Tangled Lives of Spiritual Abuse Survivors

Spiritual Abuse, Recovery Process, Tangled Lives, Support


 

It must be that time of year. I had a rough day the last two days and had to call a support person to help me get on track. And it’s not that I didn’t know what my issues were, or how to fix them. I knew what I was going through. I knew why there was pain and sadness, but I needed someone to hear me out. I needed to vent. I needed someone to validate what I was going through, the sadness, grieving, and say that it made sense, that I was not alone, I would be okay, and to help me think of where my future was headed.

At the end of the conversation, I texted my friend and asked how much the therapy session would be, and he said free.

Since starting my blogging journey and recovery from spiritual abuse, occasionally I have days like this. Thankfully, I’ve been able to have a network of support people I know I can call when I’m feeling down: women, men, pastors, other bloggers, people I have helped who now are helping me, etc. The one thing we all have in common is spiritual abuse. And we all know the importance of a listening ear.

Some of you may know that Kathi and I both love to knit.Time is precious. It takes time to knit a project and when I knit something, I want it to be just right, so I will typically spend extra money to get good quality yarn. I don’t know anyone who saves money when knitting articles. The yarn is too costly, and you cannot put a price on time. It’s a gift of love.

So, imagine my surprise when I got a package in the mail not long ago from Kathi. She sent me a beautiful hand-knit cowl with alpaca yarn she had bought on an overseas trip to Istanbul. It really touched me knowing she used this special yarn and took her own precious time to knit me this gift. I’ve worn it quite a few times already. I love it. As I look at each stitch, I know that represents time she spent on me. What a treasure.

 

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My gift from Kathi

 

Recently, I read an article about detanglers in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, and it made me think of SSB, Knitters With Hopelessly Knotted Yarn Call ‘Detanglers’ for Help.

What in the world is a detangler you might be asking? A detangler is someone who enjoys to untangle yarn. Can you believe it? There’s actually a group of over 2,000 detanglers where knitters can send their tangled yarn to be untangled. From the article:

Daphne Basnet of Melbourne, Australia, once paid about $50 on eBay for a 25-pound box of snarled yarn, simply for the pleasure of untangling it. “I was so happy, I can’t tell you,” recalls the 58-year-old of her purchase, a mess of about 120 knotted balls.

Taming the disaster was a labor-intensive process of finding ends, loosening knots and eventually winding all the yarn into balls. It took her a full five weeks to finish. “I loved it,” she says.

You’re probably laughing. It is kind of funny (be sure to read the comments in the article – so funny!). I remember one time my daughter, Hannah, bought some really expensive yarn to knit herself a scarf. It got all knotted up and she tried to untangle it, but eventually gave up. Guess what? I still have that yarn because she was going to get rid of it. I can’t allow it to be thrown away, but I still haven’t spent the time to try to untangle it. I think I should send it to a detangler.

When I read the article, it dawned on me that those of us who are part of this community are like detanglers. We take something that is precious and help to unknot it. Detanglers work with the yarn, being careful to take out knots without damaging the yarn so that it can be used again. When we work with someone, our goal is to get them to a better place so that they are able to be free from the tangles that have held them back from spirituality, relationships, etc.

Detanglers sit and work with the yarn for as long as it takes. They don’t give up on knots. They are committed to see their job done. One of the chief complaints those of us who have been spiritually abused hear is that we are wallowing in self-pitty, we need to get over it and move on. It’s not as simple as that. There are setbacks. There are occasional relapses. We know that. We’re okay with that and don’t try to hurry things along. We let people come to their own conclusions in this safe place and take as long as they need. We do not throw the yarn away because we are tired of working with it.

In 2016, I look forward to watching more lives being untangled by detanglers who understand, have compassion, and who know the incredible value of each person caught in a tangled mess.

 

 

 

84 comments on “Tangled Lives of Spiritual Abuse Survivors

  1. Julie Anne, I’ve been detangling with you for a couple of years now! I never thought of it like that but what you say is true. Thanks for being there for us as we walk on a difficult road. It does take time and just when you think you’re doing better, you see someone who was part of your abuse and it hurts all over again. This happened to me the other day.
    Send me your tangled ball of yarn!! I love untangling it! Imagine there are others like me! Crazy! I’ve been knitting prayer shawls for people going through hard times–as I knit I pray for the person receiving it. It’s kept me sane the last few years and they are always much appreciated.
    God bless you in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear friend, I am glad that you have such a strong network of support to get through the hard times. I find that those who work with helping other people in crisis or abuse often do not have a way or an outlet for self-care and support. I am continually amazed at the support that has been found online in this area.

    I am currently working at helping a foster care kid “untangle” the issues in her life. Unfortunately, I fear that she is no longer willing to work on the issues at hand and may be headed for a life filled with more abuse. It has been sitting heavily on my heart over the past week.

    For those of you here, please know that you may find support, encouragement and love here. Please do not be afraid to ask for help.

    P.S. I almost had my third marriage proposal trying to track down that yarn in Istanbul! Apparently middle-aged women traveling without their husbands are a hot commodity in Turkey. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  3. 2015 was a beastly difficult year for me (and my kids), and there isn’t a lot of hope or help for the immediate future. I clearly need more detanglers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous, I’ve been thinking over the last month or so that I need to make a concerted effort to make sure that spiritual abuse recovery is a top priority here. My goal is to have one post a week where we can discuss these issues and help each other detangle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathi,
    HA – you never told me THAT part of your Istanbul story! Funny!

    You are right. Self-care is so very important. One of the tools I learned a while back was to identify when I need extra help and to reach out to people to get it. Before I would suffer by myself and spiral downward. It’s not worth it. I know that if I can just deal with it head on, I will be able to get over it faster and more effectively. And sometimes it’s really a matter of grieving loss and allowing myself to really cry and feel the pain. It’s never fun, but at least I’m not ignoring the pain and taking it out on others because I refuse to deal with it. I think David was a master at this in how he processed his grief in Psalms. There is such amazing depth of emotion recorded in God’s word.

    Like

  6. This is interesting. I always enjoyed untangling kite strings and similar things growing up, I didn’t know there were others. I guess I would probably be better at untangling yarn than I would be at knitting anything. I kind of lost my patience for untangling things over the past few years, I wonder if that means something.

    I think you are right, there is something about this time of year. I am having a hard time, myself. I could use a detangler.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. @Kathi

    I almost had my third marriage proposal trying to track down that yarn in Istanbul!

    Hahaha! I believe it. When my family visited Egypt many moons ago my father had several offers of camels in exchange for my hand in marriage. I’d love to hear more stories about your travels.

    Like

  8. What a beautiful post! I’m so glad you shared it.

    I know someone who desperately needs therapy but feels hopeless — as though no amount of therapy will ever help her. I gently but firmly encourage her to seek out help — even got her a female therapist name and number — and I continually tell her how much I’ve benefited from nearly two years of therapy: all to no avail. Do you have any advice?

    The Lord bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. William, unless she is going to someone specially trained in spiritual abuse, she may be better off not seeing a therapist. I think the most important part of detoxing is telling her story to others who understand and can support her.

    Many of us were trained to stop using our brains and rely on our pastors/leaders to do the thinking for us. A very important part of the recovery process is learning to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We need to gain back critical thinking skills. Support blogs like SSB where there is a wide variety of people can help facilitate that process.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Saints Alive that is one beautiful cowl! The colors are other worldly and really do transport the eyes. Kathi you have a gift of sight that others can only guess at.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Thank you, Julie. Her abuse was emotional and psychological from her family. She’s now 67 years old and over the last few years it has come to the surface — explosively.

    Like

  12. Oh, if it’s relational stuff, then I would definitely encourage therapy. But one thing I’ve learned is that therapy is not going to be beneficial until someone really wants it and is willing to do the work. The fears of the unknown pain sometimes keeps people where they feel “comfortable,” even though that’s not a healthy place.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. William – Continue to offer support to your friend as much as she is willing to ask for. For some reason she is opposed to therapy. Continue suggesting it though. And, by chance are there are support groups (as opposed to one on one therapy) in your area? Also, some people are able to process their emotions in different ways. It may be that she’s more comfortable with art or writing or yoga. But even then, she needs to be prepared to deal with hard emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you both so much. We live in a very small, hometown-type area — no group therapy or support groups, etc. But I think you both are right: until she’s ready, no amount of encouragement will actually get her into therapy. She must make that decision for herself. She’s just so miserable and I hate to see her in this state.

    God bless!

    Like

  15. TRIPLE LIKE for this post! Sharing on the ACFJ Facebook page. And we may also share it on our Analogies and Allegories page at our blog. So far we’ve only put analogies and allegories from our own blog, onto that page. But there’s no reason we can’t put a link to an analogy from another website.

    Bless you JA and Kathi, and all the detanglers of the world, both yarn and spiritual.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. JA, I am also a knitter. Unfortunately I am notorious for starting a project, not finishing it and then moving on to another one with new yarn! I need an accountability group to keep me on task!
    William, one of the most important services JA provides is in her willingness to be transparent about her struggles and willingness to get help. As for your friend, she is in the company of many people (often older) who sees therapy as a stigma. They picture having to lay on a sofa while some invisible man sits behind them while they talk. (Scary). Others are afraid a therapist is there to judge them and tell them what they are doing wrong in life. (Only a poorly trained therapist would do that). Some see seeking help as a personal weakness and if someone found out they were in therapy the community would shun them. And unfortunately, some are terrified of the possibility of change.
    You are a good friend by listening. You can not fix her. Where we often get in trouble is when we feel the need to take on another person’s issue that we have not been trained to treat and end up in over our head. Sometimes the best response is just listening and if she wants your advise, tell her you care for her, but you aren’t trained in solving X problem. Then guide her to someone who is a professional. You can’t make her get help, but by consistantly letting her you know care, would like to see her not suffer, but you are not equipped to help her in the way she needs, then the ball is put back in her court. She has to take ownership for her treatment and unfortunately no one can force her.
    Sorry to be so long winded. But as someone who not only has an MA in counseling, but also as a patient who suffers from Severe Depressive Disorder I have a fair grasp of the complexities of accepting help. Now I proudly say that I continue to go to therapy, take meds, and do not project my issues onto others. It is not easy to admit the need for support, but once you do, it certainly helps lessen the pain and suffering that is part of life. Happy New Year!
    Also, JA, Kathi sounds like an incredible friend. Don’t ever let her get away!

    Liked by 4 people

  17. This ministry and others like ACFJ, Cindy Burrell’s “HurtByLove” have come into my life at such an opportune time. Even though this past year has been painful, I can only reflect that I could not have survived without God’s strength and His providence in showing me these internet ministries. (this Christmas and New Year was especially lonely; painful; confusing)
    Reading this post and desiring to get back into my sewing and knitting, ha … I would love to detangle some balls of yarn right now, however, I want to say thank you and bless you for this precious post and the work of detangling the various strands within each of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ann,

    Thank you so much. The person is my mother. Sometimes she thinks that because I experienced therapy then I have some answers for her. I tell her that I can only help a little — by listening, by prayer, and by sharing my own experiences. But my experiences are not hers and vice versa. I’m hoping patience (on my end) is the key: show her how much therapy has helped me (and she knows it) so that she’ll crave it for herself. Thank you for your much-needed guidance.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Love the analogy of “tangled yarn.” The colors are vivid and all together make a beautiful picture of what God can do with our tangled past.

    My abuse may take years to untangle. One thing I know for sure!
    God can use the colors of abuse to reach out to the hurting around us.
    To honor others above our own mess can ease our pain.
    Being transparent with others is accepting our own weaknesses.

    God is glorified in our weakness.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Wow.
    I can’t knit to save my life (always forget what stitch I am up to).

    It’s a sign I am not meant to be a knitter.

    maybe I can be a detangler.

    I have found hand stitching garments to be extremely therapeutic! Alabama Chanin style. (Google it).

    Creating things really is so good.

    Gets your mind off all the junk.

    William, you sound like a lovely son. I hope your Mother will soon find some peace in her situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Knitting is my therapy. I don’t have a network of friends. I lost everyone who I thought I trusted (everyone in my former church) in the fallout of divorce, after he abandoned us. The church is okay with his still sitting in those pews. So I bide my time until my youngest graduates high school so I can pack up and leave this wretched place. But I have surrounded myself with yarn, as knitters are wont to do, and I knit and I knit and I knit. I even bought myself a small loom as a consolation gift after he left and I didn’t know how things would play out. I didn’t realize I’d be too sad and scared to not use it until a year later. Now I am weaving and knitting.

    You are much blessed to have a friend you can call. I suppose I do. I’ve met people here on-line in the past year, and from that I have one email relationship and one phone relationship.

    I’m going to read that detangling article. I’m eager to laugh at some of the comments. I don’t laugh much anymore.

    The detangling analogy reminds me of my daughter’s hair, however. She has a diagnosis that has set her back in some areas, one of which is personal hygiene, so after she showers, I must comb out her hair. It takes a long time since she’s not in the habit of brushing it herself. (I try to reinforce her brushing hair at my home, but…. she’s with my ex- 50 percent of the time so it’s messy.) Detangling takes patience and practice, but if you love the one you’re helping, it’s worth the effort.

    I suppose my detangler is the Holy Spirit. I have no one else. It feels a bit like solitary confinement. Perhaps that’s why this past week has been so hard. I’ve been rather purpose-less without my child at home, without friends, without job…. and…. I don’t want to lament or complain. It’s just the way it is. I suppose those reading here know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Abusive Churches weave webs of deceit and lies and those that struggle against their teaching get caught in their webs. Our fault of course because if we just looked the other way instead of making waves we wouldn’t get all tangled up. My support team which range from you Julie Anne, Kathi and Dee at TWW, prayer warriors at my new Church, to my lawyers who have put a safety net around me while taking the abuse from them are my detanglers.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dear Still Reforming:

    “Perhaps that’s why this past week has been so hard. I’ve been rather purpose-less without my child at home, without friends, without job…. and…. I don’t want to lament or complain. It’s just the way it is. I suppose those reading here know what I mean.”

    I identify with where you are at. When my own marriage blew up, I was unemployed and had a lot of time on my hands. I struggled against it but it provided an opportunity to grieve, to process what had happened to me and to begin the path to recovery. I look on that time with great fondness now–lots of tears, some screaming at the heavens and a change to discover myself and a new relationship with PapaGod. It was some of the most difficult yet beautiful time I have ever had and I will be forever grateful for it.

    Hang in there–this is not wasted time.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. @Still Reforming

    I don’t have a network of friends. I lost everyone who I thought I trusted (everyone in my former church) in the fallout of divorce, after he abandoned us.

    I’m so sorry. It hurts. These support blogs are pretty much all I have, and they are a godsend. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to go through what many of us have before the Internet offered this kind of connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. @BeenThereDoneThat,
    Thank you for that empathy. These support blogs are all I have too, and I am grateful to God for them. It does hurt though. It feels like I have third-degree burns on the inside, and I fear being touched. Perhaps this medium is a good one. I trust those I haven’t met (you all) more than I trust people I have met in person. And yes, I agree – what was it like for those who have suffered what we have before the days of the Internet? I can’t imagine the very depth of that pain and loneliness either. The verse that echoes in my ears is “A bruised reed I will not break. A smouldering wick I will not put out.” Many of us are bruised and smouldering. Perhaps the holidays bring that to our hearts with greater intensity. It’s always there, just more intense around this time.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. William, the first step for your mother may be medication. When someone feels depressed and hopeless, they may not want to get therapy – because it seems like nothing could help. Medication could alleviate enough of the depression and give her some energy so that she would be ready to address her issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I guess spiritual abuse is a subcategory of emotional abuse? I don’t think I always recognize it when it happens–but I sure have had the Bible quoted (and misquoted) to me in ways to condemn everything from cleaning the refrigerator to watching TV. My mom threw the Bible at my sister when we were in high school and told her she was going to hell. I think she had missed a curfew or something. My husband uses the Bible to end every conversation. After all, what can you say if you tell someone that you are angry and need to talk and they quote a verse and say Jesus is the foundation or Jesus forgives? One of my daughters has decided that she wants to shun me based on 1 Corinthians. I was trying to think the other day–I don’t remember getting much comfort from the Bible, and I want that to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Still Reforming – Oh how I understand. My “friends” from former churches live within 10-30 minutes from me and I haven’t heard from them for years. In terms of being able to see someone physically to have a conversation or go do something, I don’t have it. I admit that part of it is me, too, as my introvertedness tends to keep me home more. However, I do miss the deep friendships that I once had by those who live in close proximity.

    The children’s pastor from my former church came into work last week. I had a nice conversation with her. And then she asked, “Where are you going to church these days?” Well, no where…to which she had a sad look on her face. Then I told her about this community and how we have built some good, trusting relationships and how it is a place for those who have been hurt who can feel safe. Her response was, “Well, I guess that can work. But it’s nice to have a place to go for connection.”

    This is my place to go for connection and I am thankful for everyone here.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. I don’t often comment, but read and pray for you all. I’m so grateful for these support blogs and especially for this one and TWW. One area that has been so hard for me is to find my voice and try and articulate just what my opinion is and what I believe after realizing what I held as truth is really false, wrong, or twisted. It’s so frustrating when your ideas/opinions/experiences are not believed or valued. This blog has given so many of us room to see how to respond to others in a loving way and give them room to do just that.

    I also have a fear of bullies. I am really relieved to see the bully type comments taken care of and that this remains a safe place to vent, listen, learn and hopefully go on to pass love and wisdom on to those who come into our lives as we move through the difficult times of life and healing.

    I have lots of knitter friends. I’m a knitter wanna be. I have two left thumbs when it comes to knitting/crocheting ☺. I always lose count and just hate to rip out stitches. I guess that’s what healing is about, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Kathi,

    Like you, I have no one face-to-face with whom I can share who understands the way people at this website understand. I now find it odd that people who profess Christianity place such value on “attendance” at a brick-and-mortar building and assembling together once or even twice weekly – as if that by definition means they have a good relationship. I confess that there used to be a day when I too would have thought such assembly meant something meaningful. I no longer think that.

    I too have been asked that question, “Are you attending anywhere?” I’ve merely answered “no,” and I’ve been told I can return to my former church, where my now ex-husband still attends. (There’s no way I could do that.) Like you, I have people I know who I thought were my church family surrounding me in this small community and no one – not one person – ever called me once he abandoned us. I don’t know what to think about that. I wonder about their genuine faith, but… I try to dismiss those thoughts. That’s God’s domain, not mine. Still…. I know that when I had a friend – a Christian woman from church come to me in the past decade and tell me about the trouble in her home from her husband, I was there for her. I couldn’t help much more than listen, until the then pastor told her to apologize to me and another woman for speaking to us about her husband. I told her she owed me no apology. She divorced and left the area. Her then ex-husband remarried in our church within weeks of that divorce by our pastor. I refused to go.

    I think this is why the third-degree burns run so deep. The people we thought were the family given to us by Christ Himself turned out not to be. Whether or not they’re saved, who can tell? I just know that they’re not who I would expect to be family. That woman who left her marriage and our area is my family, though I never see her anymore. I’m tied to this area because of my child. Otherwise, I’d leave too.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. I’m a knitter, too! I learned to knit so young that I don’t remember not knowing how to knit. I’ve done it off and on all my adult life, along with other types of needlework. I’m happiest with some sort of needle in my hand LOL! There have been many studies to show the calming effect of needlework such as knitting. Anyway, this post was good for me to read in so many ways. I have days where I think about all the time lost never to be regained with legalism, etc. and I have to allow myself time to grieve, too. I’ve been told many times that I need to “just get over it” I think about how I was told that the true gospel was freeing compared to the empty ritualism of my childhood church, it took me a long time to realize that some aspects of my new churches were just as ritualistic and demanding as the former and maybe even more so because I knew the true gospel was supposed to be freedom in Christ. Not all these added rules and obligations to the church system and the “local popes” that headed up these churches. I think not attending anywhere at all at the present time has given me so much more clarity about it all. Get out of the “bubble” to see the big picture.

    Anyway, keep calm and knit on. BTW, that is a beautiful cowl, love the gorgeous yarn.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Anotherone – I forgot to acknowledge your offer. If you sincerely would enjoy untangling the ball of yarn, send me your e-mail and when I get around to finding it, I will take you up on your kind and generous offer 🙂

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Irene,

    I can really relate with your experience. Yes, that is spiritual abuse. I think of spiritual abuse as worse than emotional abuse because it affects us emotionally and spiritually and can compromise our core spiritual beliefs, cause us to question our beliefs. Spiritual abuse, I believe, is one of the leading causes of people abandoning their faith. My heart aches for you. You are not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I’m happiest with some sort of needle in my hand LOL! There have been many studies to show the calming effect of needlework such as knitting.

    I so agree. I love the rhythm of knitting each stitch, the feel of the yarn around the smooth needles. Non-knitters are probably thinking I’ve lost it – lol.

    Although this post refers to knitting, I think you could take any hobby. I’ve never worked with wood, but I imagine there are “knots” that have to be dealt with as woodworkers are trying to match up corners, maybe even knots in the wood! I was thinking of my piano playing. When I studied classical music, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend weeks on a few measures of music. My “knots” were mastering the fingering and the musical dynamics (loud/softness, etc), putting both hands together, etc. We can find knots in gardening, golfing, really anything. So, put insert the hobby of your choice to make the analogy meaningful to you.

    The important point is that those knots must be tended to and not avoided (which is the common mistake we naturally want to do). When we avoid the knot, the end result won’t work out well.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. “The important point is that those knots must be tended to and not avoided (which is the common mistake we naturally want to do). When we avoid the knot, the end result won’t work out well.”

    So true…which is why it is important to acknowledge every emotion that comes into existence when dealing with abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Victims of verbal and emotional abuse have wounds that are very real but not visible–many abused women have told me they would have preferred he hit them, at least their bodies would reflect the reality of their abuse. In my opinion, spiritual abuse is emotional abuse on steroids–it strikes at the very heart of men and women who want nothing more than to please PapaGod. The effects of spiritual abuse cuts an individual off from the very one who can actually begin to heal the wounds of emotional abuse.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Julie Anne, I need to know whether someone can stop people from spiritually abusing them or whether they have to flee the situation.

    Like

  38. Irene, sadly, no one has control over an abuser. You always have a choice to stay or to leave a situation. But one important message that has been lacking from our church leaders is this: God does not expect His people to remain trapped in abusive environments to “protect” relationships or even the institution of marriage. Our loving God would never do that. He’s all about protecting and defending the oppressed.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. This might be off topic for this particular thread, but I thought it may fit in with the blog’s overall audience. I posted this about an hour ago at the other blog:

    The Dreaded Seeker-Friendly Church (on juicyecumenism .com)

    Snippet:

    This shiny, “mega” non-denominational church had, dare I say, a more self-centered plan. Their Christmas offering was earmarked to cover the cost of an elaborate Christmas lights display on the church’s exterior and to expand the parking lot. I kid you not.

    And for those worshipers who were too cool to sit in the sanctuary during service, this church offered a seeker-sensitive café service as an “alternative to tradition.” Apparently, actually participating in the service is too traditional.

    … Then came (and went) the 20-minute sermon on the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. To introduce his sermon, the pastor played a totally un-relatable clip from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I’m still trying to tell if that’s stockinette or garter stitch. Appears to be a lightweight yarn, maybe a 2?

    I need to get into knitting again. All those projects pinned to my pinterest board…

    Like

  41. @Brenda:

    In my opinion, spiritual abuse is emotional abuse on steroids–it strikes at the very heart of men and women who want nothing more than to please PapaGod. The effects of spiritual abuse cuts an individual off from the very one who can actually begin to heal the wounds of emotional abuse.

    Because when the mind games and abuse come In The Name of The LOOORD(TM), why would you go to the very same Cosmic Monster/Cosmic Abuser for healing?

    Like

  42. @Daisy:

    This shiny, “mega” non-denominational church had, dare I say, a more self-centered plan. Their Christmas offering was earmarked to cover the cost of an elaborate Christmas lights display on the church’s exterior and to expand the parking lot. I kid you not.

    And for those worshipers who were too cool to sit in the sanctuary during service, this church offered a seeker-sensitive café service as an “alternative to tradition.” Apparently, actually participating in the service is too traditional.

    … Then came (and went) the 20-minute sermon on the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. To introduce his sermon, the pastor played a totally un-relatable clip from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.

    No skubalon?
    Now THAT sounds like the Unholy Spawn of The Simpsons and South Park.

    Like

  43. @Daisy:

    This might be off topic for this particular thread, but I thought it may fit in with the blog’s overall audience. I posted this about an hour ago at the other blog:

    And I noticed one of the comments ripped into the posting as a Spoiled Rotten Little Millennial throwing their temper tantrum.

    Others suggested an established liturgical church or a house church. As a member of the former who’s heard horror stories of the other, I can say that both have their problems. But they’re NOT the problems of that First Megachurch of South Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. @NJ,
    As a knitter, my guess would be garter stitch with a lace-weight or fingering yarn on large needles. Hard to tell from a photograph though. Could be reverse st st. Sure looks snuggly and beautiful! Love the colors! And there’s nothing like wearing something handknit with love. Warms the heart as well as the body.

    Like

  45. I often wonder what happened to simply gathering in your home with some believers to encourage and exhort one another.

    No need for a temple, ‘Pastor’ to facilitate the ‘service’, offering to pay for previously mentioned facilitator.

    It’s all such nonsense.

    When you take ten steps away from Churchianity and start to think critically, you see it for what it is.

    One big sham.

    A money grubbing exercise in religiosity which takes away a meaningful relationship with the One True God, in exchange for ear tickling entertainment.

    I suspect if all the temples closed overnight, only a small bunch of believers would be interested in gathering in simplicity to praise the Lord and bless the brethren.

    I spent four years at Hillsong.

    It only took 3 for the red flags to go off. Took the final twelve months to make sense of it all before walking away.

    Lost all my friends overnight.

    That place is a cult.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. lifewithporpoise – I hear you. You mentioning Hillsong made me wonder if you would be interested in the ‘dialogue’ at this link?https://mennoknight.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/toren-sondergaard-and-gospel-plus/?cpage=1
    They are warning against a particular ‘following’ and a commenter “LT” gives some valuable insight near the end of the comments; complete with links. Hillsong was referenced.
    For me; I am more than welcome to come into any church but as I’ve tried to voice concerns for eg. Hillsong or Beth Moore or whatever … I am met with a smile but a distancing and now the churches probably believe that my pending divorce is due to my religiosity.
    Grateful that at least you have a husband as your true friend even though others have forsaken you.

    Like

  47. NJ – The pattern Julie Anne posted is what I used. The pattern calls for a DK weight, which I think is considered a light worsted. The yarn I used had a lot of thick clumps in it which made me wonder if it was hand spun. I used size 8 needles. The pattern is super easy. I’ve made three of these shortened cowls now and it really is a fun knit.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. lifewithporpoise –

    We tried a house church for a while. There really was not a designated pastor but more of a person who was “in charge” and one who “taught.” After a while my son started complaining about going and then told us that one of the other boys was bullying him. When we talked to the dad about it his response was, “boys will be boys.” Bye bye.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Kathi – Your experience with the house church sounds much like my experience many years ago with many of the home school groups. I wanted to home educate the children but the so-called get togethers of ‘fellowship’ were not very Christ-honouring.
    Sadly, the fathers including ‘the man that I married’ would not do anything about it. When I voiced my concern, well, I was seen as a trouble maker and ‘the man that I married’ told me to “just try and get along”.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. healinginhim – I was so fortunate to have a wonderful homeschool group experience. When we had to end our group I was so disappointed.

    It’s too bad that some people see parents protecting their kids as trouble making.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. I know what you mean, Kathi. When I first began home schooling I really was quite excited about starting our local ‘support group’ and planning activities. I had heard such good reports from other groups which were many miles away due to our semi-remoteness. What made it difficult was that it was not a very good witness to the community …. hmmm … sounds like some of the churches??
    Doesn’t matter what “the name of the group” is … it all comes down to each individual desiring to obey the Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. It seems like we’ve had a lot of knitters and crafters come out of the rafters here! Yay! Would any of you like to start a place to post project ideas or ask questions and get how to tips? Here are a couple of ideas:

    Ravelry – We could start a group. It could be by invite only or we could keep it open. If we keep it open we will clearly state the purpose behind SSB. There are pros and cons to keeping it private or open – what is your preference?

    This blog – We could create another tab at the top as a place to talk about knitting, crocheting or crafting. One of the issues with that is it is harder to post pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Thanks for the link healinginhim. 🙂

    I’m sorry that you’re going through a divorce. I am still wrestling with my understanding of divorce given I was in the IFB “thou shalt never divorce” circles.

    I know a person whose partner cheated on them and they were told they needed to remain single for all time as to remarry would be adultery. Here is a person in their thirties needing to be single because their partner cheated, divorced them and remarried. It always made me feel uncomfortable when I’d think about this person.

    The whole ‘house church’ thing is weird to me.

    I didn’t leave the institutional church to rejoin another system in a living room. haha. That’s how I view the concept of ‘house church’… like religious role play with someone playing Paul and Timothy to ‘recreate’ how it was like.

    I imagine fellowship with believers to be rather simple. Just open your home up for fellowship with whomever and whenever… they didn’t have NT Bibles in the first century to argue over doctrine so I don’t see why we need to do that today.

    Practical Christianity = weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh, listen to those who need an ear, coffee for everyone else.

    and donuts for us without self restraint. hehe.

    To those who truly love and know Him, how could we possibly think He would expect any more from us that simple fellowship?

    Anything else seems forced and robotic. I’m sure I’m not alone on this?

    If I were to ever set foot in a church/temple again… it would be to seek out those abused and confused true brethren who need an ear, and maybe some direction to the back door.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. lifewithporpoise,
    I can really relate to your comment. I was invited to church (Reformed, which I am – and there are not many in my area, which is remote). So I went last weekend (after thinking about it for a whole month). When they started singing the first praise song, I went to the bathroom and cried. I had no idea what emotions it would stir up being in a church again and craving ‘fellowship’ – really, just people to love and be loved by. And, frankly, this is very hard for me to go back into a church. I’m not sure I’ll stay (because they just handed out ‘rules of membership’ – actually, a ‘covenant membership,” and while I don’t mind statements of faith affirming beliefs that a body of Christ could share in common, I’m definitely not a believer in ‘must do’ lists. That’s not grace and trusting the Holy Spirit moving on and in a person.) Also, there was a bullet point about marriage and submitting to the church leadership, soooo…. I doubt I’ll remain in this church. But I really related to your words about it. I myself would not mind a home church or fellowship in a home, but….. yeah. I don’t know of any. I’ll get my teaching on-line. To go be around people I may find another route. Maybe join a gym. Sometimes I think I feel more comfortable around those who don’t call themselves ‘the church’ because the non-church crowd doesn’t try to lord it over me the way churches do. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. @Kathi,
    I’ll join your group on ravelry if you start one. I’d favor keeping it private if that’s an option and opening it to be public later if that’s possible. (I didn’t know that was possible on rav.)
    I used to have all my projects posted there, but due to a kerfuffle a few years ago, I took them all down and ‘went dark,’ only checking in when I needed help with a pattern. (Many fellow conservative Christians did the same, btw. at that time. I can tell you more via private message if you like.)
    I favor the ravelry route for the picture possibilities and because it’s a social media site that revolves around the craft.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. @Kathi and healinginhim,
    I homeschooled my special needs (Aspergers) child for eight years before my now x ripped her out of it and forced her (via the court) into public school, which she hates. Thanks be to God, she’s doing well academically there, but it’s a cesspool in so many ways. I trust her in God’s hands daily. She had a social life (in spite of x’s accusations that she needed “socialization”) and friends and activities as a homeschooler. We were in a homeschool Co-op too, which was such a blessing. That life is over, for the most part, now.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Kathi and JA, thankyou. I’ve never used that stitch before.

    So far I haven’t joined any group on Ravelry although I’ve started an account, and haven’t yet figured out how to post pictures. (I mainly go there for ideas.)

    For anyone else who sometimes crochets, I was left drooling after my husband accidentally found this site.

    http://furlscrochet.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Still reforming,

    I’m sad you don’t have any Christians around who will invest time with you away from the Sunday club.

    That, imho is a true sacrifice. Time one on one bearing another’s burdens.

    The tea and biscuit break after a ‘sermonette’ is not sufficient time to ‘serve’ another.

    When I stopped ‘going to church’, I re-read the Gospels.

    I also threw out approximately 250 books by Christian authors. I estimate a value of about $5000.

    I did this because I felt like God was ‘simplifying’ my faith.

    No more ‘heaping up teachers and winds of doctrine’.

    Just making time to talk to God daily (if only a minute or two at random moments throughout) to ‘check in’ and ask for guidance.

    We feel like church is where we must be.

    I believe Christians do not realise that we need to be open with serving our brethren 24/7, not just on Sunday in the tea break time.

    I know many of us are busy… Work, family etc.

    The early church met daily.

    They were ahead of the game. We have reduced our ‘ministry’ to a fifteen minute slot after the ending prayer.

    The devil laughs I’m sure.

    I hope you will meet a Christian willing to spend time with you away from the nonsense.

    if you want to chat sometime I’m happy for JA to forward my email on to you.

    It sucks feeling alone. Not many of my church friends get it. Very much still caught up in the system.

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Not a knitter myself, but I have untangled yarn for my wife and daughters, who emphatically do. It’s a good picture of dealing with those who are hurting badly, though. If you try to do too much before the person is ready, you make things worse.

    And for knitting, my kids love Ravelry–I have to put the brakes on how much time they spend there. Not quite sure whether that, or good books, are better sources, though. Probably as you get to know the art better, you can figure out better what is worthwhile, and what is not.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. I’m totally amazed sometimes when I read through the comments. So often they just seem to coincide with things I have experienced with churches, or concern topics that I’m currently kind of thinking through and evaluating. Just this week I visited a church that was pretty much a performance. These young women were spinning around and around on stage and I’m thinking how do they sing & spin like that. Then it dawned on me. They were lip singing. The “praise team” was pulling a Milli Vinilli and the people there were standing there bouncing around waving their arms around and clapping like this is some great performance and o was like “you people are nuts”. I spent a decade in the Assemblies of God so it takes a lot to shock me these days but this place had bells going off.

    Then a few weeks ago in a different church this idiot pastor was explaining how it’s his responsibility to rule over us and are responsibility to submit. Sometimes I hear these little tyrants saying this stuff and wonder if the mentality between them & Jim Jones is really very different. I’m so sure God set up a system where these clowns are rulers over other believers by the virtue of their vocation or because they inherited daddy’s church empire.

    Liked by 3 people

  61. lifewithporpoise — I’m still wrestling with the divorce issue, too. I really need prayer to seek the perfect will as I’m feeling very dependent on ‘him’ and he knows it. Praying God will make it ever so clear otherwise, I’m sensing that as I approach my 60th yr on this earth that maybe I should just make the best of it even if my adult children and siblings treat me with disrespect. God is a witness to it all. Emotionally, it’s devastating. Not seeking pity but I am amazed at how cruel flesh & blood relatives can be to someone who served them faithfully. The Word says family will become our enemy and I accept that … the most difficult part is being judged by the church and seculars who claim that obviously I was the one who must be in the wrong for so many to turn against me. But, but, but … that’s not what the Word says!!

    Liked by 1 person

  62. I would like to add that it is extremely comforting to realize that I’m not the only one that has issues with the church these days. So many of my friends are just lapping it all up even while admitting that much of this is NOT biblical.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Scott, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when reading your comment. I spent the first 4 years of my Christian walk at Hillsong. Hahaha i totally get you. Blind leading the blind much!?

    As a 16 year old I prayed, “Lord, if this ain’t if you please show me”.

    He showed me loud and clear. I am the only believer in my family so imagine being 16, with no clue about where to go but knowing that something is desperately wrong at HS.

    16 years later it’s very clear now. The institution is the issue. Jesus hasn’t changed. The church is the people not a place and we can ‘assemble’ any.damn.way.we.want! (For added emphasis).

    John Piper is quoted in a CToday article, saying some crap about believers who no longer ‘go to church’ not really believing Jesus.

    My feeling?

    Shut up John Piper.

    Jesus builds His church, not your little buildings for social club meetings.

    JP needs ‘his church’, otherwise he won’t get paid.

    You’re not alone Scott.

    Healinginhim, I am so sorry your family isn’t being kind to you. I recently cut off contact with my Mother but for reasons probably very different than yours. I cried last night about it as I was talking to hubby. My family don’t believe in Jesus. To them I am crazy and not together. To me, they are living for themselves and toxic to be around.

    You are right, It’s to be expected.

    But we still have the Internet 😊

    Im thankful for this site

    Liked by 3 people

  64. Pingback: Personal Story: Bruised with No Visible Marks | Spiritual Sounding Board

  65. @Bike Bubba,
    I don’t know your kids’ ages, but I can say that – like any social media on-line, ravelry can be a sewer. So much so that I took down all my projects and participation for awhile. I check in there only briefly now. It has its good and bad points. It’s very well-organized, but has a lot of filth in various places. Just a word to the wise. Limiting time there is likely a better thing than not. Like much on the Internet, one just has to tread carefully, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. @lifewithporpoise,
    Thank you. I would actually like that very much re: emailing, if JA forwards your email addy to me. I’ll bring the donuts. 🙂

    Like

  67. i’ll take a hug today please. i have the ultimate man voice (from my cold) and considering i am not a man… man voice isn’t cool. 😦

    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  68. lifewithporpoise (I still love typing that out!) – Get well soon! I have always called my cold voice my Kathleen Turner voice.

    Like

  69. @lifewithporpoise –
    ((hugs)) for your cold and man voice. Here’s some tea with honey and a few donuts to help ease the pain. Jelly- and cream-filled may help with that low tone. A lil’ sleep too… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  70. haha we just got back from a French pastry shop.

    Several croissants later my man voice isn’t so bad.

    muhahaha the power of the pastry! 😀 thanks for all the hugs.

    Every porpoise needs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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