If It Was So Bad, Why Did You Stay?

Image from When Church  Hurts

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsOnce in a while, I get this question. It’s not so different from years ago when I asked my mother the same thing.My father died of colon cancer when I was three years old. My mother rarely spoke of him except to say that his death was the best thing that could have happened to us – his four children. Back in those days, you didn’t challenge or question adults, so I would listen to her comment and wonder what she meant. Was it because he was so ill or so maimed by his disease (he lost most of his intestines and wore a colostomy bag) that it would have been difficult for us? That was my assumption.Then, when I was about twenty yea … [Read more...]

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Day 20 of 21 Days of Healing: What About God?

Image from When Church  Hurts

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“God made you in His image.”Day 20You may have noticed that I haven’t spent much time on God over these 21 days except for the brain changing thoughts that I hope you have been repeating to yourself several times a day through the month. If you stuck with it, you will probably notice a change in how you think about what God thinks of you. Please don’t stop once our 21 Days are over. … [Read more...]

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Part 2 – The Paradox of Freedom

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by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalPart one can be found here - Part 1 - The Paradox of FreedomI shared in my last post about the revolutionary discovery I made after my husband left me - that I actually had the freedom to choose whether or not to forgive him! And that it was only when I found out I was free to choose, that I was truly able to forgive. This is what I call the paradox of freedom.Now it's been many years since that momentous realisation. Since then I've seen a precious friendship turn into marriage, been blessed with two more amazing sons, suffered spiritual abuse, lost my 'religion', and embarked on a faith journey with a freshly-revealed … [Read more...]

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It Was a Friday

Ellen

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsOne year ago. It was a Friday. Last year it was the last day of school before we were to go on Christmas break. This year, while today is a Friday, we will have school for two days next week. So, it’s not quite the same. Yet today is much like that Friday one year ago.On that day, my husband was trying to set up a meeting with church leadership to discuss the spiritually abusive treatment I had received for over a decade and the leadership’s angry response when they found out that I had broken their mandate to keep quiet about what they had done to me all of those years. … [Read more...]

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Tacit Agreement

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by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsImplied, inferred, understood without actually speaking.I was chatting with someone recently about my experience with spiritual abuse. She asked how many of our friends at the church were aware of what had taken place and had spoken up in our defense.I responded that no one had taken the initiative to contact me or my husband to find out why we were no longer attending. No took the initiative to call, email, message, write, or communicate in any way. We are … [Read more...]

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Not Quoting Quiverfull: Forgiving Doesn’t Mean Forgetting

Notquoting

by Linda Vernick from the Association of Biblical Counselors - Why We Must Never Forget Even When We Do ForgiveEditor's note: This may be coming from a Christian counselor publication, but it's a step in the right direction in the way forgiveness and self-protection should work together. … [Read more...]

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Day 18 of 21 Days of Healing: Focus

Image NLQ

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Can you tell your thoughts are changing?)Day 18:For those who are following the 21 Days of Healing, you have read and hopefully thought through Days 13, 14 and 15 – which are about letting go of all of the stuff you used to do and then thinking about – and doing – the things that you truly want to do. … [Read more...]

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Frozen

Hans telling Anna that he's been using her. CC Screencap from the Disney movie "Frozen"

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsHas anyone else seen the parallels between Elsa and their own experience with spiritual abuse?I first saw the movie just days after being tossed out of our church and I sat there in tears and in awe as I watched Elsa make the “mistake” of hurting her sister while she was using her incredible gift to create joy and delight.She then is shut up, not allowed to use her gift any longer and she is told she cannot tell anyone what is happening to her. … [Read more...]

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Day 17 of 21 Days of Healing: How To Respond

21Daysofhealing

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsHis mercies are new every morning.  (Brain work.)Day 17A few days a go I attended a conference for teachers in my discipline – music. Of course, the first person I ran into is a life-long member of the church that tossed me out last December. In fact, because she divorced several years ago, she no longer serves in any capacity. (He had an affair and refused church or any other kind of counseling. The wife did everything she could to save their marriage. But I digress.) “I haven’t seen you in a long time!” she exclaimed. And because she was with another woman whom I did not know, I simply replied, “Oh, like all of us, I’ve been v … [Read more...]

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Day 15 of 21 Days of Healing: Making It Real

wintersmorn

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“He restores my soul.” (Brain work.)Day 15At the end of Day 14, you should have had a pretty good idea of what your perfect “ordinary” day would look like. I hope you are taking steps to make that happen.Remember, an “ordinary” day is one that happens on a regular basis – like my work week. Monday through Friday’s are my “ordinary” days and I love having a very restful, relaxing, time outside of my working and commuting hours. … [Read more...]

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