You called me to unload and my heart is breaking for you.
You found out that your ex is helping to lead worship at yet another church, one of the largest ones in your community.
He never stopped leading worship, during all the years he was lying to you, cheating on you, abusing you and neglecting you.
The church turned a blind eye to adultery, addiction and abuse then.
It continues to do so now.
In your dream, you met yet another one of his mistresses.
She sat on the front row in church while he stood on the platform.
When you confronted her, she simply made a joke.
When you confronted him, he ignored you and walked away.
When you confronted your own family members who still coddled him, they stared at you blankly.
In your dream, you were walking toward the pastor to warn him.
But you woke up.
Just like the nightmares you’ve had where you are falling, falling, falling and you wake up just before you hit the ground and die.
You don’t know how the dream ends, but I can predict it.
You walk up to the pastor, you tell him that your ex isn’t a godly man and he should not hold a position of leadership in any church.
You tell him about serial adultery, sex addiction, and abuse of every kind.
The pastor also stares at you blankly.
So, you walk away.
My friend, you cannot convince anyone of anything.
They see what they want to see, a man who is charming and witty and can make their worship team sound a little bit better.
You will be deemed the bitter ex-wife.
I encourage you to stop trying to get them to see truth they don’t want to see.
Instead, pour that energy and focus into speaking truth over yourself.
“I am worthy of love, honor and respect.”
“It is not my fault that he lied, cheated and abused me."
“His actions are reflections of his character, not mine.”
“My God sees all, hears all, knows all. What He knows about me matters more than what others think of me.”
“I do not need a church’s validation to be whole.”
Hold your head high and dig deep into your healing.
The One who sees all, hears all and knows all has got your back and He is moving mountains on your behalf.
He is raising up an army of survivors who have fought similar battles.
You are not alone.
Tell the nightmares, the flashbacks, and the triggers to go back to hell where they came from.
Book a session with a therapist who understands domestic violence and trauma.
You are victorious.
And, join us at Held & Healed: Christian Women Rebuilding After Abuse.
We are learning, growing and healing together.
His abuse, adultery and addictions are not your fault.
You are processing a level of betrayal that no human being should ever have to process.
While you were carrying his baby, he was at work having an affair with a co-worker
While you were in the hospital, just hours after giving birth, he was at a hotel hooking up with the “flavor of the month.”
While you were stretching fifty dollars a week for the family groceries, he was out wining and dining friends and creating thousands of dollars of debt you knew nothing about.
While you were praying, submitting, and being sexually available to keep him from straying, he was straying.
While you were alone and weeping, he was making people laugh with inappropriate humor, always the life of the party.
While you were encouraging and edifying him every chance you got, he berated you and stripped you down to a worthless pile on the floor.
While you were crying out for mercy, he mocked your pain.
NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT.
He cheats because he is a cheater.
He lies because he is a liar.
He abuses because he is an abuser.
NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT.
YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED, HONORED, CHERISHED AND SAFE.
Sweet friend, if any of this describes your reality, I want you to know that you are not alone.
We have a community of women who truly get it.
Join us on Facebook at Held & Healed: Christian Women Rebuilding After Abuse.
We are growing and healing together.
I endured spiritual abuse for nearly four decades. Long before I even knew it had a name, long before I could define spiritual narcissism, long before I knew I had worth, long before I had courage to speak against such (insert word here that may or may not be in my book title and is often abbreviated with the letters B and S).
As a teen, I watched as many of my friends walked away from church and God. They were wounded and the church treated them as lepers, talked about them behind closed doors, shunned them publicly and falsely accused them of things they did not do. This particular institution called people to confess their deepest/darkest secrets, then used that information against these vulnerable souls. I would now call this spiritual blackmail. THAT’S NOT GOD.
Mere men played the role that only God should assume and thirty years later, most of those who were abused are still carrying deep scars. Forgiveness was not sought by the leaders who wounded them. I remember sitting in one pastor’s office, begging him to seek out one who was hurt, and he just smiled at me and sent me on my way. The person I was advocating for is still one of the most heart-broken souls I know. I often wonder what might be different if that leader had confessed the heinous sin committed and sought forgiveness.
I was brainwashed and under a spell. I would now call it a cult. There were so many expectations, most were “unwritten rules.” The focus was on public appearances and the lack of care for what went on behind closed doors was unbiblical and negligent. THAT’S NOT GOD.
I once believed I was called to be a bridge back to an institution, I now understand how warped and twisted that way of thinking was. Now, I accept a much higher calling. I am here to call the broken, weary, misunderstood and condemned back to the heart of Father God.
I recently heard the story of a young woman who was sexually molested by her grandfather. After he did unmentionable things to her, he would sing “How Great Thou Art.” That song, written to declare the goodness and faithfulness of God, became a trigger that set her off and evoked emotional and physical reactions for years to come. THAT’S NOT GOD.
I am here to call out the BS that goes on in His name and invite others to consider how broken His heart is each time someone uses His name and His Word to beat up, maim, condemn or curse another human being. I stand on God’s word and His character. He is good, faithful, loving, merciful, gracious and compassionate. He alone is the reason that I am still alive. He stood with me in the fires and carried me through the floods. While many turn from Him because of the abuse suffered in His name, I was able to run into His arms for safety and refuge. I am here to testify to His goodness. I am here to extend love to all who are weary, broken-hearted, and disillusioned.
I will not be naming names of individuals or institutions. In this collection, I will be sharing anonymous stories of brave souls who have been wounded by the very ones who were supposed to protect, nurture, love and honor them. If you have a story to share, feel free to message me. I will listen and help you see how grieved God’s heart is by the abuse you have endured.
I know this topic makes many feel uncomfortable. If you are a leader and you have used your position of power to willfully wound others, you will not like this message. If you are a leader and you have unintentionally hurt others, I pray this message will encourage you to seek forgiveness from them and move toward reconciliation. No one is perfect. But, there are many who are knowingly abusing those in their care and I say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
I pray that victims of spiritual abuse will feel validated, seen, heard and loved. That is the reason I am stepping out to begin this project. Time is short. We do not know what tomorrow holds. I am desperate to see hearts restored to the Father. I raise my voice for the ones who have been wounded in the deepest crevices of their souls. I call you back to the heart of the One who saw it all, heard it all and whose heart broke when your heart broke.
When you were abused, rejected and cast out by men and women who used His word to beat you up, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were sexually abused by a pastor or youth pastor, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When that abuse was hidden and covered up by other leaders in your church, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were told if you wanted to honor God, you would return to your adulterous and abusive spouse, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When your abuser was coddled and embraced and you were blamed for his sin, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were set aside because you were physically sick and not cared for by the church you served for years, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were overlooked for a ministry you were qualified for because you didn’t have a college degree, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were taught that abortion is wrong but you faced excommunication for a pregnancy before marriage, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were rejected by the “in crowd,” at church, THAT’S NOT GOD.
When you were judged for battling mental illness but never pointed to healing resources, THAT’S NOT GOD.
This collection may take some time to write and I thank each one who is willing to share their story to empower others. I invite you on this journey back to the heart of the perfect and loving Father. His arms are open wide.
His heart is revealed here: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-28 (NIV)
If you are a Christian woman who is rebuilding your life after abuse, join us here.