The process and journey of uncovering spiritual abuse is one that is fraught with fear. It’s fraught with fear because of the memories and interactions the journey brings to light. It’s fraught with fear because if we find spiritual abuse in our past, then we must identify as victims. It’s fraught with fear because it shakes the theological core and center of who we are and what we believe. If that’s shaken, then what is there left to stand on?
For me, the journey has been filled with humiliation. Humiliation that I fell prey to spiritual abuse. I should have known better, I should have known more, or I should have at least studied and researched more completely. How did I miss all of the other communities of faith who didn’t engage in spiritual abuse?
If you find yourself at this point of uncovering spiritual abuse, hear now these words of hope. You will come through this journey stronger, more centered, and more courageous than you ever thought possible. There are people who will help you heal. There are people who share similar stories. You are not alone.
And if you need to lash out and say spiritual abuse is not real or does not exist and that spiritual leaders never use the Bible or biblical interpretation to oppress, silence, or harm, I understand, sometimes it too much to bear, too scary a journey to start, too much to remember.
Wherever you are on the journey, don’t give up. Don’t give up on people. Don’t give up on church. Don’t give up on God. For the God you thought you knew, may not be that God that is inviting you to make all things new, including you.