Sometimes I worry about the fact that I no longer feel the hurt from our encounter with spiritual abuse, that somehow it is my responsibility to continue to carry the pain.
I wrote the spiritual abuse articles from the midst of my grief. They came from a place that was real and feelings that were raw. I hope that the words from that time have the ability to connect with others who are now in the midst of their own raw and vulnerable situation.
I want those words to still connect because I no longer feel the same pain that I felt then. I remember feeling the pain, but it just doesn't hurt anymore. I suppose this is a good thing, a hopeful thing.
With just a little effort, I can remember the confusion of betrayal and of trust being broken. I can remember the rejection of friends no longer calling and acquaintances glancing away way when they saw me.
Now I watch with dispassionate regret as things continue to unravel at our CLB. As we encounter the latest refugees, I see the grief and loss that they are feeling, and I try to remember the degree of devastation we felt.
At the time I was crippled by the pain and overwhelmed with the loneliness. The anger and bitterness tormented me day and night as I tried to escape their dark reality. Sadness threatened to suck me into a never-ending darkness. I was afraid that there was no way out.
Maybe it is a good thing that as others go through this, I am not down in the pit with them. I know their pain, but now I stand as one removed from it, hopefully as proof that there is hope beyond where they are at this time.
What I have noticed of the refugees and exiles is that everyone's response is unique. Whether they struggle with the pain or whether they seem to breeze through it, one thing is true - the escape from control, as painful as it might be, is the first step toward a journey of freedom.
I believe that I will always have compassion for those who find themselves in this situation and a special understanding of what it is like. I also will always have an intolerance for the systems in churches that perpetuate this kind of injustice.
I want to share with you this prayer request from the comments of my previous post. Some of you have been in this person's shoes, and you also remember what it felt like. Please take a moment to pray for this person and their family. God knows who they are, and I know from experience that He cares deeply about their situation.
You and those who hang out here have greatly encouraged my journey. Could I ask you to pray for us here.
Tomorrow we meet with the "Apostle" and "Prophet" to have them ask us why we are leaving, give us the ramifications of our actions and tell us what "judgements and instructions" that will be proclaimed to a later meeting that night of the covenant members.
An email went out already today to all our friends. One of our guys called off work for tomorrow (we own our own business), and more hurt is on its way. Others are being told not to talk to us and so on.
You all have spoken of losing your friends in a day and now I am living it. Please pray grace for us to not retaliate but be kind and gracious.
I appreciate you and The Community.
A Former Leader