Monday, January 30, 2017

"Just get over it" - Words are Cheap

During my brief time in the US, a new friend, who had left the COG about twenty years prior and had since grown into the most wonderful Christian I had ever met, convinced me to try prayer with her prayer group. 

I sat in a chair in the center of the room. People gathered around and laid hands on me. I'd been through this before. Many times. This was commonplace in the cult. Praying the devil out of me for various sins and my failings and weaknesses. This time was supposed to be different.

I was told to "forgive myself." "Breathe out and let go of all of that."

It was just not so simple.

It is not easy to pull out the tendrils that had grown within me for thirty long years. I couldn't "just get over it" and move on. The effect was too much a part of me. I needed time. And what I didn't know then, I needed knowledge and understanding.

I could have compartmentalized, fallen into blind denial, claiming, "it was all in the past," and "Jesus looks at my heart." But I couldn't. I knew it was a cop-out.

I looked to self-help books, but the advice I got to "love myself" went nowhere. "Stand in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and say, 'I love you.'" Uh. No. It seemed a stupid, childish bandaid - and impossible. I had messed up my life and my kids' lives. That's a lot of guilt with not much room for "self-love."

Aware that I couldn't stay in this cloudy limbo for the rest of my life, I started to study - mainly audio courses when I drove, did housework, or walked, and those became my salvation - really.

The realization of how I had been used and exploited began to dawn. There was a lot of anger that I needed to get out, and I had no one to tell. I wrote it down in a notebook.

As time went on, I gradually was able to understand, and through understanding begin to lay aside the crap that I carried from those years. I finally started to grow and mature - which maturity had been stunted in the cult.

Only through understanding could I begin to find freedom from my past.

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