Refining the Vision — Freedom from Abuse in Christianity

What is the purpose of this blog? Is it just to revel in smut? Is it to vent anger about the church? Is it a bitter tirade about grievances?

No, these are all things this blog is not about. I weighed long and hard before starting this blog a year ago, because the world doesn’t need another bitter gripe fest. I don’t have time for it and no one needs to waste time reading it.

But God was pushing me to start writing. I always knew this was coming. Throughout all the years of suffering I knew the day would come when He would want me to write and talk about it. The time was coming when He was going to have me start to tell what He taught me during the years in “bondage” like Joseph (ironically, my marriage was legally 21 years long, too).

During the past several weeks I have been grappling with God again. I feel it is time for another step in the process. But what exactly is the step? A lot has been accomplished in the past year. But there are more depths that have not even been touched. Whole worlds of truth haven’t been tapped. I have pages and pages and pages of notes of things to write about. There is so much more He wants to say.

Two primary issues have been nagging at me.

One, the nature of this subject can tend to seem like it is all negative all the time. And that is not the point. Awareness requires revealing what is really going on. People cannot, and will not, ever stand up to the abuses that are happening within the church if no one ever lets them know what is going on in the shadows.

Darkness is Satan’s best tool to keep people in bondage – the light of exposure is the first step to change. But there has to be more to this than just the negative, even though the negative cannot be avoided.

The second is that exposure alone doesn’t bring freedom to anyone. And without freedom no one is really helped. Awareness is great. But I know my life didn’t change just by knowing I was living in abuse. Big deal. I needed to know how to change my life – not just know how to label what I was living with.

God has given me freedom. Freedom is what He spent 13 years teaching me while I was on my face with Him in my marriage. I spent 13 years asking Him to change me and that is exactly what He did. At the end of that 13 years I finally understood I could also walk free of my abusive marriage.

I don’t know if I’m a slow learner or if that was His timing. But this I do know — God is a God of freedom. None of this blog is worth anything if it doesn’t share that freedom.

In the early, early hours of this morning God woke me up and told me that. THAT is the point of this blog – empowering people to find freedom from abuse in the church. This is what He taught me during 13 years. He is a God of freedom. Abuse is not of Him. He has clear and direct answers. And He wants His people to walk in freedom from abuse — especially in His church of all places.

You may notice that the blog has a little different organization today than it did yesterday. This reflects some changes in preparation for implementing this vision more fully. I’m limited in the number of tabs at the top of the page so I’ve had to do a little rearranging. Hopefully, the new arrangement actually makes clear sense and will be easy to navigate. All the same content is still here. Articles are under their appropriate subject tabs rather than under their own tab. More changes will appear over time.

Peace on Christmas

What a novel feeling – to have peace on Christmas. I’m still pinching myself. This is my fourth peaceful Christmas and it still feels soooooo awesome! I think only people who have lived in abuse can have any idea what it’s like to have holidays that you want to celebrate but dread instead.

This is the first year I am completely alone on Christmas. All the kids are gone. My oldest is married now and has other obligations today – such is the nature of things and that is perfectly fine. The other two are with their father this year by court order.

But I knew this day would come soon and I prepared for it in my own way. So I’m happy. I’m having a very peaceful day, just me and God — and the computer and you when you get a chance to stop by here. God already started the day out in the wee hours of the morning sharing something really awesome with me in answer to a wrestling and grappling prayer I’ve been going around and around with Him about for weeks. So that, in itself, was a wonderful Christmas present for me.

I wish you a peaceful Christmas. If you are not in a peaceful place, I wish that gift for you this year.