Personal Stories, Spiritual Abuse

What Happened When You Shared Your Abuse Story with Someone for the First Time?

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What Happened When You Shared Your Abuse Story with Someone for the First Time? Did They Believe you?

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This is the fourth time I’ve started this post. I can tell when something is triggering me when I lose my writing mojo. Last week, the media reported additional women speaking out about being sexually violated/raped by Bill Cosby, a man who has been so highly esteemed in show business as a comedian and actor, and a respected father figure in his very popular and successful television show, The Cosby Show. The news stories were shocking, did Bill Cosby really do that?

But these women, some after decades, have finally spoken out. Their stories are remarkably similar in details and their reason for silence makes sense. Who would believe their story? Everybody loved Cosby. It wasn’t worth the risk to disclose.

I’ve gotten into some debates with people about this – some have been with my friends  – about these women who finally came out and told their stories. As I debated with these people, I realized it has been hitting me emotionally.

It brings me back to the time I first shared my story of abuse, first as a child who experienced physical abuse growing up, and then later, as an adult experiencing spiritual abuse and being sued by my former pastor. As I read the accounts from the alleged Cosby victims, I was emotionally connecting with these women whom I’ve never met, who were brave and speaking out. It got me thinking back to when I shared my story of abuse with someone. Just thinking about the responses I received brought me back to that very lonely and dark place. I never felt so alone.

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This “coming out” process is always so difficult and this picture represents what it was like to me – like an uphill battle with ominous clouds.

We don’t know what is on the other side. What will we face if we share? Will we be better off having shared our story, or should we have remained quiet?

It doesn’t matter whether the abuse was sexual, spiritual, physical, emotional, the patterns are very similar. There are many obstacles to overcome before we get to the point of sharing. It’s our word against someone else’s word and reputation. Will they believe me? Will they think I’m nuts?

Many of us have experienced different kinds of abuse and eventually got away from the abuse and maybe eventually shared our story.

I thought it might be helpful to hear some of these kinds of stories. What was your experience when you decided to share that you were abused? Did people believe you? Did they help you? I’d like to hear your story.

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As always, you are free to use any pseudonym when sharing here.

photo credit: xlordashx via photopin cccac

172 thoughts on “What Happened When You Shared Your Abuse Story with Someone for the First Time?”

  1. And what happens when there are Christian leaders who know the truth and won’t stand? Or when you can’t speak up becuase you’re afraid that they’ll take your kids away if you tell the truth, because you’ll look like you’re vindictive?

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  2. “Gail, I’m commenting here because I believe that the Bible does indeed teach that the church ought to police herself–Matthew 18:15-19 and 1 Cor. 6:1-11 are two great passages to start–and because I think that while churches have made a mess of discipline, trying to do it right offers the best chance for repentance and reconciliation.”
    Bike Bubba,

    My trust in the building/ church/ is non existent. Way too many frauds masquerading as pastors. No need for me to spout off about the false shepherds that I mistakenly put my trust in. O, the damage done by those smooth operators. Now, if Amos was going to start a church I just might attend. O, wait a minute, Amos was ordained, and dropped out of the rat race. (Correct me if I am wrong Amos)

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  3. Amos,

    I think you were joking about being offended!
    Dude, you along with many others here, have helped me to heal & return to my first love Jesus.

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  4. Bubba, Just a thought., What I have seen you do with certain passages (like 1 Corin 6 and suing) is apply them like a law. That approach,– the bible as a manual,– is not realistic and often we miss the larger narrative when doing that. I sort of liken it to the “letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law” sort of thing. Matthew 18 and others you have mentioned here are used the same legalistic manner missing the larger point.

    I see this a lot with seminary educated folk. Which is why I call them cemetery’s :o)

    The closest thing I see to church “discipline” situation is in 1 Corin 5 where Paul is advising the Corin church about a very sicko situation. He chastised all of them for accepting that as normal. But note, his being asked to leave the fellowship was so “he could be saved”.

    You bring an “institutionalized” view to these passages that just does not fit the informal 1st Century ekklesia.

    Just something to consider concerning missing the larger narrative…In 1 Tim 1, Paul is talking about those who deceive on PURPOSE and those who deceive out of ignorance. He has great mercy for the latter and names himself in that category before he was rescued. He has great mercy for people who are deceived out of ignorance. But note, he names names for the former–those who know better and deceive on purpose. A big warning. He was warning folks. That is why he does not mention the woman later, she is deceived out of ignorance and he wants her to learn. His turning them over to Satan is a figure of speech. He is communicating that they are not the real thing. They lie about Jesus Christ. Avoid them.

    It is easy to miss the larger narrative when we are applying verses like laws to be carried out. We miss the spirit of the teaching

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  5. Gail, understand a lack of trust. I’ve had it myself at times. But that said, Matthew 18 and 1 Cor. 6 tell us that we ought to, as believers, try to resolve our differences, including sins committed, within the church as much as is possible. In certain cases, the church ought to penalize members or even expel a member. John 16:2 makes it clear that such was no laughing matter for Jews in the 1st Century.

    Now sure, there are boundaries. You report crimes to legal authorities per Romans 13. But at the same time, the criminal is in just as great a need of Christ’s forgiveness as we are, no? I think it’s a mistake to simply dump these cases off on civil authorities and leave the perpetrator (or simply accused) swinging in the wind in jail with only his lawyer to talk to. He needs the opportunity to make restitution, to apologize to the accuser, and the like. The church ought to help facilitate that.

    And, to be honest, I think at a certain point that churches need a certain amount of practice at this to get the hang of it. Some will, and have, made a hash of it. I have rewarded three pastors for this by walking right out the door. (first case; refusal to use the pulpit, second, KJVO, third, toleration of prosperity theology) Let them know that they ignored incontrovertible evidence of sin, in direct violation of Matthew 18:15-19.

    So just as abolitionists woke up a church with a deficient theology regarding slavery, so can we wake up a church with a lazy attitude towards church discipline.

    And Amos? Well, what exactly is the evidence that Paul dealt with Alexander the Coppersmith by any method other than the one Christ gave? Certainly Paul treats him as a pagan and tax collector, so that part of Matthew 18 was certainly fulfilled.

    And Amos calls me creative when he tries to pull that stunt? Maybe you ought to ask for a refund for your exegesis and hermeneutics classes, Amos, since they obviously didn’t do you any good.

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  6. Lydia; would not a command of our Lord Jesus Christ be something to be obeyed unless we had a really good reason not to? You can call it legalistic all you like, but hey–this is a command of our Lord here.

    Now we can try to suggest it’s just cultural, and fine…..OK, anybody got any better ideas out there? I’ve also worked to establish that when we walk away from the principles Christ and Paul set out, we end up making things worse for those who have been injured.

    in other words, we’re not talking about legalism here. We are talking about a method of reconciliation and discipline that reflects how God created and remade us in Christ. And if this is correct, you might as well try to repeal the law of gravity as ignore what He tells us here.

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  7. Bubba, you just made my point by calling Matthew 18 a “command”.

    when we miss the spirit of Jesus’s teachings we end up with how many angels are dancing on a pinhead sort of thing trying to make it applicable to every situation. which is exactly what has happened to Matthew 18. we cannot take Matthew 18 out of the context of Matthew 5 through 23. we shouldn’t even take it out of the context of Matthew 18 :1 but many do.

    John did not follow Matthew 18 in the case of Diotrephes. he just wrote about him FIRST in letter to Gaius for millions to subsequently read about over thousand years. not very Matthew 18 of him. he did not even go to the guy first. Gossip? Or a serious warning?

    your interpretations remind me of trying to force a square peg in a round hole every time.

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  8. BB, you are worried about the church leaving the offender swinging in the wind. Worry no longer! According to Boz Tchividjian, in all his years as a prosecutor of child sex abuse cases, neither he nor his colleagues EVER saw church pastors and members sitting on the side of the courtroom to support the child and his or her parents, not once. They were always there supporting the perpetrator.

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  9. When it comes to confronting abusers, it is just not always possible. My husband and I have a very real physical reaction when we even see his abuser’s name in caller id or email, one that causes us to lose our dinner and have nightmares. Actually having to talk to her or hear her voice is ten times worse. And the one time my husband has seen her in the past year was barely possible only because it was in a public parking lot. The victim’s needs trump anything the abuser wants.

    Another thing I have learned is that most abusers do not give a darn about the victim’s perspective. They will never believe their actions to be wrong – after all the abuser benefited and that is all that matters. Truly the best thing to happen to an abuser, from a victim’s perspective, is to have them publicly outed as such and then to have no further contact ever again. My husband would feel a tremendous sense of relief if he never had to hear his ex-abuser’s name again, see her, communicate with her, etc… The ability for an abuser to cause pain does not end with separation of the two parties. The “church discipline” will rarely work in these situations. The most important thing to do is make sure the victim is safe and supported.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. To Lydia & NJ:

    Thanks both for your supportive posts to me a few days.
    * Yes, it’s much better that I’m out of such a sick church.
    * Yes, I reported all to the Sheriff and the California Attorney General.
    *Following that up with police reports, since clergy in my state (California) are legally mandated child abuse reporters.

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  11. Bike Bubba,

    I still am flabbergasted that you still, after I defined the word discipline, that you still insist that Matthew 18 is discussing discipline. Don’t you listen?

    You lecture me about exegesis?

    Here is your exegesis:

    “Well, I don’t like witnesses, so I will delete that verse from Matthew 18 altogether, and just pretend that it didn’t exist. I will tell everyone that OUR LORD didn’t include the requirement for witnesses. Oh, and while I am at it, I will INSERT discipline. No one will notice. No one reads the Bible anyway. I’ll just blame it on theologians.”

    Yep, that is Bubba’s exegesis. Adding things that aren’t there, and deleting things that he doesn’t like. Adding discipline and deleting witnesses. Gotta love them cults on how they do things. Oh, and lets not forget to punish the victim for not forgiving the perp. Gotta kick her out for disobeying Matthew 18!

    Bubba, I’ve got to say that you are proving to me that you have never STUDIED the Bible. And yet, you lecture me about hermeneutics and exegesis? I think that you should be more worried about exeJESUS, instead of exegesis. Jesus is gonna slap you silly, Bubba.

    Delivering one to Satan is equated to KICKING the person out, just as Matthew 18, and 1 Cor 5. THAT IS NOT DISCIPLINE. Again, the definition of discipline is to correct a deficiency. And kicking a person out to Satan is because the person belongs to Satan. He sure doesn’t belong to OUR LORD.

    The bible no where discusses discipline. You keep insisting that the “PRINCIPALS” are there.

    NO THEY ARE NOT.

    Ed

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  12. Bike Bubba tells Gail the following:

    “And I caution you against using Ed Chapman’s writing, as he has the nasty habit of trying to put words into my mouth (and the mouth of Scripture, for that matter). If you take a look at my previous comments, you’ll see that I repeatedly note that there are situations that ought to be taken directly to the police.”

    I will respond to this:

    Bike Bubba,

    You delete the necessity of witnesses, and therefore, who the hell are you to lecture anyone about situations that ought to be taken directly to police.

    You proceed with a Matthew 18 without witnesses, all because you don’t like false witnesses. You have already made a determination that Matthew 18 can indeed proceed without witnesses.

    So who are you to teach? Matthew 18 cannot proceed without witnesses.

    What’s it gonna take for you to understand that?

    And, I might add, that you delete the notion that the victim has the authority to BIND OR LOOSE.

    Those two words are missing in your vocabulary. What ever the victim binds on earth is bound in heaven.

    And if the perp and YOU, FORCE a forgiveness from a victim, BE IT KNOWN, that the perp never got it, because that forgiveness is feigned out of fear and retaliation.

    Your version of Matthew 18 is abusive and reckless, and a bunch of hogwash. You have no idea how much you are abusing women on this blog with what you are saying. No idea.

    I’m done with Bubba. He has no clue.

    Ed

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  13. Bike Bubba,

    One last thing:

    You had said:
    requoting again:
    “And I caution you against using Ed Chapman’s writing, as he has the nasty habit of trying to put words into my mouth (and the mouth of Scripture, for that matter). If you take a look at my previous comments, you’ll see that I repeatedly note that there are situations that ought to be taken directly to the police.”

    My response:

    I quote scripture, if you haven’t noticed. I lay it all on the line with quotes. There is no such thing as me putting words in the mouth of scripture when it is quoted.

    And here is the quote again:

    Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

    Witnesses. You have a problem with the verse that states witnesses.

    A huge problem, and that isn’t my problem.

    Ed

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  14. “And Amos calls me creative when he tries to pull that stunt? Maybe you ought to ask for a refund for your exegesis and hermeneutics classes, Amos, since they obviously didn’t do you any good.”

    “And I caution you against using Ed Chapman’s writing, as he has the nasty habit of trying to put words into my mouth (and the mouth of Scripture, for that matter). If you take a look at my previous comments, you’ll see that I repeatedly note that there are situations that ought to be taken directly to the police.”

    Bike Bubba,

    What Ed said: “And if the perp and YOU, FORCE a forgiveness from a victim, BE IT KNOWN, that the perp never got it, because that forgiveness is feigned out of fear and retaliation.

    Your version of Matthew 18 is abusive and reckless, and a bunch of hogwash. You have no idea how much you are abusing women on this blog with what you are saying. No idea.”

    Mandy,

    Prayers for healing for your husband… You get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Michaela, You go, girl. I wish more pew sitters had your courage to report. We do not know what will come of it but it is a step in the right direction. It is the start of seeking to put things to rights and loving justice as we are supposed to do. Thank you.

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  16. “BB, you are worried about the church leaving the offender swinging in the wind. Worry no longer! According to Boz Tchividjian, in all his years as a prosecutor of child sex abuse cases, neither he nor his colleagues EVER saw church pastors and members sitting on the side of the courtroom to support the child and his or her parents, not once. They were always there supporting the perpetrator”

    Oh so true. Christians love a supposed notch on the belt. The bigger the sin the more exciting the supposed redemption. Nevermind the perps usually were professing Christ when they did the evil. NOW, they are sorry when they get caught.

    I think I have told my judge story here before but it is similar to what Boz says. I have a old college friend who is now a judge. I see him from time to time and years back I ran into him and we went for a drink to catch up. He is an athiest, btw. He asked me why Christians pack out the court room for a zoning hearing on a porn shop demanding they be zoned out of existence but then will show up to court to give a positive character witness (he is a changed man!) for a church member charged with pedophilia and even come back to beg for leniency when being sentenced. He did not get it. Neither do I. It is almost as if the perp claim to be a Christian they get a sin pass on a heinous crime.

    How insulting to the victim these “church” people are. They just abuse them all over again. It always confuses me. Was the pedophile a “Christian” while molesting kids? Can Christians live in continual evil? Have we lost all sight of basic right and wrong?

    But I am at a loss how Matthew 18 would fit into that sort of scenerio. You know, SGM did this with victims of molestation making the victims practice matthew 18 with their perp. It was evil. They were told they were sinners, too, and had to forgive. You can read all about this in the lawsuits. That is where seeing Matthew 18 as a “discipline” process can take folks.

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  17. lydia, Tha is wrong. No, Matthew 18 needed. An abuser, pedophile rapist etc. Is NOT a Christian. That is evil fruit being produced from that person. I have read of a 3 year old child who was being forced to forgive the pedophile in the room and was repremanded when she hid under a desk. 911 That is what should have happened. I have my own theories of what the punishment should be for a person who would assault a child in such a way and they are not pretty. They wouldn’t be sitting in a warm jail cell with 3 squares a day. I certainly would not be sitting in a court room saying they have changed.

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  18. And what happens when there are Christian leaders who know the truth and won’t stand? Or when you can’t speak up becuase you’re afraid that they’ll take your kids away if you tell the truth, because you’ll look like you’re vindictive?

    Hi Shelby,

    Sorry about missing your earlier comment. I’m having a hard time keeping up lately due to my busy school schedule and finals. I’m not really sure how to answer your questions because there are so many possible responses. I guess if you can be more specific with your situation, I might be able to help a little bit more. In general, when there are Christian leaders who know the truth and do not stand, I would recommend leaving. No need to say a thing, just vote with your feet. The other issue with regard to taking away children is so vague, I hate to respond to it, but you can either give more details or send me an e-mail and I’d like to try to give you a response as best as I can.

    It sounds like you might be going through some really difficult situations. Again, if you can be a little more specific, that would help so we can give better answers. Thanks! My e-mail is spiritualsb@gmail.com

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  19. Shelby T, I noticed what you wrote. I wasn’t sure how to answer your questions. Your questions were vague and I don’t understand why anyone would try to take your children or what kind of abuse you were going through. I’m sorry. I should have asked questions to find out more information about what you are going through. I think I found out that when no one would stand up for me, I had to find out with God’s help how to do that for myself.

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  20. Bike Bubba…

    I would say that your reading these stories through a naive lens. The thing about using Matt 18 is that if it’s the leadership whom is being abusive, they will figure out a way to twist scripture to support their actions. Let me give you a personal experience.

    my child was molested by my adopted nephew. Who’s parents work at one of the biggest churches in my city. We her parents did everything right and in the end lost contact with that whole side of the family. But that’s not what this is about. My inlaws boss, the head pastor wrote a letter of reference for the young man my child accused. It was delivery to the police by the boys lawyer and is a part of the official police report. He did so without speaking to me, my husband, or the authorities. We were told by my inlaws. “Tony told Matt he didn’t do it. So, Matt says he didn’t do it”.

    As a mother and a Christian it infuriated me that a pastor, and “man of God” would come to the support and borderline defense of anone whom possibly committed a crime before hearing all the facts. I wrote to the pastor explaining my concerns, outlining how I believed his actions we a sin again my daughter and my family. I asked how a person in his position could write such a letter without at least hearing the victim’s side. Without hearing what the three year old 2as saying was done to her. I wrote twice in about six months. No response. I called the denominations district office and the head man there said I should contact the pastors board of elders. That as head of the district he had no authority. So I contact the head elder. He listens to my story. I sight specific questions I have. Mainly did the pastor ever even get my emails. He says he’ll get back to me. Two weeks passed when he said he would he calls and tells me that they (the board) did inquire to whether it was appointed for the pastor to write a reference letter for the boy. When pressed on what an “inquiry” mentioned he would provide no details. That they the board found the pastors actions appropriate. I asked what the pastors responses were to my specific questions. The elder hadn’t ask any. Not a one. Then he proceeds to tell me that I was wrong to evoke Matt 18, one because we called the police abut the abolish done to my daughter. And then latter in the conversation because the pastor didn’t sin against me.

    Bottom line. If these people in positions of power do not want to be held accountable they will create a system or surround them self with people whom will help make sure they are not held accountable. Even if it means twisting and ignoring Christ’s own words!

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  21. kimster

    So sorry for the pain, the experience, you and your child had to endure.

    And the failure of the pastor to acknowledge you and your concerns.

    Yes – This seems to be the norm with these guys with “Titles.”

    “Bottom line. If these people in positions of power do not want to be held accountable they will create a system or surround them self with people whom will help make sure they are not held accountable. Even if it means twisting and ingnoring Christ’s own words!”

    Now – When I hear Mat 18 and “church discipline”
    It usually means the guys with the power do the discipline.
    And – It’s run for the hills… Run to {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

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

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  22. Gail – Brenda R

    Thank you for the kind words.

    And I appreciate how you both are overcoming severe trials and challenges by keeping your eyes on Jesus. I also appreciate your abilities, your willingness, to voice, to explain, how you feel about abusive practices when you see them. AKA “church discipline,” which is NOT in the Bible, but still is promoted by “Today’s Abusive Religious System,” “pastors/elders who Abuse,” “pastor/elders addicted to Exercising Authority like the Gentiles.”

    Most of those who promote “church discipline,” will admit that, it, “church discipline,” is NOT done well, or correctly. We just have to do “church discipline,” better. Tweak it a little here and there.

    The problem, as I see it is, if “church discipline,” is NOT in the Bible…

    How does anyone know who is doing it well? Or correct? Or better?

    Because “church discipline,” is NOT in the Bible…
    Anyone can make up their own rules on how to enforce it. 😦

    And can mis-interpret to their hearts content…
    “ let him be unto **thee** as an heathen man and a publican.” – To mean …
    If “you” do NOT bow to MY POWER we will excommunicate you.
    And RULE and CONTROL with that FEAR

    NO – Saying Mat 18:15-19, is “church discipline,” is NOT in the Bible…
    And is a formular for Spiritual Abuse

    Which youse guys recognize – Bravo…

    Ps 138:6
    Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:
    but the proud he knoweth afar off.

    Ps 40:4
    Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,
    and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

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  23. I’m sorry, Amos. You were in serious mode and I was on a cloud. I will try not to interrupt again. Note I said try.

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  24. Gail

    Yes – I was ordained. I was in leadership. And even when I was a part of “The Abusive Religious System” of today, the fellowship I was apart of saw Mat 18:15-17, quite differently then most today who are promoting “Church Membership” so they can have *the power* to “Exercise Church Discipline.” And excommuncate YOU…

    We wanted to “Restore.”

    Kinda like Gal 6:1-3, is a reminder to “Love” and “Restore.”
    *Brethren,* if a man be overtaken in a fault,
    ye which are spiritual, *restore such an one*
    in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,
    *lest thou also be tempted.*
    Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
    For if a man think himself to be something,
    when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

    Are these “Titles,” pastor/leader/reverends…
    Who are promoting “church discipline” deceiving themselves?

    I also see Mat 18:15-17, as a reminder to “Love” and “Restore”
    Because the trespasser is “Thy brother.”
    15 Moreover if *thy brother* shall trespass against thee…
    17 And if he (your brother) shall neglect to hear them,
    tell it unto the church: but if he (your brother) neglect to hear the church,
    **let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.**

    Seems to me, Jesus, went out of His way to spend time with the heathens and publicans. Yes? Jesus “Loved” the heathen and the publican. Died for them. Laid down His life for them. Shed His Blood for them. Yes? Aren’t WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, asked go into the highways and by-ways to reach out to the heathen and publican?

    Maybe we need to practice “Loving them?” Showing Mercy?
    NOT excommunicating MY brothers?

    If signing “Church Membership” forms are…
    So I can determine “Vote” to excommunicate MY brother, from Jesus’ Body…
    For tresspassing against me…

    It won’ be long before someone is “Voting” to excommunicate me. 🙂

    NOPE – I think I’ll pass – Self preservation you know… 😉

    Mat 5:7
    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    Mat 9:13
    But go ye and learn what that meaneth,
    I will have MERCY, and not sacrifice:
    for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

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  25. Brenda R

    Please do NOT be sorry…
    I took that “time out” as a word from the Lord…
    Even yesterday, I could NOT write about this Matthew 18 Monster…
    I have seen to much damage by this no-biblical “church discipline” doctrine of men.

    So again – Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Amos,
    I never signed anything to be a church member. I did write out my testimony to become a member of the church I attend now, but in the original church where I was saved and baptized, membership was automatic at that point. If someone came in from another church they became members on their testimony alone as long as they had been baptized already.

    You weren’t in a good spot. If you decide to start a church, let me know. I’d be interested in attending.

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  27. Amos,

    Your tone is tender & strong, at least that is how I hear you, in my heart, when I read your words. You are a safe man and I am grateful for your voice here always bringing me back to Jesus.
    With Brenda on the tears, the soft, cleansing, holy kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I have been giving thanks for Amos all week. First, because you are so unfailingly kind here, Amos. And secondly for your support of your friend with cancer whose wife has Huntington’s disease. I have always told families affected by this disease that even though family members and friends may be nowhere to be found, God will send new friends who will be like family. And here it is again, He sent you.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I concur with the nice things folks have said about Amos,
    his edifying manner, graciousness etc on this board. It’s been
    very healing for me (someone who was kicked out of my
    church of 8 years and ordered to be shunned, not for
    any kind of immorality but for upholding the law when it came
    to a sex offender in our midst. The pastors defend him and
    don’t care about the safety of children. They are also legally
    mandated child abuse reporters here in California and will not comply.)

    I recently decided to have communion at home. I bought
    grape juice and matzoh crackers. It was nice to pray
    and have communion! Why miss out on it just because
    I haven’t found a church home yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Marsha, I agree. Amos is a true blessing here abd to me personally. Thank you, Amos.

    Changing subjects, I’m at intermission singing with a beautudul symphony my favorite, The Messiah. I originally declined because of school, but because of a horrible viral bug that caused nearly half of the choir to be affected, some extras were called in. This is truly sacred and uplifting music. What a joy to be a part of this. We just sang, “His Yoke is Easy….His burthen is light”. Amen!

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  31. Michaela,
    The immoral people that are shunning you–there will be a reckoning. I pray that you find the safe church home you are looking for. Keep in the communion of our Lord Jesus Christ. You did the right thing. It makes me angry to see people who are suppose to be Christians uphold the ungodly and sacrifice the saint.

    17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

    The sinful organization that you came from could have lead you astray, is leading the congregation to stray, and endangers little children. Sex offenders not only cause physical damage to a child or adult, but emotional and spiritual damage that may leave more scars than the assault itself. It can cause them to turn their back to our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Blessings to you Michaela for your righteous response.

    Like

  32. Kimster- It grieves my heart that your precious innocent was molested. It outrages me how the supposed men of gawd responded. I hope you are as strong & fierce as you sound, that said, a mothers heart is shattered when her child is abused. May the Lord comfort you in your sorrow, heal your sweet girl, and bless you & your family.

    Like

  33. WOW ====BLUSH=====
    wow =====blush=====

    What nice words to wake up to….

    I might as well go home and go to sleep this morning. 10am est….

    It’s hard to believe today could get any better…

    Y’all have made my day… Thanks

    Like

  34. Julie Anne

    sing-on….

    And this always gives me goosebumps…

    Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – Must See!

    Like

  35. Michaela- Love your idea of taking communion! Hadn’t thought of that. My goodness it seems that abuse and cover up is an epidemic in the so called churches. Breaks my heart. Glad you stood up.

    Like

  36. Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus

    Fantastic. That had to be exciting for those casual bystanders. I’ll save the Messiah for later.

    Thanks Amos.

    Like

  37. Hi Brenda R.,

    Thank you so much for your kind, supportive response. It means a lot to me, since I was wiped out by this experience at my church.

    I have ordered several books off amazon and found them helpful in covering the topic of spiritual abuse:
    1. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen, Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue
    2. Two books – Churches That Abuse and Recovering From Churches That Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth
    3. Toxic Faith by Stephen Arteburn and Jack Felton
    4. Breaking Free: Rescuing Families from the Clutches of Legalism by David R. Miller;
    5. Predators In Our Pulpits by W. Phillip Keller.

    I didn’t realize that spiritual abuse was (sadly) common and that there were books (and thankfully blogs like this one, others like Joyful Exiles by a pastor’s wife from Mars Hill Church in Seattle who were ordered to be kicked out and shunned, etc).

    The books have been very helpful…as I nod my head and say, “yes, yes, yes. Spot on. This is how my (former) church was run.”

    But it’s blogs like this – with the human touch – that are really helpful to my healing.

    Blessings to you, Sister,

    Michaela

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hi Gail,

    Thank you! Perhaps others on this board would be interested in having communion – together. Maybe next week – Sunday, December 14th. We could each get the necessary items for communion (grape juice, crackers or bread) and do it together as brothers and sisters in the Lord. I will continue to take communion, including by myself. But it would be nice to do it with The Body – you folks.

    <

    Blessings,
    Michaela

    Like

  39. Michaela,
    I am going to add your book list to my “want to read” list. I am only familiar with the first one you mentioned.

    I love your idea of SSB holding communion together.

    Blessings, Brenda

    Like

  40. Well, Well, Well, Doing “Communion” together…
    And wells are a deep subject. 🙂

    So is “Communion”

    And since leaving “The Religious System” in the early 90’s
    I have an additional understanding of “Communion”
    Then what I was taught in “the System.”.

    If anyone is interested I’d be glad to go over it.

    And what makes you think WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, you and me…

    Have not been doing “Communion” together today here at SSB?

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Hi Folks,

    Communion: I’m in California (Pacific Time). But I do get up early. So whatever time you want to set to take Communion is fine with me.

    Books: Glad to share them with you Brenda. I have found them so helpful.

    Blessings,
    Michaela

    Like

  42. Brenda – Anyone

    First… A couple of questions…
    That I suggest you edjumacated ones might research on your own. 😉
    “Well, you can ask Jesus to help…
    ———–

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
    that *He might instruct thee:*
    ———

    The word communion; What does it mean in the Bible?
    Not from a religious standpoint, or a religious tradition,
    or a religious sacrement, or a religious ritual…

    But – What does your Bible have to say about “communion?”

    Like

  43. Amos,

    My limited education (No School, mind you) of studying the Bible, communion is like a marriage. The two are one. Well, in John 17, I believe it is, we are “ONE” in Christ.

    One, in this case is: a numeral. And that…one defined as a numeral 1, is defined as “A Single Unit”.

    I’m getting deep here, so bear with me.

    In our body is TWO spirits.
    1. Our own
    2. God

    Romans 8:16
    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    Hence communion.

    We are a spirit dressed in a body. That is life. Life requires a body. No body, no life. When our spirit departs us, we are dead.

    James 2:26
    For as the body without the spirit is dead…

    We exist without a body…but that’s not my point. My point is, without a spirit in our body we are dead.

    So, our spirit is in our body. We are alive, until that body dies.

    But…But…we have God also inside our bodies. We are ONE. A single unit. The two are ONE. The two are a single unit. Communion.

    Now…let me further explain.

    Without God in our body, we are “spiritually dead”. Let me say that again. Without God in our body, we are spiritually dead, yet carnally alive. One spirit, one body.

    With God in our body, we are spiritually alive. Communion. Two spirits, one body.

    We were NOT carnally born spiritually dead, as many preach. We were carnally born spiritually alive. Then NEXT we died a spiritual death. Hence, I do not believe in “original sin”. Read all of Romans 7. Paul explains all this. ****Also, see Deu 1:39. After reading that, ask yourself, “When did Adam and Eve spiritually die? The answer to that was once they got knowledge of good and evil.

    In the next paragraph, think prodigal son parable.

    Anyway, we all have a spiritual death date. Born Again is a spiritual rebirth date, a sort of spiritual “resurrection” from the dead, where God’s spirit rejoins our spirit, hence communion.

    This is also helpful when understanding the resurrection from the dead, too. We all will have a death date. But we will rise again.

    When God’s spirit is in our bodies, that means that we have, right now, eternal life, even if our bodies die. Once God is in our body, we will NEVER die.

    John 11:26
    And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    My whole point in all this:

    Each individual Christian is ONE with Christ, communion. Christian plus Christ equals a single unit. The two are one.

    We seem to always be taught about a man and a woman..the two bodies are one, right? Well, in our relationship with God, it’s just the opposite. The two spirits are one.

    Communion.

    Did I go over anybodies head on this one?

    The word “ONE” has two different definitions. The Greek word in John 17 for “one” is the numeral 1, which is simply “a single unit”. There is another word “one” that means something else.

    A great example of that is in the following verse:

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

    In that verse, there is ONE fold and ONE shepherd.

    Both of those words, “ONE” is two different definitions. There are many in a fold, but only one shepherd.

    Ed

    Like

  44. Hi Folks,

    For those who would like to do communion together next Sunday, December 14th, would 10 a.m. EST work for you? I am in California so it would be 7am my time and would work for me.

    Luke 22:19
    “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

    Blessings,

    Michaela

    Like

  45. Hi Julie Anne,

    Ok. I will post an announcement for next week’s communion on tomorrow’s Sunday gathering so that folks who’d like to participate can get prepared.

    By the way, thanks for all you do with this blog. You saved my sanity! Such a lifeline to have this.

    Like

  46. MIchaela,
    I have a church home and go to early service. If you make it 10:30, I would be home. But do what the majority wants.

    Like

  47. Hi Brenda,
    Yes, I’m up. (I usually get up at about 4:30 a.m. because I used to waking up early for my job, which starts early.)

    Like

  48. Gen 18:17-33 Verse 33a And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham. They were talking Discussing the fate of Sodom.

    Ex 33: 9-11 doesn’t specifically state communing, but it does speak of the interaction that the Lord had face to face with Moses as a man speaks to his friend.

    Communion is a close fellowship with God. When we practice the Lord’s Supper, Communion, the Lord’s Table, whatever you choose to call the sacrament we are to search our hearts, ask forgiveness for any sin that we may have in us and be restored to complete fellowship with Him while remembering the price Jesus paid for us.

    Like

  49. Hi all

    So Sorry…
    I will NOT be able to join you folks Sunday…
    To partake, and enjoy, The Lords Supper together…

    Have to watch some roofers fix a leaky roof… Oy Vey!!!

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    Like

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