A Broken Soul Cries Out For Our Love

A few months back I wrote a piece called Unhappy? Reject Your Parents. Yesterday a woman left on that post the “comment” below. I’m here presenting what she wrote, exactly as she wrote it, in the hope that those who read it will pray for the healing of this good woman’s heart. Please help me to show this sister of ours the love that in her life she’s clearly, and tragically, been too often denied.

Dear Mr. Shore,

I found this article about rejecting your parents through a random web search about parents rejecting their children.

I had no choices in my childhood, was dragged all over the country by a mother who was desperately chasing my father, who didn’t want us. My mother cut off from her family and so did my father. I never knew their families and only met my mother’s later in my life after finding them.

It has taken me many years of admitting my parents just didn’t like me and lost out on a nice child, and the last 3 years have been so revealing. I have been living my life on more automatic reactions rather than really thinking about why I do the things I do and who are or are not my friends. I finally stopped and looked at it all and it was terribly painful.

I was so discouraged from making friends, keeping friends, finding the truth and knowing who I was that I fell apart in adulthood. I was set up with no coping skills or success in anything for life. I was SUPPOSED to fail. So I could, I guess, reinforce for them,  that life is hard and you cannot win. Then I was mentally beaten by a God that loved me ON CONDITION that I did what HE wanted or ELSE. The love of God was spouted out as some kind of paneacia but when I tried to learn about his so called unconditional love I was thumped for having assumptions that I might actually be a good child rather than a waste of space or just a servant.

My parents always made me feel it was my fault for my problems. Everything is MY FAULT because I didn’t react correctly or I just “misunderstood” what them meant, even though they changed the rules again and I missed the memo. That is tiresome and I reject it. It is my parents fault for giving me nothing to succed in this life. I had to go around them and learn all I  could so I could at least function. Everything I learned I learned alone through books and observation. I have been pretending to be normal but in reality I feel lost and undesirable.

For years I have to correct everything my parents did to me, both physically and legally, and for two summers I have had epiphanies as to why I have reacted to the world as a hostile place that does not love you or ever will. I learned to hate myself before allowing anyone else to hurt me with that same attitude. That way they didn’t have to constantly beat me up mentally and really demolish my soul.I did it for them.

I have had to reject my parents compleatly, their idea of a God that loves you ONLY IF….. I tired of hearing how it was all my fault.

 

I was only trying to protect the shreds of my self esteem and inner person they didn’t get a chance to rip apart.

Since their deaths, which freed my soul from having to pretend to be whatever they wanted, which would change every time I thought I figured out what they wanted in a daughter, I am completely ready to forget them. I feel like lousy Christian because I cannot find anything about them to honor. They taught me to fear, to hate myself, and gave me no encouragement on how to interact with others in this world. They destroyed all my attempts at a better life till I finally left my home state for many years.

I felt used by them for their needs mostly. It is very hard to trust anyone who has tried to kill you as a four-year old child because it would be better to send you back to God. It basically leaves you unsure of your place on on this earth or if you have a right to survival at all. Desparately pleasing them was a survival trait I learned. Don’t ask too much or get out of line.

I am trying very hard to forgive them, but more I would rather reject them and run toward something better. They are dead now, I must admit I am so glad I don’t deal with them any longer. I had to burn my mothers journals because she said NOTHING good about me in them. She once told me I wasn’t good enough to have children, so I’d better not. I granted her wish. My body stressed itself into disease, so that I could never get pregnant.

I have felt very lonely for years although I am married to a very understanding man. He has seen this kind of ill treatment through his job and has a lot of patience. I spent years in emotional distress and physical illness and wondering if I had the right to be alive. My parents instilled in me that I was worthless to them, so I always wondered what good I was on this earth. I am working towards self love, which is NOT SELFISH. I need to love myself enough to stay alive and not give up. I do fairly well most of the time, but sometimes I get very depressed when I really need to talk to someone to make sure my feelings are natural. I am afraid to reveal my vulnerablility to others because they can use it as leverage later when they turn on me.

I keep having “epiphanies” as to why I am doing things I do, and that I no longer have to work in survival mode, but can <em>choose </em>what to do or how to react.

 

I have only one other sibling who was not there for the major beatings I had to watch my mother endure or the alcoholism I had to witness as my father went into womanizing and anger.

 

I don’t think my brother knows how deeply it has affected me but I know he has been deeply hurt too. He admitted to me that he has been harshly judgemental toward others because that is all he experienced as a child. No love, just judgement. Neither of us thought we could ever please our parents. He is doing better than I am. Maybe because they gave him more time or he was the “boy” and I was not as valuable.

 

I must say I do not like my parents. I am trying to return to God but I really need some Christians to show me that unconditional LOVE does exist. That it’s possible for someone not to judge you because you are different, unsocial or had a rotten life, and for them not to fear who I am might “rub off on them.”  I can’t say I have met many Christians of this kind. Mostly I hear from them how everyone outside of their little sect is going to Hell and wrong. In the four years I have been living in our town I have had ONE Christian person reach out to me unconditionally and lovingly. I was like a starving skeleton eating food for the first time in thirty years. I didn’t think Christians wanted anyone new around them or anyone so hurt they cannot seem to understand how deep it goes. I wonder if there really are Christian who care anymore. Not in my town I guess. Only one person at all, I guess.

 

I guess Christians have become too frightened to reach out to others in need. Somehow a sick wounded bleeding person is supposed to crawl to a church and beg for a little help. I wonder if Jesus would have slunk back and kept his mouth shut because others might punish him for sharing the gospel. I guess not because he died for us. I am trying to relate that to me.

I pray that God will help me to forgive my parents but I must admit I would like to just put them out of my mind for the rest of my life. I wonder if we see these people in the afterlife? I would much rather see my cat who loved me unconditionally and understood all my moods and just snuggled me when I was down.

I wonder if animals are not God’s way of showing we the rejected that there is some kind of Love out there for us too. Sometimes I wish I had been born a cat or dog without the hate and anger and hurtfullness of humans. But that is probably selfish to want as well.

 

I think I am looking for my place in the world and feel cut off and lonely. I understand it when someone who looks perfectly normal and happy on the outside then manages to commit suicide and then the rest of the people around them say, I don’t understand, he/she seemed so happy, what happened? Then the obvious clues start to become clear and everyone realizes they could have done a little more, said a kind word or actually maybe tried to help the person so wounded that living becomes harder than dying.

I pray that God can come to me and I can let him in and I can forgive my parents. it is going to take time and it would help if others would understand me. But I don’t look for that anymore. I just would like to feel that complete overcoming of the holy spirit everyone talks about and I can find the ability to forgive and forget and move one. I feel like the sick person who has to heal herself alone.

 

Please share this:

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Nima, you have shown such bravery and strength just to get to this point. Your hurts are real, and deep, and your parents have seriously and severely wronged you. The way they treated you was completely opposite of how God treats us and how he says parents should treat their children.

    I hope you will keep fighting to know & follow God, and I hope you know that he is big enough to heal you from your experiences. I don't know what he'll make that look like in your life…a big (maybe the main?) part of knowing Jesus is letting him grow & mature us, and to make us healthier and more whole even in this life (and, I believe, perfectly healthy and whole in the next).

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story here–I am among those who will keep praying for you to find people who God will work thru to help you heal.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Thank you, Skerrib. What a blessing what you've written is to all of us.

  • http://www.sheppardministries.com Greta

    Nima, you have touched me deeply. I too was raised in an unforgiving, abusive family. The opening of yourself to share your story with others is the best thing you have done for yourself. There is healing in talking about our sorrow. I really feel that your Heavenly Father sees much beauty in you…. in fact, the courage to write your letter to Mr. Shore was a gift from God to you. He, Father God, longs to hold you on his lap like a good daddy should. Talk to Him lots ’cause He is watching over you and is listening for your words. I, too, will be remembering you in my conversations with Him. There are lots of good,loving christians out there. I apologise for the ones who only know how to judge!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wow, Greta. Absolutely beautiful.

  • Lynn

    Nima, as the tears stream down my face and I hear the distress and desparation in your words, please allow me to pray for you?

    Father God, thank you for bringing this man into Nima's life to be her husband, one who is understanding and patient. Please work through him to encourage and support Nima. And bring other "true" believers into her life to pray for her, to encourage, support and uplift her with their testimonies of how the Lord has changed their hearts, minds and lives. Lord, you have seen all, every single detail, of what Nima has had to go through in her life and are able to completely understand what is in her heart. Please continue to draw her to Your very heart. Cause her learn and know and believe in Your compassion and unending love for her and the depth of Your love for her. For You tell us in Your word that Your love is unlike any other love. Lead her to that knowledge and understanding, please. Allow it to sink in and stay deep within her. Continue your cleansing and healing upon her heart and mind and keep reminding her that what she experienced from her earthly father and mother was NOT what you EVER intended for her to experience. When You designed Nina in her mother's womb, you had a purpose for her life. Please show her Lord, direct her toward that purpose. And Lord, Your word says that You will RESTORE what the locust have eaten, what the enemy of her soul, satan, has done in her life. So we stand on that promise for Nima. Restore her life Lord. Nuture the tiny mustard seed that has already been planted in her heart, the seed of Your truth, Your redemption, Your deliverance, Your help, Your faithfulness, the height and depth of Your love for her. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

    Nima, I wish I could give you a long hug and tell you of how the Lord has brought me through a life of despair and hopelessness. Please believe He is more than able to do this for you too. Thank you so very much for sharing what you have with us.

  • FreetoBe

    Oh, my girl. I pray for you with all my heart.

    Please know that it will get better, one tiny step at a time; our Father God will hold your hand the entire time it takes for you to get to that special place He has reserved for you. Please also realize that Christians, like anyone else, don't always see when someone is hurting; and sometimes it takes extra effort to just tell one person. I would encourage you to talk to God every chance you get–He has big shoulders, He can take anything you say to Him. It's very difficult to open yourself up and I so appreciate the opportunity you've given all of us to pray for you.

    May God bless you, Nima.

  • http://thereisnogray.wordpress.com thereisnogray

    Nima,

    I've been sitting here at my desk for more than 2 hours re-reading your words and pondering what to say. I don't know that I have any words that will be of comfort. Nothing I can say or do will heal the wounds inflicted upon you throughout your life. As I pray for you, I am grieving with you and for you. I don’t even have the words to utter to our great and awesome God regarding your grief. My heart is saddened by your story, yet I know that you didn’t write these words in some vain attempt at gaining our pity.

    May the God who surpasses all understanding and knowledge comfort you in this time. I will pray that you will sense the deep indwelling of His Spirit on your life even now. I pray that He will draw you unto him and there will be no mistake of His calling you.

    Father, I pray for your healing. I pray that you will give Nima the strength to forgive. I pray that she will fully understand your grace and forgiveness so that she can do the same to those who have hurt her. Father, work in her life so that she becomes dependent upon you for all things. But first, Father, I pray you would give her rest. Give her peace. Give her wisdom and strength in this time. Draw her unto you. Draw her unto you. Draw her unto you. I pray for a hedge about her heart, and her soul, and her life. Let her hide in the shadow of your wings and rest for a time.

    And, for the rest of us…..it’s time to get out of the boat. Have enough faith to hear Jesus calling you to action and then get out there. Open up your eyes to the world around you. Can you be Christ to someone? Nima needs us to be Christ to her. Can you love those around you like God does?

    Nima said:

    “I guess Christians have become too frightened to reach out to others in need. Somehow a sick wounded bleeding person is supposed to crawl to a church and beg for a little help. I wonder if Jesus would have slunk back and kept his mouth shut because others might punish him for sharing the gospel. I guess not because he died for us. I am trying to relate that to me.”

    Those who have this perspective need to know that He is real and that He lives in us. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

    Nima, I would like to apologize for those who call themselves “Christian” but fail to live up to God’s calling in their life. Many men and women have let you down. I pray that God will show you that He will never let you down.

    God Bless!

  • TT3

    I just want you to know you are an awesome person and god loves you very much. He makes each of us for a reason and we just have to trust and follow him. He loves you just the way you are. Just keep looking and seeking him. Ive learned that he is the only one that will love you unconditionally because he is without sin. You have to forgive your parents and not let them effect you anymore. I know my mother has been hurtful to me . But the only one that affects me is god. You are a kind soul and I loved your story . There are kind people out there and I pray right now that god will put them in your life. Keep looking up god loves you.

  • lucy

    John,

    Thank you for passing this along. I think we as "good Christians"…(are

    there any out there)????….really needed to hear this. My heart goes out to this woman. I just want to wrap my arms around her and cry with her.

    God, creator of us all…you who see the beauty and perfection in every one of us…take away the pain and the damage caused by this imperfect world.

    Thanks again John,

    Lucy

  • Live & Learn

    Jesus is near to the brokenhearted, Nima . . . because He has suffered in every way we have.

    He is so close to us in our emotions because He has experienced each and every feeling and struggle. What a gift to be understood!

    Nima, through each step forward and maybe two steps back, never lose sight that He is celebrating who you are — He made you, He forgives you, and He loves you. You don't have to do anything to make Him love you. He just does. So let Him.

    And as you let Him love you, try to reach out to someone else; God may use that very person to bring more healing to you. He's both powerful and creative in His love; He can use (or recycle) anything for good! Constantly remind yourself of His love for you, think about how much others need Him, too, and the memories will be less likely to be front and center in your mind.

    One last idea? Those thoughts (past and present) that attack you are not from God, because it is His kindness that leads us to turn back to Him over and over again. Instead, you may want to spend time reading and memorizing short verses from the Bible that you can use to answer back when the destructive thoughts come. (That's what Jesus Himself did!) You might want to look at the Message Bible, or the New Living Translation, etc., and fill your heart and mind with anything from Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 103, John 3:16, 2 Cor. 1:3-7, Matthew 11:28-30, and so many more. You are loved more than you'll ever know, Nima! May the peace of Jesus fill you to overflowing.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wow. These are all so beautiful. I know these messages will be an inspiration and blessing to our broken hearted friend. Please keep them coming; I appreciate those of you who have been forwarding this post to others who I know are now praying for Nima (I wonder if her name is Nina, and that was just a misspelling?), and/or are responding to her here. We're doing a wonderful job here or pulling together to help someone who has reached out to us.

  • Arnette

    Oh…if only we came with instruction manuals…oh wait, we do have one. It's the Bible. And although it's kinda cryptic and mysterious when you first try to read it, if you pray first and ask God to help you, you will find that He can lead you to its very basic truths first, then deeper and deeper as you can handle it. Because of your letter I am a more grateful woman for the Mother I had. My father was more the kind she had, but my Mother was the trooper she needed to be. Then my siblings were much older than me and they lent a hand in making me feel loved. Now I did have some mental health issues in that my brother is schizophrenic and stuff but God CAN and WILL bring you through it all…I'm praying for you sister. When you look back and don't see Him, honey, believe me…He was there. He WAS there. Or you wouldn't be HERE. And He does love you. Unconditionally. Let the Spirit heal you. Forgive yourself first for not being able to forgive your parents right away. They hurt you. Pain hurts. Dang. Pray…then begin to consider that their humanity got the better of them. They didn't know their booties from their boots. As you've observed life and lived you've seen other people have children "happen" to them, as tragic as it is. Consider that you might be able to step into one of these children's lives and prevent some of the pain YOU suffered…pray about it. One of God's greatest gifts is empathy and compassion. Healing can begin with a baby step…get still and pray sweetheart. Thank you for putting pen to paper and blessing a bunch of Christian souls.

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    I don’t have anything pretty or eloquent to say.

    All I have is this … It’s NOT your fault that this happened, and I wish that there was a way for “just words” to make that clear to your heart. You don’t have to heal yourself alone, but I know that it feels that way.

    I’m also sorry that you’ve met Christians who weren’t willing to put the work in to help you. Like any other group, Christians are human, and we have some flaws, too. Sometimes we forget that, and won’t help those around us.

    I pray, too, that the Holy Spirit does pour Himself out in your life, and you can feel that peace and love.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I don’t see how anything you could have said could have been any prettier than that. Thanks, friend.

  • Dan Harrell

    Nina,

    When we are truly broken, our heart is ripe for God to fill it with wisdom and healing. He uses His grace and mercy to draw us to His love and His open arms, where we find shelter from all the hurts of this world.

    Forgiving parents, ah, there is the rub. Perhaps it will happen, perhaps not, but keep talking to God and reading his word.

    I can only offer my prayers, because I can't give you a hug over this thing, but I pray you will know in your heart that there are good people, who are also Christian, out there for you.

  • Gavin

    Nima

    I cannot compare my own story to yours, but both myself and my sister grew up in a family which was devoid of love or warmth. We knew no nurture or encouragement and I have come to understand the truly debilitating effect this as a child grows into an adult and has to come to terms with the world.

    I came to faith only seven years ago after a life of anxiety, fear and insecurity. It was through scripture and the good Christians about me that I came to understand God's love for each and every one of us as individuals. That includes you, Nima. He made you the way you are and gave you the gifts you have. He wants you to use those gifts. He wants you to live a life of fulfillment and joy. God did not create you to be miserable.

    I know that in the midst of darkness it is easy not to see the hope. But have faith and confidence that you will one day forgive your past and learn to recognise the wonderful and beautiful person that you are. God made you that way. The more you have that confidence the more you will heal. Yes, it may take time but if you allow God into your life, He will give you all that you need.

    I don't know where you are, but I am praying for you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://www.momof2.wordpress.com Lori

    Nima,

    As I read your letter, my heart just broke and tendered with love for you. I wish that I could reach out and give you the loving hug you so deserve – that God wants you to have! You are so precious to our Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit who long to comfort you. God, Creator of the heavens and earth and all that is within and without, had you in His mind at the very foundations of the world. You are THAT PRECIOUS!

    Please know that wherever you are, you have Christians who do love you and who are praying for you. Even if I never get to see you this side of Heaven, I very much look forward to giving you a big hug in Heaven one day!

    May God shower you richly with abundant blessings!

    Your sister-in-Christ,

    Lori

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Nima,

    Your story sounds too familiar. My heart breaks for you. I know I have walked past people in need … broken and abused people like you. I am sorry, so sorry for not noticing, not stopping, and not caring. I am too often not at all like the Christ I claim to follow and love. Thank you for giving me another chance to stop, listen, cry, and pray with you. Like all of the blessings in my life, I do not deserve this opportunity from you. I thank God for bringing you into my imperfect life here.

  • Live & Learn

    Nima:

    1. Jesus offers His love and forgiveness to you as a free gift.

    2. Your husband's unconditional love for you is just a small reflection of the source of all that love — Jesus.

    3. A church that truly follows Jesus does not require you to give money when you attend, and they will welcome you with open arms to take all the time you need to discover a personal relationship with Jesus.

    Maybe you can e-mail John about the area you live in, and he (we) can help you find a church that will make you feel safe and welcome when you ask real questions. You are on your way to learning about the One who knows you best and loves you most!

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Nima,

    As my blog says, I live in Gambrills, Maryland and I worship at Mid Atlantic Comm Church http://www.themacc.org/

    If this is anywhere near you, please come. You will be welcomed any and every time.

  • Laura

    Nima,

    Everyone else has said such elegant things. The only thing I can possibly add is my own promise of prayer for you.

    God loves you so much, don't give up.

  • Cibola

    Nima,

    Love and hopeful thoughts flow across the miles from all of us to you.

    I'll be praying for you.

  • Laura

    After all, I did find one thing to add. As I was praying, this verse came to mind:

    "Do not hide Your face from me,

    Do not turn your servant away in anger;

    You have been my help;

    Do not abandon me nor forsake me,

    O God of my salvation!

    For my father and my mother have forsaken me,

    But the Lord will take me up." -Psalm 27:9-10

    God WILL be faithful to you in all times and in all places.

    To echo Ric, I live in Aurora, Colorado and attend Calvary Chapel Aurora (www.calvaryaurora.com). Please come if you are close- I promise you'll be welcome.

  • Nima

    Wow I am so amazed that people care! I have only just admitted I cannot go on through life shouldering everything alone. I had to take care of a brother growing up because my mother was usually in bed from a beating, or when she found “GOD” she was in bed sick all the time. Constantly. I thought if God loved us why did she lie in bed trying to die. One time she laid there for 2 years waiting to die. My stepfather used me as a servant and I just wondered why God hated us so much?

    I had only heard about how God punished you. He waited for your every wrong to slam his Hammer of Hate upon your head and demolish you. I never heard that God just loved me as I am. I heard, “he can’t love you if you are bad, if you do this or that that does not please him he with holds his blessings, he loves you but it’s your problem to you overcome your (name whatever sin you were supposed to be doing). It was all up to me to be perfect for God to love me. I gave up. I walked away and tried alchohol, light drugs, sex, money. Nothing filled the big fat hole in my heart. But I was terrified to return to a vengeful God who waited to say “I told you so, you are not good enough”.

    I believe I was raised in wrong Christian thinking or a cult. I saw such weird stuff and people being told whom to marry by one minister who made all the decesions. I was afraid to become a beautiful woman so dressed ugly and hid my femininity so I wouldn’t be forced to marry some old man. So I ran. When my mother rejected me it hurt too deeply and I gave up on her. I had given up on my father(s) who cared nothing for me as a person. Just another pair of hands for housework.

    But I started to believe in my self after comtemplating suicide one day. I was ill with a very serious problem and was getting no help whatsoever and instead of dying from agonizing pain I decided to get a gun and die. I talked to myself and prayed God to help me and forgive me if I did it and I wondered what Hell was going to look like since He hated me anyway. I did not pull the trigger but it was the most difficult 3 hours of my life. At that point I made a decision to get my life changed somehow even if I could never trust God again. I got a divorce from a man who left me at home for days at a time supposedly “working” yeah sure, left my family home state and went to find a new life.

    Things didn’t change fast but with my new husband I thought, if this guy loves me like he says I might not kill myself. I tried very hard and it tested his patience. He was non church attending Christian but not what I would call a deep bible reading one. He said he read it twice, believed and lived his life. He showed me what NONE of the people who told me they were Christian could. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. As a police officer he had seen all the pain this world has and understood my background and had long patience. I asked him why stick with a loser like me? He said, “I can see the potential of what you will become when you heal”. Wow! I never heard any professing Christian ever tell me that before. All the Christians I had tried to go to and ask for some kind of guidance were very very busy helping the poor people in town with delivering groceries and other physical items. They didn’t want to get “involved” in helping someone see they aren’t trash. They just gave at a distance and felt they did their Christian duty. Or they were soooo busy with their Christian meetings 4 times a week they didn’t have time to come and talk to someone who was seeking God.

    Recently I began to learn to love myself since no one else would. I have been working with Adult Children of Alcoholics and that has helped me know that I am not insane and that I do have coping problems. I want to heal those. It has seemed to me that in Christianity that I have experience in America that it is up to me to fix me and that Christians are just too busy with their perfect happy lives and perfect happy children living in perfect happy homes to ever want to get involved with real hurting people crying out for something to believe in. Many of my friends around me have decided that they are becoming Secular Humanists or Atheists. I cannot do that. I know there is something more out there than just this body and physical world. On person who told me he has given up on believing in any God came from a Christian background. His father is the pastor of a large church with hundreds of people. He lives in one of the finest homes in that town. He has all the money and trappings of money that society calls success. Yet he dumped his kid and his wife. His wife couldn’t have sex so he left her for a pretty woman in the church. His son he gave little to financially and the boy had a background like me, being abandoned by his real father and left to live in a car for some time. He told me his father has claimed bankruptcy to keep his worldly goods and wipe out his credit card debts several times and is now sitting pretty. I told my friend that that is not how Jesus would act or what God is about. He told me his father did everything within the law about his finances. My friend now won’t talk to me because I still believe in God. He is a sad fellow whose friends are abandoning him because he is so angry.

    And I wondered, is this the current state of the church in the United States? No wonder we 30 to 40 somethings are leaving. What is there really to believe in if that is the case. But my husband has helped me keep straight. He keeps saying “Christ forgave you on the cross, it is done, take the gift.” He is not happy with how my parents raised me and he even said “your forgiveness will come, right now you are just realizing the incredible wrongs done to you by them”. And we both know how badly their childhoods were. But I stil have to be a bit angry for their rejection of me. I did nothing wrong but be me. God made me as I am and I accept it now and don’t want to destroy the body he gave me. I think it helped when a counselor said that my childhood was one of her top ten worst childhoods in her 30 years of counsel. Suddenly I felt like I could be free. It was not all my fault that all my decisions had been based on what I had to work with and that from here on out I can grow into a loving human being. I might understand what real love is for once. I am not sure I know what love is except by my husband. I told him if all men could be like him then Jesus is alive an well.

    What I see is that many of you care, but I finally had to scream out the frustration of where are you Christians anyway? I could use some help. I have asked people in my little town if there are any churches I could attend. No one can give me a name of one that is good. If you weren’t born here then attending a church becomes a bit more difficult. They don’t accept you very quickly. You get held in suspicion. Again I feel like I have to prove I am worthy of God’s love in these churches.

    The really odd thing is, the Buddhists in our area reach more to me than the Christians do. And I have been studying their concepts lately along with several other religions and comparing them all. What is so special about Christianity over the others I wondered. I seem to be accepted better into a Buddhist temple than a Christian Church. I dont’ feel I can go into a Church, sit down and ask God for guidance like I can in a temple.

    Is Christ free or do I have to do something to belong to a church? What do I have to pay? How much tithe money am I forced to give till I am accepted? My husband and I have tried 5 different Christian churches and we both feel it has become to difficult to be accepted any longer. My husband is allowing me to seek things out to figure out what my heart will know later I think. He is still confident God has his hand on me. Myself. I need to know that Christianity isn’t just another religion of people who go to Sunday services, eat a cracker and wine and think that is it for their God work. I would like to feel that I wouldn’t soil their very lives for asking questions. And if I do ask questions I get shunted off to someone who immediately points out all my wrongdoings and why God doesn’t like me for it. Geez. I can’t even get into the house of God because I am a confused person who doesn’t please him or their congregation. I would rather sit by the water under a tree and thank God for the earth he created.

    Nima is a nickname.

    Thank you who have reached out. Maybe Jesus lives in some of the Christians in the country. I will keep reading about Him.

  • Lynn

    Nima, I am glad to see that you have posted again. I too have experienced some rejection from various churches. It has not been in a verbal way, but it just seems as if I do not "fit" in. It could be the way I appear to them, or my marital status, or my age… who knows? I have been a christian believer for a long time. But, in the last 8 months I have been looking for a new church. There have been times when I have just stayed home, thinking there was no "real" church out there and was ready to give up looking. I too was looking for the kind of church where the people were reaching out to those who might not fit their "standards" but nonetheless showing the love of Christ towards them. I have discovered that the church is made up of messed up people with messed up lives no matter how they may dress or act or try to appear as if they have it all together. Each one that attends church has a need…and those needs vary. Some people actually come to realize their "true" need which is to get to know Jesus through scripture (His Word) and to begin a personal, one-on-one relationship with Him and once they begin to really know Him, they come to love Him for the rest of their days on this earth. I also have discovered that some people attend church for various reasons, not always coming to church to worship the Lord and learn more about Him. There are no perfect people in any church. There is no one in any church that you may attend that will fill every person's need. The only One who can do that is Jesus Himself. I, in my personal quest, have had to push through, persevere, and deliberately put my focus on Jesus Christ alone, not on other people. He CAN be found in "the christian church." I had to earnestly look for Him within each church I visited and I had to earnestly listen for Him within each church. By that I mean listening to the pastor's message/sermon and personally reading the scriptures he would quote, to make sure it was in the bible. I also had to earnestly listen to what others within the church were saying and compare that to what was in scripture. I have attended another church this past week. I am determined to stay awhile at this church, because the Lord has been speaking to my heart directly and specificly about some spiritual matters and needs that I have. I urge you to persevere. I urge you to keep looking for the Lord no matter which church you attend. He tells us that if we earnestly seek after Him, we WILL find Him. But, please be on the alert to make sure the pastor at the church you are attending is teaching you from the bible. I am glad to hear that you want to keep reading about the Lord. If you haven't already done this, you can get to know Jesus more by reading the first 4 books of the New Testament…Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are wonderful testimonies from 4 men who knew Jesus. My prayer is that God's Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Jesus as you read your bible. The book of Psalms is also a wonderful help. You can read of David's struggles, his times of desparation, his fears, his prayers, and the cries from his heart to God. I personally can relate to many of David's struggles. I will continue to pray that the Lord will direct you to the church He wants you to attend, one where you will learn about Him, and one where you will grow in your relationship with Him. Will you also ask Him to do that too?

    Please continue to keep in touch with us here on John's blog so we know how we can pray for you? All I can give you for now is a cyber-hug (((Nima)))…but know you will be in my prayers. Oh, by the way, I live in NW Ohio. John has my email address if you ever wanted to get in touch with me so we can write back and forth. I don't know if you live near me or not, but I welcome you and your husband to come with me to church. I can give you real live person-to-person hugs that way :)

  • Colleen

    Nima,

    The body of Christ is so vast and thanks to the internet can unite like a virtual small town in more ways than we ever thought was possible. Don’t you love these new neighbors Nima? It is such a a blessing getting to know you. There is an Irish expression that states, “A man is greater than his birth” Do not permit those sad heavy times from your past to define who you are today. Gather up the love that others have expressed here and hold onto that love like a warm blanket on a cold night. The mind is the battleground that Satan loves to enter only for the purpose of tripping us up. One Christian book that has really helped me along the path to wholeness is Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. It is a gentle story of God’s love and the main character’s name is Much Afraid. She had to leave her family, who were seldom looking out for her best interest and follow the Good Shepherd to the high places. The catch is she is lame and not quite up to the journey. She meets companions along the way that teach her some deep lessons. Guess what there names are? Suffering and Sorrow. It sound so cliche, but I promise you is true. “You are not alone” We love you and are lifting you up to our Father! Colleen

    Psalm 107 (The Message) (My favorite)

    The Message (MSG)

    Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

    Psalm 107

    1-3 Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out.

    All of you set free by God, tell the world!

    Tell how he freed you from oppression,

    Then rounded you up from all over the place,

    from the four winds, from the seven seas.

    4-9 Some of you wandered for years in the desert,

    looking but not finding a good place to live,

    Half-starved and parched with thirst,

    staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.

    Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.

    He got you out in the nick of time;

    He put your feet on a wonderful road

    that took you straight to a good place to live.

    So thank God for his marvelous love,

    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.

    He poured great draughts of water down parched throats;

    the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.

    10-16 Some of you were locked in a dark cell,

    cruelly confined behind bars,

    Punished for defying God’s Word,

    for turning your back on the High God’s counsel—

    A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy,

    and not a soul in sight to help.

    Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;

    he got you out in the nick of time.

    He led you out of your dark, dark cell,

    broke open the jail and led you out.

    So thank God for his marvelous love,

    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;

    He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,

    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!

    17-22 Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life,

    your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;

    You couldn’t stand the sight of food,

    so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead.

    Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;

    he got you out in the nick of time.

    He spoke the word that healed you,

    that pulled you back from the brink of death.

    So thank God for his marvelous love,

    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;

    Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,

    tell the world what he’s done—sing it out!

    23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships;

    you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.

    Out at sea you saw God in action,

    saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:

    With a word he called up the wind—

    an ocean storm, towering waves!

    You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;

    your hearts were stuck in your throats.

    You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,

    you didn’t know which end was up.

    Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;

    he got you out in the nick of time.

    He quieted the wind down to a whisper,

    put a muzzle on all the big waves.

    And you were so glad when the storm died down,

    and he led you safely back to harbor.

    So thank God for his marvelous love,

    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.

    Lift high your praises when the people assemble,

    shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!

    33-41 God turned rivers into wasteland,

    springs of water into sunbaked mud;

    Luscious orchards became alkali flats

    because of the evil of the people who lived there.

    Then he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water,

    arid earth into springs of water,

    Brought in the hungry and settled them there;

    they moved in—what a great place to live!

    They sowed the fields, they planted vineyards,

    they reaped a bountiful harvest.

    He blessed them and they prospered greatly;

    their herds of cattle never decreased.

    But abuse and evil and trouble declined

    as he heaped scorn on princes and sent them away.

    He gave the poor a safe place to live,

    treated their clans like well-cared-for sheep.

    42-43 Good people see this and are glad;

    bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.

    If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—

    it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.

  • Candace

    Hi, Nima -

    Just wanna echo the support and encouragement of the others, and let you know that if you're ever in northern Wisconsin, Faith Evangelical Free Church in Woodruff is wonderful. Very warm and welcoming.

    Also, just a perspective that has helped me — don't forget that although God's people are flawed and can greatly disappoint us, God is perfect and will never fail you. As long as you keep turning for Him and home, He will keep running forward with open arms to bring you back into His fold.

    God bless you and yours. I will be praying for you.

  • Brenda

    I found this website while looking for something on dysfunctional families. It has been hard to read some of the things I've seen here, but also comforting to know that I'm not the only person who has gone through rejection by my family.

    I also had to make a break with my family. I speak to them, and call my parents regularly, however, I have stayed away from situations which I cannot control–by that I mean I make sure I have some kind of escape, where I don't have to be trapped in a situation which I have decided I don't want to experience anymore.

    I feel that I have forgiven my family for the things that happened as I was growing up, and which still continue to happen when I am in contact with them. For my own protection, I have just had to put some distance between me and them. I am confused by those who have the attitude that if a person who has been badly hurt by their own family were just more "spiritual" these things would not bother them, and they would just keep doing things as usual. I think part of the reason I am not able to do that is that the hurtful treatment started when I was very tiny, and children have no other point of reference than their parents–who else are they to believe? Then as adults, we know better, but these thoughts were ingrained at such an early age, they are truly a part of who we are. When unkind behavior and comments continue to be directed to me and (one of) my children, I can't seem to willingly put myself into those situations.

    That said, I believe that these experiences have caused me to have a soft heart toward others. I know I am less judgmental, and I also believe I have forgiven my family. Complete reconciliation is impossible, however, because I don't want to have these negative, critical attitudes in my life anymore. So I can visit with them, talk on the phone, have them over, but the closeness and trust will never be back unless they would ever agree to talk it out with a counselor, which I have actually invited them to do. So far, they are not interested.

    I have a dilema which I hope someone can help me with. My mom is the problem here. My dad just came home from a two month stay in the hospital. My sister-in-law and I were able to work together enough to get him out of there and home, instead of into a nursing home, which would have been the end of him. I want to be respectful to my parents, and even do what they want, however I am getting mixed messages, that make me feel like they don't want my help, advice, or even the food I send over. I request that my mom call and let me know what the nurse says, etc., but she has not called once since my dad got home. So I call. I know it sounds petty, but when someone has messed with your mind for years it just makes it hard for me to know—should I go visit? Should I stay away? Should I keep calling, or does she just not want to talk to me? Should I bring any more food, or should I give them some money to buy what they want? She is hinting I should come stay with my dad so she can go shopping, but I am afraid I will be getting into one of those situations that I don't want to get into.

    When I read about the indecision that goes with this kind of family I really saw myself, and it was a revelation.

    How have others dealt with this? I could use some help. I hate to say anything about my parents—that's why I have to go to a website. It seems it would be very disrespectful to let any one in our community know what they are like, plus, I don't think anyone would believe me, anyway.

    Thanks in advance for the help. I have come to the realization that my family won't change, and I accept that. I just need to know how to handle this new issue with my dad.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X