Question for Christian Survivors

I talked in another post about the first time I shared with some friends about what happened. I told part of the story with a question here about another part of the story. At the end of our prayer time, my friends encouraged me to invite Jesus into the basement where it happened. I wouldn't. I couldn't. The eight year old boy in me doesn't want him to see that, doesn't want him to be disappointed. (I know that He is outside space and time and already saw it. But the 8 year old in my thinks if I don't invite him into that space he won't see what happened.) Anyway, I realized I feel betrayed by Jesus and his failure to stop it. When they invited me to talk to Jesus I exploded in anger hurling expletives at him.

I am reeling. After following Jesus for 35 years, I feel disconnected and untethered. I know he is the only one who can lead me through this but I don't trust him. We have hit a rough patch in our relationship but I am confident I will get to a better place with him...eventually. For now I am talking to the Holy Spirit. I realize they are the same thing but it is the best I can do.

I talked to my pastor who encouraged me to wrestle with why a good God allows evil to happen. So my question is this, for the followers of Jesus in this forum how have you wrestled with this?
 
He was there. He saw it all. He knows all of it.

He didn't stop it because of Free Will. that is why sin exists in the world. If he intervened, where should he draw the line? Should he stop all sin? that would make us soulless puppets.

He knows your pain. He mourns with you. He cries for you. More than that, He wants you to heal!

He wants to guide you on your healing journey. He wants to lead you to wholeness.

He knows you are angry, upset. Tell him! yell at him! he can take it! Let it out!! He will still love you. He knows you. ALL of you! faults and all! Even those things you think are secret. He sees all and knows all and still CHOOSES to love you!

If he had a fridge, your picture would be on it!!
 
I second what NC says. He is a witness that that horrible evil. The perp that did it has a witness against him and it’s Jesus Himself! He believes you even if no one else does. He felt you pain and shame. He loves you!
 
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I talked to my pastor who encouraged me to wrestle with why a good God allows evil to happen. So my question is this, for the followers of Jesus in this forum how have you wrestled with this?
I can tell you my experience. Wrestling with this shook the foundations of my faith. I’m still remain angry at God, but I have began to pray again. (Anger isn’t a sin, rage is a sin).

I would love to discuss all of this with you and other survivors of faith. I think it could be very helpful.

Good directions to start:

- The Shack (book and movie) by WM. Paul Young a survivor and Christian.
- Healing the Ravaged Soul by Sue Magrath
 

Chris4TheMill

Registrant
It's o.k. to be angry at God and feel disconnected from Him. Just hang on, keep wrestling and don't retreat from Him completely. Things will eventually get better. We will never understand why certain bad things happen to us. I will say that learning to be thankful for what we do have helps to change the perspective and the emotions. For me at least, life circumstances could be a whole lot better but they could also be a whole lot worse. After reading people's stories, I'd gladly change circumstances with many of the people on this board actually, but I have my own trials and everyone else has theirs.
 
A verse that I read recently was:

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Well, this was an eye opener. I think sometimes that God allowed the abuse to draw me to Him. No, God doesn’t do that according to this verse. I have became extremely hostile to God because of the notion that God loves you so much that He will allow bad things to happen to you to get your attention. Jesus says, “when you see me you see the Father”. Jesus is who God is and it doesn’t matter how the Hebrews saw the god of the Old Testament. They though when hard times came God was displeased. Good times meant God of pleased with them. This sounds strangely familiar to all early religions. Jesus says, it isn’t like that at all, “it rains on the good as well as the evil.”

I guess some would say “God’s love is tough love for our betterment.” My feelings as a father would not allow me to love with ‘that kind of love.’ And I don’t think He does that either.
 
I appreciate this conversation. My relationship with God has been deeply affected by the acting out I did that came directly out of the sexual abuse. In the church I attended I only heard the words "I am by nature sinful and unclean." That haunted me and as soon as I could I left the church my parents helped establish and began my search for something else. Sadly, the sexual acting out continued so the search was mixed with confusion about many things. Along the way I was introduced to St. Francis and I opened to the Christian message found in Catholic saints. It was a great solace for me over a number of years but that slipped away as I eventually became immersed in discovery of the sexual abuse, which I didn't remember.

Now I'm drawn once again to Christianity and it is precisely the teachings on love that hold everything we experience and all actions we've taken. The message I'm drawn to is that God is incapable of judging us since what he offers is love through the presence of his Son. I'm still unpacking all of this so I don't feel I can offer you a clear path but being with the pain and remaining open to Spirit, God, Christ is better than completely closing our hearts to their presence. We also want to find self-compassion, if not through God, then some other means. Beating ourselves up, feeling shame over what happened and what we did with that, will never allow us too return to the tenderness of our own hearts.

Thanks everyone for your contributions to this conversation.
 
I appreciate this conversation. My relationship with God has been deeply affected by the acting out I did that came directly out of the sexual abuse. In the church I attended I only heard the words "I am by nature sinful and unclean." That haunted me and as soon as I could I left the church my parents helped establish and began my search for something else. Sadly, the sexual acting out continued so the search was mixed with confusion about many things. Along the way I was introduced to St. Francis and I opened to the Christian message found in Catholic saints. It was a great solace for me over a number of years but that slipped away as I eventually became immersed in discovery of the sexual abuse, which I didn't remember.

Now I'm drawn once again to Christianity and it is precisely the teachings on love that hold everything we experience and all actions we've taken. The message I'm drawn to is that God is incapable of judging us since what he offers is love through the presence of his Son. I'm still unpacking all of this so I don't feel I can offer you a clear path but being with the pain and remaining open to Spirit, God, Christ is better than completely closing our hearts to their presence. We also want to find self-compassion, if not through God, then some other means. Beating ourselves up, feeling shame over what happened and what we did with that, will never allow us too return to the tenderness of our own hearts.

Thanks everyone for your contributions to this conversation.
Thanks for your thoughts. They are helpful.

My favorite author says that "yes we are sinful, but that is not the deepest, truest thing about us." The sin came later in Genesis. The truest thing about us came before - that we bear the image of God and have a good heart. I can quote the words but am working to believe them.
 
Thanks for your thoughts. They are helpful.

My favorite author says that "yes we are sinful, but that is not the deepest, truest thing about us." The sin came later in Genesis. The truest thing about us came before - that we bear the image of God and have a good heart. I can quote the words but am working to believe them.
I’m curious, who is your favorite author?
 
I
It's o.k. to be angry at God and feel disconnected from Him. Just hang on, keep wrestling and don't retreat from Him completely. Things will eventually get better. We will never understand why certain bad things happen to us. I will say that learning to be thankful for what we do have helps to change the perspective and the emotions. For me at least, life circumstances could be a whole lot better but they could also be a whole lot worse. After reading people's stories, I'd gladly change circumstances with many of the people on this board actually, but I have my own trials and everyone else has theirs.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I have historically been a fairly level headed guy. But my emotions have been a roller coaster the last several weeks, including my thoughts about faith.

I am not sure how to get my head around "why does God let bad things happen". However, it occurred to me today that he didn't exempt himself from that suffering. He took on the flesh of man and stepped into the story, suffering alongside us. I don't know why he allows suffering but at least we have a brother in Jesus who walked a path of suffering with us.

I agree with your thoughts about thankfulness. I am going to start a list of times when God intervened in my life. I am hoping if I walk back through my story and see his hand at work, it will help draw me back to him.
 
I’m curious, who is your favorite author?
John Eldredge - Whichever of his books I am currently reading is my favorite :) . However, if I had to recommend just one it would be "Waking the Dead." That book helped me make so much sense of my life. As I lean into recovery, I keep going back to some of the things I learned reading that book.
 
Thansk
I can tell you my experience. Wrestling with this shook the foundations of my faith. I’m still remain angry at God, but I have began to pray again. (Anger isn’t a sin, rage is a sin).

I would love to discuss all of this with you and other survivors of faith. I think it could be very helpful.

Good directions to start:

- The Shack (book and movie) by WM. Paul Young a survivor and Christian.
- Healing the Ravaged Soul by Sue Magrath

BTW, I downloaded the Ravaged Soul book. I like how she peppers it with practical exercises to do. I tried some last night. They sure lead me to some deeper insights.
 
I

tried to find that app but couldn't. What is the exact name? I looked for Out Bible App and didn't see it.
Oops it’s Our Bible. sorry.

Try Our Bible - app

Just an FYI. The versions of scripture have not been changed. It’s the original text. However, the tools devotional and help is written from a progressive Christian Perspective. (Ie: pro marginalized groups, feminism, social justice and LGBT affirming.)
 
John Eldredge - Whichever of his books I am currently reading is my favorite :) . However, if I had to recommend just one it would be "Waking the Dead." That book helped me make so much sense of my life. As I lean into recovery, I keep going back to some of the things I learned reading that book.
Thank’s, I will check him out!
 

Piepel

Registrant
Nice to be among Christians. There have been a few times when those praying over me leave me feeling worse. I love being prayed over though and am willing to take the chance that things may not go well. I swing like a monkey on a vine when it comes to negative emotions. I wait and when I am feeling better, I go back and try again. I have never told the person praying over me to avoid certain suggestions, but I would if I thought it would be an issue. If the person praying over me has the gift of discernment, the experience can be quite consoling.
 
John Eldredge - Whichever of his books I am currently reading is my favorite :) . However, if I had to recommend just one it would be "Waking the Dead." That book helped me make so much sense of my life. As I lean into recovery, I keep going back to some of the things I learned reading that book.
We are currently working through “Louder than Words” by Andy Stanley in our men’s prayer group. We are still at the first two chapters. The book is on character. I have always been bothered by the notion of Biblical character. It honestly brings doubt to my faith. I am brought back to guilt inducing verses like “as a man thinks in his heart so is he” and comments like “your character is the person you are when you’re alone” (multiple in my case).

Last week was a good experience; but the first week I was very uncomfortable because the got on the discussion of conversion therapy, states banning it was the work of Satan which lead to gay pride and trans agenda. I deal with all that stuff and I wish it was discussed with more compassion; because it makes me fearful to open up.

If any one is interested, the book is pretty good so far. I’ll keep you posted.
 
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Nice to be among Christians. There have been a few times when those praying over me leave me feeling worse. I love being prayed over though and am willing to take the chance that things may not go well. I swing like a monkey on a vine when it comes to negative emotions. I wait and when I am feeling better, I go back and try again. I have never told the person praying over me to avoid certain suggestions, but I would if I thought it would be an issue. If the person praying over me has the gift of discernment, the experience can be quite consoling.
Welcome David! I’m glad you are here.

Are you referring to the laying of hands and prayer?

Anyone have experience with theophostic prayer?

I’ve only met one other person besides a therapist that knew of unholy vows and curses. I’m not sure what to make of it.
 
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