Question for Christian Survivors

He was there - he saw it. He gives humans free will, so he was in no position to stop it. He weeps with you and mourns with you and wants to guide you on your Healing Journey into Wholeness.
 
This week in therapy my T and I discussed the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit compared to the much louder voices in my own head which tell me that God doesn't care. But then Holy Week comes along and Good Friday raises the still small voice to a shout as God demonstrates his love for me. But for the past several months I have primarily been interpreting God's love through my CSA and my sense of abandonment. I am struggling to give Good Friday the weight it deserves over my own experience. I want Good Friday to be the better word I listen instead of the words in my head. I just don't know how to get there.
 

Winterfr3sh

Registrant
Hi Greg, Good Friday was always a tough time for me. It made me feel ashamed. In fact, the whole emphasis on my guilt and Jesus’ death is a rough topic for me. Maybe it does demonstrate his love...and I have issues with it too. Do you?

My atheist friends have helped me become more open minded to taking a step back from the blood-sacrifice, original sin outlook so heavily emphasized in the Bible.
Maybe you are mad at God for watching you as you were abused, for allowing it to happen.
Maybe God is not all powerful.
Maybe there is no loving God.
Or maybe, like NC said, God hates it but for some reason allows it to happen.
Thankfully I don’t have to pretend to know.
I hope you find peace, with or without God. Take anything you find helpful that I said and leave behind the rest.
 

WG

Registrant
It is indeed one day at a time. I struggled with that, too, for years. My T told me (I think I've said this before), "He was there, you just didn't know it." I had to ponder that, and I still do. I more than likely will all of my life. What happened to us, like any other trauma that happens on this earth, is a result of the fallen nature - sin. Not our sin, I mean that the perp who did this brought that sin into our lives. We are all sinners (Romans tells us that), but we were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross that Friday so long ago. On the 3rd day He rose and will one day judge.
 

Sawyer49

Registrant
This week in therapy my T and I discussed the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit compared to the much louder voices in my own head which tell me that God doesn't care. But then Holy Week comes along and Good Friday raises the still small voice to a shout as God demonstrates his love for me. But for the past several months I have primarily been interpreting God's love through my CSA and my sense of abandonment. I am struggling to give Good Friday the weight it deserves over my own experience. I want Good Friday to be the better word I listen instead of the words in my head. I just don't know how to get there.
 
Clearly this is an important conversation. I made a comment early in the process that is still accurate but there have been a few things that are moving. I've been reading Thomas Keating's book on centering prayer and more recently The Cloud of Unknowing. Quite honestly, I'm not smart enough to know anything about God. I'm mindful that Islam doesn't have images and Judaism spells the name G-d, all of which I take to mean whatever this is, it is a mystery. I'd be making up a story if I said "God knew about the abuse and didn't protect me" or "God knew about the abuse and didn't intervene because he gives us free will." Of course, I've told myself hundreds of stories over the years as I've contended with the residue of sexual trauma, both to others and to myself. I made myself special, a big deal because that was better than accepting the terror I felt. Why would I not do the same thing with religion... finding the perfect story that would soothe me?

The Cloud of Unknowing speaks about loving God with all our being, inviting us to put all the world's concerns into the Cloud of Forgetting. The author tells us we've no idea what the encounter will be. I'm fond of the phrase the "indwelling spirit," and have definitely experienced something ineffable at times when I'm meditating. I've been using the centering prayer as a guide and the words from The Cloud of Unknowing to simply be. I don't have to know anything, to tell myself any story to simply be and occasionally the "indwelling spirit" is present. MACH123 mentions a quite famous spiritual book written by Sri Nisargadatta called I Am That. One of his quotes is among my favorites... "The mind creates the abyss that the heart crosses." I don't think I'll ever "understand" God but if I open my heart there is a possibility I will be touched by whatever that is...

Of course, to do that I need to put down all the negative beliefs about myself and my unworthiness... all the product of early sexual abuse. Finding compassion for ourselves is job one.
 
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?
Why does a good God allow evil to happen?
This is the understanding I have of what the answer to that question is for me at the present moment. It is my way to make sense of the insanity I experienced through the barbaric behavior to which the five year old me was subjected. God is infinite. We are finite. We cannot and will not ever understand God. God is love. God creates truth. God’s son, Jesus Christ, is the way, the life and the truth.

God loves me. This awareness is God’s gift to me. My gift to God is first to accept His Love and give it to others. And then to share the truth in love. Not to use the truth to hurt others but to heal and to help. So, God looks at our motives. It may hurt to reveal the truth of sexual abuse, but doing so is for the greater good of society and most especially to prevent future child sacrifice. Because that is what this is – child sacrifice. That child’s innocence and that child’s perception of himself and the world is forever altered by the selfish, barbaric act of child rape.

So, for me, the purpose of having been raped as a child was that I should survive to testify to the world that this barbarism continues today. If we do not speak for the children we once were, who will? NO ONE SPOKE FOR ME AS I ENDURED THIS, NO ONE EVEN EXPLAINED TO ME WHAT WAS HAPPENING MUCH LESS WHY IT WAS HAPPENING. We learn so many lies through being abused – I learned that I am worthless and unloved and not a man. But, praise God, I know that those are all lies.

Laws do not exist to rectify this wrong. And even if they could, it would be to no avail for the countless survivors who are not believed; indeed I think there are countless survivors of sex abuse who do not even know they were abused – I was such a person until I recovered memories of the truth of what was done to me.

We, each of us, are children of truth. May we learn to speak the truth in love. Sounds nice, but it is not “nice”, it is painful, it causes suffering, but it is, I believe, the answer to your question: Why does God allow evil? God allows us to expose evil, and thus be His co-creators in making others aware of truth – and after all, truth is all there is. And, evil, once exposed – the lie once exposed – will cease to exist among those who believe it. Sadly, though, there are many who still believe lies, even after they have been exposed as such. That is beyond our control, our job is just to speak the truth.
That is why we are here. That’s the best I can do for now. The truth cannot be killed. I think that is what Easter is all about.
 

WG

Registrant
The part about being lied to as we endured the abuse rings so very true. No one told us what this all meant for us down the line. That we would have to deal with the fallout the rest of our lives here on earth. In Scripture we're told we will have a new body in heaven - I'm all for that. But back to the allowing evil : I,too, think it is so we can bear testimony that it does exist and we are survivors which in turn gives others the strength (incentive?) to come forward and say what happened to them. I know that's how it was for for me. I came to the point where I needed to say something to someone and had read an article in a mental health magazine that spoke of telling someone - in this case a professional - what trauma had occurred and how to move through it thereby taking the power from it. That struck home. It was exposing the evil for what it is - it's not 'teaching a boy what it means to be a man' - far from it. It's perpetrating evil on that boy against his will.
Look at the persecuted church in parts of the world - as the persecution rises, so does the faith. As was said - truth cannot be killed.
 
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