God Who Avenges Me – Psalms 18:47
    Jesus – God Blessed Forever – Romans 9:5
    Jesus – God Who Forgives – Psalms 99:8
    Jesus – God of My Life – Psalms 42:8
    Jesus – God in the Midst of Her – Psalms 46:5
    Jesus – God manifest in the flesh – 1 Timothy 3:16
    Jesus – God of My Righteousness – Psalms 4:1
    Jesus – God of My Salvation – Psalms 18:46
    Jesus – God of My Strength – Psalms 43:2
    Jesus – God With Us – Matthew 1:23
    Jesus – Good Shepherd – John 10:11
    Jesus – Gracious – Ex 33:19, Rom 16:24, Rev. 22:21
    Jesus – Great God – Titus 2:13
    Jesus – Great Shepherd of the Sheep – Hebrews 13:20
    Jesus – Guide Even Unto Death – Psalms 48:14

    H
    Jesus – Harmless – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Head of all Principality & Power – Col 2:10
    Jesus – Heir of All Things – Hebrews 1:2 Helper – Hebrews 13:6
    Jesus – Hiding Place – Psalms 32:7
    Jesus – High Priest Forever – Hebrews 6:20
    Jesus – High Tower – Psalms 18:2
    Jesus – Holy One Of Israel – Psalms 89:18
    Jesus – Horn of Salvation – Luke 1:69
    Jesus – Husband – Revelation 21:2

    I
    Jesus – I Am – John 18:6
    Jesus – Image of the Invisible God – Colossians 1:15
    Jesus – Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14
    Jesus – Inhabiter of Eternity – Isaiah 57:15
    Jesus – Inhabiter of Praises – Psalms 22:3
    Jesus – Intercessor – Isaiah 53:12 & Romans 8:34

    J
    Jesus – Jehovah Jireh – Provider – I Jn 4:9, Philip 4:19
    Jesus – Jehovah Nissi – Banner – I Chronicles 29:11-13
    Jesus – Jehovah Shalom – Peace – Is 9:6, Rom 8:31-35
    Jesus – Jehovah Tsidkenu – Righteousness – I Cor 1:30
    Jesus – Jehovah Shammah – Present – Hebrews 13:5
    Jesus – Jehovah M’Kaddesh – Sanctifier – I Cor 1:30
    Jesus – Jehovah Rophe – Healer – Isaiah 53:4,5
    Jesus – Jehovah Rohi – Shepherd – Psalm 23
    Jesus – Jesus – Matthew 1:21
    Jesus – Jesus Christ Our Lord – Romans 7:25
    Jesus – Judge of All – Genesis 18:25 – Acts 10:42
    Jesus – Just One – Acts 7:52

    K
    Jesus – Keeper – Psalms 121:5
    Jesus – King Eternal – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King Immortal – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King Invisible – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King of Glory – Psalms 24:7-8
    Jesus – King of Heaven – Daniel 4:37
    Jesus – King of Kings – Revelation 19:16
    Jesus – King of Peace – Hebrews 7:2
    Jesus – King of Righteousness – Hebrews 7:2
    Jesus – King of Saints – Revelation 15:3

    L
    Jesus – Lamb of God – John 1:29 – Rev 17:14
    Jesus – Lamb Slain – Rev 13:8 – Rev 5:12 – Rev 7:17
    Jesus – Last Adam – 1 Cor.15:45
    Jesus – Lawgiver – James 4:12
    Jesus – Life – John 14:6
    Jesus – Lifter of Mine Head – Psalms 3:3Light – John 1:7
    Jesus – Light of the World – John 8:12
    Jesus – Lily of the Valleys – Song of Solomon 2:1
    Jesus – Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Revelation 5:5
    Jesus – Living Bread – John 6:51
    Jesus – Lord and My God – John 20:28
    Jesus – Lord and Savior – 2 Peter 1:11
    Jesus – Lord of the Dead and the Living – Rom 14:9
    Jesus – Lord God Almighty – Revelation 16:7
    Jesus – Lord God Omnipotent – Revelation 19:6
    Jesus – Lord Jesus Christ – James 2:1
    Jesus – Lord of Glory – 1 Cor.2:8
    Jesus – Lord of the Harvest – Matthew 9:38
    Jesus – Lord of Lords – 1 Timothy 6:15

    M
    Jesus – Maker – Psalms 95:6
    Jesus – Man of Sorrows – Isaiah 53:3
    Jesus – Master – Matthew 23:10
    Jesus – Mediator – 1 Timothy 2:5
    Jesus – Merciful – Heb 2:17
    Jesus – Messiah the Prince – Daniel 9:25
    Jesus – Mighty God – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Morning Star – Revelation 2:28

    N
    Jesus – Name Above Every Name – Philippians 2:9
    Jesus – Nazarene – Matthew 2:23

    O
    Jesus – Omega – Revelation 22:13
    Jesus – Omnipotent – Revelation 19:6
    Jesus – Only Begotten Son – John 3:16
    Jesus – Only Potentate – 1 Timothy 6:15
    Jesus – Only Wise God – 1 Timothy 1:17

    P
    Jesus – Passover, my – 1 Cor.5:7
    Jesus – Pavilion – Psalms 31:20
    Jesus – our Peace – Ephesians 2:14
    Jesus – great Physician, – Luke 4:23
    Jesus – Portion of Mine Inheritance – Psalms 16:5
    Jesus – Potter – Jeremiah 18:6
    Jesus – Power of God – 1 Cor.1:24
    Jesus – Preeminent one – Colossians 1:18
    Jesus – Pearl of Price – Matt 13:46, 1 Cor.6:20
    Jesus – Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Propitiation for Our Sins – 1 John 2:2

    Q
    Jesus – Quick Understanding – Isaiah 11:3
    Jesus – Quickening Spirit – 1 Cor.15:45

    R
    Jesus – Rabbi – John 3:2
    Jesus – Ransom for Many – Matthew 20:28
    Jesus – Redeemer – Job 19:25 – 1 Cor.1:30
    Jesus – Refiner – Malachi 3:2
    Jesus – Refuge in Trouble – Ps 46:1, Ps 9:9
    Jesus – Refuge from the Storm – Is 25:4
    Jesus – Resting Place – Jeremiah 50:6
    Jesus – Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25
    Jesus – Reward of the Righteous – Psalms 58:11
    Jesus – Righteous Judge – 2 Timothy 4:8
    Jesus – my Righteousness – 1 Cor.1:30 – Rom 10:3
    Jesus – Rock that is Higher than I – Psalms 61:2
    Jesus – Rock of My Refuge – Psalms 94:22
    Jesus – Rock of Our Salvation – Psalms 95:1
    Jesus – Root and Offspring of David – Revelation 22:16
    Jesus – Rose of Sharon – Song of Solomon 2:1

    S
    Jesus – Sacrifice for Sins – Hebrews 10:12
    Jesus – Salvation, my – Psalms 27:1
    Jesus – Same Yesterday, Today, Forever – Heb 13:8
    Jesus – Savior of the Body – Ephesians 5:23
    Jesus – Savior of the World – John 4:42
    Jesus – Scapegoat – Leviticus 16:8 & John 11:49-52
    Jesus – Scepter of Israel – Numbers 24:17
    Jesus – Sent One – John 9:4
    Jesus – Separate from Sinners – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Serpent in the Wilderness – John 3:14
    Jesus – Shadow of the Almighty – Psalms 91:1
    Jesus – Shadow of a Great Rock – Isaiah 32:2
    Jesus – Shelter – Psalms 61:3
    Jesus – my Shepherd – Psalms 23:1
    Jesus – Shield – Psalms 84:9
    Jesus – Sin, for us – 2 Cor.5:21
    Jesus – Son of God – John 1:49
    Jesus – Son of Man – John 1:51
    Jesus – my Song – Isaiah 12:2
    Jesus – Spiritual Rock – 1 Cor.10:4
    Jesus – Star out of Jacob – Numbers 24:17
    Jesus – Stone the Builders Rejected – Matthew 21:42
    Jesus – Strength of My Life – Psalms 27:1
    Jesus – Stronghold in the Day of Trouble – Nahum 1:7
    Jesus – Strong Tower – Proverbs 18:10
    Jesus – Stronger than the enemy – Luke 11:22
    Jesus – Sun of Righteousness – Malachi 4:2

    T
    Jesus – Tabernacle of God – Revelation 21:3
    Jesus – Tender Plant – Isaiah 53:2
    Jesus – Testator – Hebrews 9:16
    Jesus – Treasure – 2 Cor.4:7
    Jesus – True Bread from Heaven – John 6:32
    Jesus – True Light – John 1:9
    Jesus – True Vine – John 15:1
    Jesus – Truth – John 14:6

    Jesus – Tabernacle of God – Revelation 21:3
    Jesus – Tender Plant – Isaiah 53:2
    Jesus – Testator – Hebrews 9:16
    Jesus – Treasure – 2 Cor.4:7
    Jesus – True Bread from Heaven – John 6:32
    Jesus – True Light – John 1:9
    Jesus – True Vine – John 15:1
    Jesus – Truth – John 14:6

    U
    Jesus – Undefiled – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Unspeakable Gift – 2 Cor.9:15
    Jesus – Upholder of All things – Hebrews 1:3
    Jesus – Upright – Psalms 92:15

    V
    Jesus – Very God of Peace – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
    Jesus – Very Present Help in Trouble – Psalms 46:1
    Jesus – Victory – 1 Cor.15:54
    Jesus – Vine – John 15:5
    Jesus – Voice – Revelation 1:12

    W
    Jesus – Way – John 14:6
    Jesus – Well of Living Waters – John 4:14
    Jesus – Wisdom of God – 1 Cor.1:24
    Jesus – Wise Master Builder – 1 Cor.3:10
    Jesus – Witness of God – 1 John 5:9
    Jesus – Wonderful – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Word – John 1:1 – Revelation 19:13
    Jesus – Worthy – Revelation 4:11
    Jesus – Worthy Name – James 2:7

    X
    Jesus – Exceeding Great Reward – Genesis 15:1
    Jesus – Excellency – Job 13:11
    Jesus – Excellency of Our God – Isaiah 35:2
    Jesus – Excellent – Psalms 8:1
    Jesus – Express Image of His Person – Hebrews 1:3

    Y
    Jesus – Young Child – Matthew 2:11
    Jesus – Yes and Amen – 2 Cor 1:20

    Z
    Jesus – Zeal of the Lord of Hosts – Isaiah 37:32
    Jesus – Zeal of your House – John 2:17

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} – Name above ALL Names…

    Like

  41. Thank-You Julie Anne!

    I believe now what made it worse was the church that I ended up in. Because according to them Jesus was supposed to magically change me. I was told over and over to forgot my past. But my past had marked me deeply & profoundly and the psychological damage manifested itself in panic attacks, depression, shame, & fear.

    Well, as you can imagine that wasn’t good advertising for Christ (I know now it was bad press for the church as they were into numbers)
    I was told by my pastor that I wasn’t trusting in Christ & the sufficiency of the scriptures & that I needed to be joyful.

    The thing that makes me sick, is the control, the idea I had to be perfect. I could not name my story, I could not be where I really was at if it hinted of sadness, anger, or feelings of abandonment. Nope none of that was allowed. Set me up to be a plastic fake.
    O, goodness back then I loved Jesus so much, and thought HE was furious at me because I wasn’t feeling his peace, love & joy. Glad I started therapy, I needed to learn how to name what I felt the good, bad & ugly.

    Some healing has come, in small doses, as Jesus has listened to me & heard me and didn’t scold me via the people he has put in my life. Now via your blog. So, very thankful for this place.

    Like

  42. A. Amos Love! You always nail it when it comes to Jesus! Thank-You for sharing that. I am going to sit with this list till Jesus returns or I go to be with him.

    Like

  43. Gail,
    I am thankful for this place, too. I’ve been thinking of this song while reading all the comments:

    Like

  44. Thank you Julie Anne,

    I knew a little of the abuse you suffered from some of the things you’ve written in other posts, but to read of it now; the sadness and pain is worse than I could have imagined. For what it’s worth, from now on I’ll make sure I think of your story and the stories of others before I express my theology. I’m very glad that I can call you a sister in our Lord and a friend.

    Like

  45. BTDT- Exactly! O, Man, it is a day of (good) tears for me.

    In regards to the song, people here probably have no idea of how many times their comments have carried me.

    Like

  46. Hey Meaghan

    WOW – Guess what I found? – check out this sight. 😉

    http://www.christinyou.net/pages/Xnotism.html

    Christian Religion and its …isms

    Many are the …isms that have formed in the context of Christian religion over the centuries, and which serve as a denial of the divine reality of Christianity. Every such …ism serves only as a pathetic diminishment of the divine display of Christ’s life in Christians. They also serve as bunkers behind which religionists can hide in order to participate in their divisive positioning and posturing, instead of focusing together and being unified in the person and work of Jesus Christ…

    ———–

    Christianity is not an …ism

    All …isms are antithetical to Christianity, and are necessarily a reductionism of the spiritual reality that is Christianity. All …isms are an attempt to encapsulate or encompass Christianity into an entity (be it ideological, conceptual, behavioral, procedural or sociological) that can in no wise contain the supernatural activity of the Living God. The being and activity of the God of the universe will never be confined in a bottle or box of man’s making and understanding.

    Down with “isims” 😉

    Like

  47. I can relate with you over this subject matter.My father was just a flat out cruel man.It took my mother 30 years after his
    death to admit that my father was a child abuser.

    Like

  48. Every single time I come back here and read new comments I am in tears. Seriously amazing stuff going on here. I need a way to rig up a box of Kleenex to my laptop so I don’t have to keep getting up and finding it.

    Like

  49. “I can relate with you over this subject matter.My father was just a flat out cruel man.It took my mother 30 years after his
    death to admit that my father was a child abuser.”

    I have heard this a lot, too. I really think Patriarchal teaching affirms this sort of rationalizing for women who look the other way..

    Like

  50. Hey JA! i’ve been meaning to writie to you, and now i see i can’t find your email on this blog, perhaps you took it down, too much time to manage and what not, totally understand. I just wanted to say that this post just so totally resonated with me…

    I’ve found myself in a horrendous place of late. First a little background- i was molested by a male family member from toddler hood on to about puberty. in addition there was physical abuse, psychological abuse and lots and lots of neglect. As a child i managed to stuff it and deal and not confront the abuse at all, but as i got older, my matter of fact affect about the abuse shifted and the PTSD started. I started getting flashbacks, etc, though i always had severe sleep walking and night terrors. I still don’t sleep well though i don’t wake up screaming anymore. Anyway, shortly after the PTSD had started coming out, just a little, i dated a young man who i was very close to, it got serious, and i bailed. I got scared and i ran. all of that is now gone, i don’t have any memory from that time at all, and the vast majority of my life is also gone from my memory. Well, recently, i reconnected with him in FB and came to understand the reason things went down as they did, and we realized we were/are still in love. Obviously this was not acceptable being that we are both married and i have children. So we decided to stop talking, went back to our spouses and are trying to work it out. things are bad for him- he’s currently caught up in a cult and his life has basically been entirely stripped from him, its beyond painful hearing (from a mutual friend) how much has been taken from him, i love him dearly, its so cruel and wrong.

    Meanwhile for me, things have been difficult. prior to all this we were part of a cult/church that shunned us, which was beyond difficult to deal with. it was devastating. i always vowed i’d not be one of those people who flipped and went against orthodox doctrine because of an abusive church situation, but here i am, in that exact position.

    A lot has happened to me in my life. i’d always just accepted that God was with me, and without God i’d surely be dead, that God was the reason that things came together in the way they did, so that i’d at least been spared my life. But this felt like the last straw. At this point, i don’t even WANT life. I can’t help but ask myself, WHERE is God in all of this?! SERIOUSLY, if “i” stood back and watched my toddler be raped, and did nothing, i would be considered criminally neglectful or abusive. And yet, that’s exactly what God did. I just can’t make myself tow the line any further, and i don’t know where that leaves me. The whole, God doesn’t owe me anything thing just doesn’t fly for me anymore, because the fact is, God DOES owe me, because He brought me into this world. He created my life. I didn’t ask to be abused, tortured, abandoned, and now, faced with the fact that i’ve ruined the life of someone i love so much, and made the choice to get married when i was NOT of clear mind and NOW am so far entrenched in my life that i can’t get out- i can’t make a selfish choice, too many people depend on me, and i don’t have a Right to make that choice, but when it all comes down to it, i was denied the opportunity to EVER choose in my life. And it was all orchestrated by a God who “loves” me?! WHATEVER! and if i don’t believe exactly as one particular group believes, then i’m going to go to hell where i’ll be abused for all eternity?! WHAT?! it doesn’t make any sense to me. i don’t understand why i’m so heretical for thinking this is madness! I mean, i have expectations as a mother, i will not hurt my children, i will NOT stand by and let someone else hurt them, i will NOT abandon them, i will not threaten them with eternal damnation for not doing things JUST so, but that is exactly what God and “christians” do. I mean, shouldn’t God be at LEAST as good of a parent as me?! seriously, how do you find peace with all of this?! it seems so crazy now.

    Like

  51. Dear Julie Anne,
    Words just fail me. I was reading your story on my iphone at an appointment this morning and was just in tears (I got a few strange looks ☺_ ~ oh who cares). You were betrayed by the very people who were supposed to protect and love you. But Jesus does have a very big lap and a great chest to hide your face in and cry.

    I see Jesus’ love in and through you. You can’t hide it. And He seems to bring these times of healing along when it’s the right time for you and with the safety of His Holy Spirit.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing your story and for your perseverance in preserving a safe place for us to come together and share and heal. I have found such help and encouragement from this special community. His presence in here among us.

    Like

  52. Hey Julie Anne and SSB Community,

    Along with many others, I/we join in by: Reading, Listening, Groaning, and Praying.

    Thankful that Jesus is real in spite of evil that tries to cloud his face.

    Love and support for each person who needs a special touch of love.

    Like

  53. Julie Anne,

    read your post just now over lunch.

    Thank you for it.

    So much, as you may know, connected with me, with my own childhood of experiencing abuse at the hands of my adoptive father. Children in such environments become quite adept at discerning moods. Is Dad in a good or bad one? What can we expect? Is there any way his bad mood can be diffused? Questions like this were my concern, with my specific role among us kids being to make my dad happy, put him in a good mood. Otherwise, my little brother was the JA in our family—dad was prone to beat the crap out of him for any random reason. Me, I was chosen for a different type of abuse—sexual. Hmm, can’t believe I’m engraving this reality into the blogsphere!

    Wish I had time to read all the comments and to follow along, but I did at least want to register my gratitude for JA and SSB.

    Thank you all.

    David

    Like

  54. Oh, Julie Anne… Your story makes me so angry! I had no idea you’d been through so much in your life. I hope writing this post has been and will be healing for you.

    “This deep, gut-wrenching, sobbing pain is so real for some of us.”

    Yes, it is… The full-blown weeping you describe, the pain from the very depths of your being…oh, how I wish I had been there to cry with you, Julie Anne. 😦 Yes, that agony is very real, and so familiar to me. I hate that you can relate so intensely.

    Pretty much at a loss for words right now…totally stunned at what God has done here.

    Like

  55. Thanks, Julie Anne, for sharing your story and allowing your painful experiences be used for healing in other people’s lives.

    I know early on in this blog, and also on SGMSurvivors, there have been critics saying that these blogs are excessive and that people need to just move on. And that if they are still affected so deeply by what happened to them, clearly they are bitter and haven’t forgiven.

    What I’m realizing is that there is simply no short cut to healing. You can ignore the past and be numb to the pain, but it’s always there lurking. Confronting it, behind bold enough to share my story (to safe people) and being real about the pain is the only place where real healing happens.

    So cheers to your healing process and the many others who read here as well.

    Like

  56. “know early on in this blog, and also on SGMSurvivors, there have been critics saying that these blogs are excessive and that people need to just move on. And that if they are still affected so deeply by what happened to them, clearly they are bitter and haven’t forgiven.”

    What the blogs show is that churches have been full of people who have experienced these evil vile criminal things and are not finding it to be a healing place but a place that devalues them all over again. In some cases even abusing or covering over more abuse.(In the Name of Jesus, of course)

    Like

  57. Ladybug – Wow, just wow…. Welcome and thank you for posting your story too. While I have not experienced what you have, I too, understand what it feels like not understand why God responds to others and not to you. I feel the same way so much of the time. While I still have faith and believe in God, for many years I have felt that God has been distant.

    And to everyone else, I so enjoy reading your comments. Thank you for giving your $.02 worth!

    Like

  58. Brian,

    I am sorry, but your theology of “I find comfort in knowing that God truly is in control.” is not appropriate in this thread. This reinforces your belief that the God of Calvin was in control of the abuse. CONTROL. That means that God orchestrated it. After all, he’s in control, right? Wrong answer there buddy. This talk needs to be on the other thread.

    Ed

    Like

  59. scratching my head. .

    Wow. .

    Forget Calvin, but Brian’s encouragement is absolutely biblical. .

    why should his good word belong anywhere else?

    Like

  60. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” – 2 Cor. 1:3-5

    May God comfort you, Julie Anne (and others), so that, through Christ, you may be able to comfort others.

    Like

  61. Brian,

    I put your comment in the moderation queue because it really is inappropriate for you to post a rebuttal when Julie Anne specifically asked not to make this part of the debate. I’m sure you meant to be comforting and understanding, but it doesn’t really come across that way in light of Julie Anne’s post. I’ll let her decide whether or not to move it later.

    Thanks for your understanding,
    Fiat Pax

    Like

  62. Hey Brian – I just too a look at the comment and I agree with FP, it belongs on the other thread. I’m going to copy it and move it there because it really is defending Calvinism and invites a debate (whether that was your intention or not). Just watch what happens when I move it 🙂

    Like

  63. Fiat,

    I think you are making a mistake. Have you conferred with Julie Anne about that?

    My comments were not a rebuttal or to promote debate or anything like that, and to arbitrarrily remove them from this thread is being disengenuous.

    Like

  64. LOL – why did I wait so long to get a moderator? This is great – – asking permission from a woman – hahahahaha. I’m not sure if MacArthur or Piper or Grudem would approve of your question, Brian.

    Like

  65. Brian, I’m just now going through the rest of the comments. Thank you very much for your kind words on your 6:54 comment. The 2 Corinthians passage is one of my favorites.

    Like

  66. Julie Anne,

    First, thank you. By sharing, you are helping many, as we watch in real time. This is incredible, absolutely miraculous. And this isn’t happening in a bubble or a vacuum, we all have a front row seat for as long as this blog is up. I imagine the angels & heaven rejoicing with us, united with us, even through our tears of sorrow. Our Lord’s kingdom is coming & our Lord’s will is happening on earth as it is in heaven, through his creation, through you personally & each & every person who shares their experience. Even though it must be so excruciating to speak of, let alone just to think about. That is a clear mirror of Jesus’ love for us!

    I will sound like a broken record but that’s okay: children ARE a gift from God. You are a gift from God. I your fathers & the people you went to for help should have known this simple truth. I can’t imagine how painful each time must have been for you. I weep with you. I am experiencing many emotions, pit in stomach, heart in throat, tears, pure outrage, sadness. It makes it hard to put words together.

    I am upset at what these people did. I am upset by what bad people do to hurt children. And grown adults.

    What also makes me outraged is when I hear or read someone telling someone who is hurting & trying to heal that God is responsible. I REFUSE to believe that. This is not the God I serve. This is not the Jesus who walked the earth and died on the cross & rose again so we could be free from the power of sin. Why does this translate into doing or condoning evil for some, as if it’s ordained by God? I am outraged that God who IS LOVE is so misrepresented. I am outraged that precious ones are hurt again.

    I am not angry at people. I am angry at a religious setup that says God creates damaged goods. God does not, God NEVER has. There is sin, the world groans, yet God has been in the process of restoring us. This is the God I serve. And we are called to be a part of restoring hurting individuals to God. To a God who is loving. Yes, God gave us a choice. And choice ALWAYS comes with responsibility. God is not responsible. God gave us freedom to act, thus we are responsible for what we do. God is not responsible for what we do.

    I used to have compassion for someone who experienced a loss or damage from someone else. Except I wasn’t a big crier. I would get busy. I helped. I was very practical. But an event in my life changed me.

    Now I am reduced to streams of tears, no matter where I am. And I even can’t control it, how pathetic! Reading about abuses that have happened affect me on such a personal level now. EACH ONE is so painful to read & I’m sure that’s true for others reading as well. Yet I still want to know. I won’t turn away or walk away. I refuse to. I WILL NOT.
    And EACH time I read someone’s personal experience, I cry, I cheer them on, I want to express where words fall short that I love them. I pray for them. I am even more resolved . It drives me even more to speak up & defend them. I so want to protect them. I want them to know they ARE NOT alone. God sees & weeps with them. And we do, too.

    Like

  67. “Many have told me that it is like a kick in the gut to not be believed or just dismissed. This is another reason we must listen and listen closely. There is nothing worse than not being believed and people actually enabling evil by refusing to listen and take it seriously. We must never be guilty of that ourselves.”

    Lydia, This IS the truth. We must listen & listen closely. We don’t step over or walk to the other side of the road to avoid or ignore. Heaven help us.

    Like

  68. A Amos Love,

    Thank you so much for the all the names of Jesus. I am pocketing them for when I need to be reminded. Which is daily.

    Like

  69. Fiat Pax,
    Thanks for removing it. I was just starting a reply to Brian. Thankfully, I can pitch it.

    Brian,
    Brian, While your 6:54PM comment seems kind, it is inconsistent with many of your hurtful comments on this blog. I don’t buy it. If you’ve had a change of heart about your previous comments let us know.

    JA edited p/request

    Like

  70. Hi Ladybug, I am behind in reading and just now catching up to your post. My e-mail is at the “About Me” at the top of the page. I’ll give it to you here: spiritualsb@ gmail dot com

    You have gone through so much and thank God you had PTSD. I look at PTSD as a gift from God because it is. It saved you from having to fully face the gravity of abuse that was done you. It helped you to survive. Praise God for that. Don’t ever feel bad about that. I was diagnosed with PTSD, too. After dealing with the abuse issues, the PTSD issues subsided and have completely gone.

    The spiritual connection with abuse is one that we need to talk about much more. I don’t think there are lot off people educated in this area. I am very interested in this area because of how it has affected me and now I see similarities in others who have experienced abuse as a child.

    For those of us who are survivors and are struggling spiritually, I think we need to be kind to ourselves and show ourselves some mercy. I was talking with a dear friend the other day about loving ourselves. I think a lot of Christians balk at the idea of loving ourselves and confuse it with getting too much self-esteem.

    Check out this verse: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:37-39. In order or us to be able to love others, we first have to be able to love ourselves. Sometimes survivors forget that part of the verse. We neglect ourselves and our spiritual, emotional, and physical health (I’m preaching to the choir here).

    I encourage you to hang here and avail yourself to the fellowship among Believers here. At any time, feel free to comment (even if it is off-topic) if you need help. That is first and foremost the goal of this place -to be a refuge and safe place for those who have been spiritually abused. I care about you, Ladybug. Thanks so much for sharing your story here. You are loved.

    Like

  71. A Mom:

    You are such an encouragement to me personally and also on the blog as a strong voice defending the hurting sheep. Thank you – – I have so appreciated your words here.

    And EACH time I read someone’s personal experience, I cry, I cheer them on, I want to express where words fall short that I love them. I pray for them. I am even more resolved . It drives me even more to speak up & defend them. I so want to protect them. I want them to know they ARE NOT alone. God sees & weeps with them. And we do, too.

    Yes!! That’s right. Amen!

    Like

  72. RP – –

    What I’m realizing is that there is simply no short cut to healing. You can ignore the past and be numb to the pain, but it’s always there lurking. Confronting it, behind bold enough to share my story (to safe people) and being real about the pain is the only place where real healing happens.

    I have to laugh at my arrogance at thinking I was done with this recovery business when I first started the BGBCSurvivor blog. Oh boy, it’s a journey. Thanks for traveling with me on it. It’s nice to not be alone here 🙂 I had no clue what was going to happen with me emotionally/spiritually this week. What a ride!

    Like

  73. Oasis said:

    ” I hope writing this post has been and will be healing for you.”

    Oh, it really has and I have you to thank for that. If you hadn’t shared what you did, I never would have connected with it. To me that is a live demonstration of the 2Cor passage Brian quoted. So beautiful!

    Pretty much at a loss for words right now…totally stunned at what God has done here.

    Me, too. It’s amazing.

    Like

  74. Julie Anne,
    the scars left behind by abusive parents run deep, or parents who abandon their children. In my case,my dad was an abusive drunk, the affects that had on me and my siblings runs deep -to the very core of my being. I remember praying God would change him, when that didn’t happen, I prayed my dad would die. The pain, the abuse he inflicted verbally on my mom {as well as physically abusing her} and me and my sisters and brother was so traumatic. I was not beaten like you, and my heart breaks for you even now. As a teenager, I would get into scuffles with my dad, he’d come home drunk and pick a fight with my mom or me. Most of the time, my mom would hide somewhere in the house before he came through the door. I was not afraid of him, he wasn’t a big man, and he was drunk. So his attempts at trying to ‘fight’ me were not real threatening. As the oldest sibling in the house, I felt it was my duty to protect my mom, as well as my two younger sisters and brother.
    I know, somewhat, of your pain, when a parent isn’t what they’re ‘supposed to be’, you just don’t understand, and you have nowhere to go. Where was God, why didn’t He answer me? God was where He’s always been, on His throne. What I endured was a result of sin, not God.
    I pray still to this day for God to help me overcome my bitterness towards my dad. My dad died in 1999, and I did not shed a tear. I never went to see him in the hospital right before he died, I just couldn’t go. I tell my own children how IMPORTANT it will be, when they have children of their own, to love them, to avoid things like drugs and alcohol because of the devastation it brings. The way you raise your children and treat them leaves life-long impressions on them.
    I look forward to being with my true Father, who loves me more than any earthly human being ever could.

    One day, we will stand in His presence, and all the horrific things of this life will be done..”He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

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  75. No problem, A Mom.

    On a post like this one, I will always choose to err on the side of caution first, then re-evaluate when necessary.

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  76. “You have gone through so much and thank God you had PTSD. I look at PTSD as a gift from God because it is. It saved you from having to fully face the gravity of abuse that was done you. It helped you to survive. Praise God for that. Don’t ever feel bad about that. I was diagnosed with PTSD, too. After dealing with the abuse issues, the PTSD issues subsided and have completely gone. ”

    I have never heard of this before but it makes total sense. Like sort of a protection mechanism?

    “For those of us who are survivors and are struggling spiritually, I think we need to be kind to ourselves and show ourselves some mercy. I was talking with a dear friend the other day about loving ourselves. I think a lot of Christians balk at the idea of loving ourselves and confuse it with getting too much self-esteem. ”

    Very true! I call it being “strong in the Lord”. And survivors need strong boundaries because as humans in the image of God they have GREAT value to Him. Being a Christian does not mean being a doormat to someone who craves authority.

    And people won’t like it when you have boundaries but they work. I liken it to being wise as serpents yet gentle as doves.

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  77. I have never heard of this before but it makes total sense. Like sort of a protection mechanism?

    Yes, exactly, Lydia. It is a defense mechanism that allowed us to survive the immediate trauma. Think of the military guys in war. Some have witnessed the killing of their close friends right before their eyes. They do not have the time to process what happened – – that they just lost their bunk mate, their close friend, that they just saw his head get blown off and his body is right next to them as they continue in battle.

    What do you do with that pain? You have to compartmentalize it so you can continue on with your duty. The trauma is basically put on the back burner. Then what typically happens is the guys come back home are in a safe place and they get triggered and haunted by flashbacks of what happened. They cannot get it out of their minds. Why? Because they were never allowed to process what happened emotionally when it happened, hence the name: post-traumatic stress

    I’m going to have to post my PTSD story. I think it would be helpful. When people go all freak-out about psychology, it gets me angry. It completely makes sense when you understand it. In my case, (and I even alluded to it in the story), I numbed my pain. I didn’t allow my dad to see me to cry. I didn’t deal with the pain. It was when I finally told my story, when I was 27 years old, I was finally heard and validated, that the flashbacks subsided. This is not rocket science. This is love, people. This is not giving people answers to life’s problems, this is simply listening to others and their pain and being there for them. It is so basic. What is happening here is amazing. This is validating. This – even on the internet can help people heal and recover. And SSB is FREEEEEEEE 🙂 I’m all about a good deal 😉

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  78. “If you hadn’t shared what you did, I never would have connected with it.”

    Well, Julie Anne, the truth is, last night I was feeling a bit weird or uneasy about having gotten so personal, but then this post popped up and I realized it was more than okay. I have no problem sharing what I did, not when God has a marvelous symphony he wants to conduct for another hurting person. Wow! See, this is the kind of work our wonderful God does, in the process of defeating evil.

    So thankful, and still so stunned…

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  79. Yes, Lydia, you have got it pegged right. Many of us have been observing this pattern for awhile.

    “What the blogs show is that churches have been full of people who have experienced these evil vile criminal things and are not finding it to be a healing place but a place that devalues them all over again. In some cases even abusing or covering over more abuse.(In the Name of Jesus, of course)”

    The statistics and stories of wounded people continue to be made available on the internet. People are finding the kind of support that they were looking for back when in their home churches yet could not find it. Yes, so many de-valued and silenced. So many leaving and never wanting to enter the doors of a church again. Is there any wonder?? Glad for new ways of creating community through this technology. So grateful!

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  80. So, when someone has PTSD “flashbacks” (for want of a better term) after the situation, that is a mechanism saying, it is time now to process what happened? If so, I would think that is important for survivors to understand.

    I often wonder about people who stay in abusive situations all their lives. Or leave the abuse and then get involved in a church group that stifles their dealing with the truth of the evil that was done to them. It seems like it would be a life long prison sentence. This is why I am so proud of the now adult SGM abuse survivors. I am so proud of them for standing up for themselves and saying: That was evil and we are holding you accountable for how you handled it. You said it was sinful “gossip” to talk about the evil done to us. Well we are telling the world about your evil ways. I applaud their courage especially after being raised in a shepherding cult where such things are unthinkable. And look at the abuse after the fact heaped on them. They are angry, bitter, etc. All from so called “Christian” leaders.

    I would think not only telling your story but standing up for yourself is very important in healing.

    I am constantly amazed at how we are wired. How intricately God designed our brains.

    ” When people go all freak-out about psychology, it gets me angry”

    Me too. Not long ago I spoke with my cousin about this. She and her husband were missionaries in Africa for about 20 years and he is a pastor while she is now a professor. She is not a secular person if you get my drift but a committed believer. She told me that the worst thing anyone can do in is go to “Christian” counseling. She says they are not equipped for it and almost always make it worse in the long run. I totally agree. They are more worried about preserving a marriage than they are a woman’s personal safety and even her worth as an individual. They are more worried about honoring your parents even though your dad abuses you, etc, etc. There is little value in the individual and more value in the “rules” which are proof texted ignoring the evil. They end up enabling evil. And they are often duped by narcissists and sociopaths who know scripture better than they do.

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  81. “In my case, (and I even alluded to it in the story), I numbed my pain.”

    Pretty much what I did, too. I could talk about the horror in detail while feeling absolutely no emotion. For years I had no feelings at all connected with the abuse. Sure, had recurring nightmares, but thought nothing of them. Flashbacks started to plague me (still do) – but I did not recognize them as such. Then after a while it really started to bug me, my lack of emotions.

    Anyway, about two years ago, the dam finally broke…those emotions, they were there the entire time…confusing stuff to try to explain.

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  82. JA said, “For those of us who are survivors and are struggling spiritually, I think we need to be kind to ourselves and show ourselves some mercy. I was talking with a dear friend the other day about loving ourselves. I think a lot of Christians balk at the idea of loving ourselves and confuse it with getting too much self-esteem.
    Check out this verse: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:37-39. In order or us to be able to love others, we first have to be able to love ourselves. Sometimes survivors forget that part of the verse. We neglect ourselves and our spiritual, emotional, and physical health (I’m preaching to the choir here).”

    Oh, Julie Anne. I’m SO glad you said this. It’s so important. I didn’t realize that in order to love others well, I had to deeply (lol that word, but in a good way this time) love myself. That’s the only way “Love your neighbor as yourself” makes any sense. Instead, I was taught the verse meant I needed to love others more than myself. That I was deeply broken instead. NOT!

    I actually learned this from John Immel very recently. His videos are quite empowering to the individual & worth watching on paulspassingthoughts.com. If anyone is interested, click on the conference links to the right. The videos helped me believe even more in a loving God & I took notes that I find useful & refer back to.

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  83. Unworthy1 – lyn
    Where was God, why didn’t He answer me? God was where He’s always been, on His throne. What I endured was a result of sin, not God.
    I tell my own children how IMPORTANT it will be, when they have children of their own, to love them, to avoid things like drugs and alcohol because of the devastation it brings. The way you raise your children and treat them leaves life-long impressions on them.
    I look forward to being with my true Father, who loves me more than any earthly human being ever could.
    One day, we will stand in His presence, and all the horrific things of this life will be done..”He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    This is so wise & profound!
    Yes! Some humans choose to sin. But that is their choice. They are responsible for what they do, not God!
    What you are passing on to your children is so good & wise! That is exactly what all children need to know!
    And thank you for reminding us of who our true Father is and what being with Him will be like!

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  84. Yes, so many counselors do not understand what spiritual abuse is. For many, going to a secular counselor is a much better option. People have put their trust in Christian leaders and were devastated, so why would they want to go to a Christian counselor–who may be another product of the same ‘system’. Further, these counselors may not have the understanding in this/these areas that they need in order to help them. Often religious abuse can be understood and exposed from a safe secular setting.

    Thankfully, there is much more information available about spiritual abuse. There is a better understanding how people can cope, how people can support them, and how they can get on the road to recovery. There are many skilled Christian counselors who take a particular interest in this topic. It may be that they, too, have their own stories of spiritual abuse and fractured trust from their own church experiences.

    Further, issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence are often linked with spiritual abuse. It would pay to know where a professional counselor is coming from before someone decides to share/unload their life story with them.

    A number of us are working at raising awareness as well as providing resources for people in need. There are opportunities for networking and drawing on a number of professionals who can be available to help others. Join us in prayer to that end.

    One website that is comprehensive is: http://www.AbuseResourceNetwork.com. We trust that this site will continue to grow and provide information and various resources that are suitable for individual and community needs.

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  85. A Mom, really want you to know that I agree with every word of Julie Anne’s comment: “You are such an encouragement to me personally and also on the blog as a strong voice defending the hurting sheep. Thank you – – I have so appreciated your words here.”

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