Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I wanted to let you all know what’s going on with me personally and also to ask for some help. After much thought and prayer, last year I made the decision to go back to college full-time. My first term started April 7 and I just completed my 5th week. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve taken college classes – whoa! I’ve needed to make some changes on the home front, remove some activities, simplify, etc., to swing this.
It will be difficult for me to produce the same level (amount or length) of blog articles while maintaining a full-time college schedule. Blog articles are only a part of Spiritual Sounding Board. I’ve always said that the life of the blog is in the conversations. The articles primarily serve as a springboard for great conversation. The discussion you add typically provides more information, encouragement, and challenges for all our readers. I love that this is a healthy community where people are free to say what is on their minds and where no one gets to speak for another.
Sometimes, people are triggered by the articles or discussion and e-mail me privately. When someone feels safe enough to contact me privately or share their personal story with me, I do not take it lightly. Sometimes they are in a church crisis. This is a crucial time to give people good information and support. I figure at least 10 hours a week are spent in private blog-related e-mails and phone calls. This aspect of the blog ministry is very important to me.
So, I was trying to think of how some of the blog load can be lightened, yet maintain a consistent online presence for those who need help as they are dealing with their own challenging church or Christian group experience. I realized that having Cindy’s two articles last week was a great help to me during a very challenging school week and it became apparent that I’m going to need more help as I continue school at this level.
Many of you already contribute so much in your wonderful comments – maybe you also have a whole article or two in you … or maybe you’ve been a “lurker” and are ready to share your story or your thoughts. Either way, are you interested in helping create a well of articles on topics relevant to survivors of spiritual abuse that SSB? We need posts to draw from to keep the conversations going. I can’t guarantee every article submitted will be published, but I would love to be able to share articles from a host of people. And I do have a behind-the-scenes team to help me review possible articles and edit them when things need a bit of clarifying.
So, if you’d like to submit articles for consideration, here are some ideas:
- Link to a current article, quoting sample sentences. Write a few thoughts of your own about the article (a couple of sentences or a couple of paragraphs may suffice) and what strikes you about it – i.e., is it promoting an unhealthy ideology, bad belief, legalism, etc? Do not worry about it if it’s very short in length. In fact, our SSB community has always been able to generate great discussion from a few simple sentences in a post comment.
- Send me your personal spiritual abuse story. Personal stories are one of the primary ways people can connect and realize they went through spiritual abuse. Never minimize your experience as “trivial.” Your story may provide the missing link to someone who has been wondering what was wrong in their church and not know how to identify the problem.
- Send a paragraph or two of church bylaws, membership agreements, church covenants, etc., that you find troubling. Send me the website link so I can take a look at it (we don’t have to publish the link). We can use this as a “Learn to Discern” article. These are very helpful and we can learn a lot from each other.
- Send me your growth/success stories. We need to provide hope and let people know that there really is freedom in Christ beyond bad church experiences. What has worked for you?
- Feel free to send your own ideas I don’t have listed. I’m open to suggestion.
Anything you send, please be sure to let me know if you’d like me to include your real name, or a pseudonym, or “anonymous,” if we decide to publish it.
And if you have any other ideas on how to share this load while I’m in school, I’m all ears (and eyes). Thank you!
My e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org