spiritual awareness and survival guide for Christians
I am an author, spiritual counselor, minister, and Bible teacher. My passion since going through my own battles with spiritual abuse and self-reflection is spiritual awareness. So often we go to church and are still not aware of our disconnection with our true selves. The person inside that God deeply values. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have 3 children. I love gourmet cooking, swimming, all kinds of music and political and religious discussion- the two things my mom said never to talk about at the dinner table.
For spiritual health and wellness, I’ve had to replace special church jargon with everyday language.
For spiritual health and wellness, I’ve had to replace unique church jargon with everyday language. Psychology articles about high control religious groups /churches/cults tell us that jargon or loaded language has the effect of creating an “us” and “them” separation with the people around us. This lingo makes no sense to folks outside of the group and is only understood by the members.
Here’s a list from my group that’ll blow your mind. Keep in mind, I bought into all of this myself, so if I laugh or sound amused, it’s toward me as well.
This referred to church people outside of our religious group. This was a term based on the belief that the current religious system was symbolic of Babylon in the Old Testament, where God’s people were held captive and needed to come to the Church of God organization. This was used to characterize anything done by those in other religions (e.g., lifting up both hands in praise, pastor birthdays & anniversaries, selling chicken dinners, soulful singing styles, choir robes, specific musical instruments, and the list goes on).
Realize that you are dealing with grief–plain and simple. Leaving means loss. Loss of friends, reputation in the community, innocence, community, and definitely time. Don’t minimize the trauma involved in exiting and don’t minimize the loss you feel.
Here are a few methods to heal from the anxiety of leaving a toxic, high-control fundamentalist group. Remember that spirituality has to be based on our personal relationship and walk with God and not just the practices and performance of a particular religion or even a feeling.
Was it painful to walk away from my reputation, position (Church Elder) and friends held dear for 35 years? Extremely, excruciating. Did I meet good examples of Christianity and come in contact with wonderful people and have good times there? Yes I did. Could I have gone away quietly and never said a word about the negative things I encountered? Well, If I were a different person, probably so, but that’s not me, and I’m glad it’s not. From the feedback I’ve gotten over the last few months, it was helpful to others and myself to air out the truth of what I see. It was important to break the code of silence, “the smile and don’t talk about it” syndrome that had remained in the back rooms, on phones calls and in corners after church services for many, many years. I needed to have truth and genuineness in my life.
This post is mostly for those who might be curious how I got to this point in my life of not working with my denomination. Primarily, because I wanted the second half of my life to be under God’s control and not the control of men. I wanted to get to know God for myself and have the freedom to obey, teach and do what he was imparting to me. Under the current system in our church, that would be impossible. I was not willing to live my one life under the ownership of anyone and least of all leaders that were simply trying to hold the status quo together for their various personal reasons and no longer interested in spiritual growth. It’s a true saying that you cannot rise above your teachings.
The real lesson in Hannah’s story is her worry about a situation in her life that needed healing. She could not have children, and it was a constant source of worry, hurt, and concern
In the bible, God leaves on record the story of a woman named Hannah. She was the mother of the great prophet Samuel. On its surface, it’s the story of how Samuel was dedicated to the Lord from birth. The real lesson in Hannah’s story is her worry about a situation that needed healing. She could not have children, and it was a constant source of worry, hurt, and concern.