My friend, Windblown, has continued the story of her journey out of spiritual abuse into freedom and she has graciously allowed me to post it. Here she describes her exit from the abusive group. To read her previous posts, go here and here. Windblown's daughter who had also been part of this cult also shares her story for, as windblown told me, her story is also windblown's story. This is an amazing story of God's redemption and restoration.
MY JOURNEY OUT OF OZ – THE EXODUS
”THERE’S NO PLACE
Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
~~~“I stepped out of the door, locked it behind me. I left in a borrowed car, with only my clothes and books. No home, no family, no future (that I could see.)
But as I stepped out, it was as if I was lifted on “eagles wings” and taken forth into my new life.
I felt as if I had been “flung” into the air, and the very Hand of God caught me and has never let go of me.”~~~~~~
The wind was at my back, my future ahead of me~~I WAS FREE!
Prisons aren’t always high walls and bars. Some prisons are only in our minds.
I didn’t know it then, but this was the beginning of my “windblown” life.
Driving down the highway I felt strangely calm and at peace. The fact that I had no idea where I would live was not a pressing issue at that moment. A friend who had a missions group offered to let me stay there for 2 weeks until I left for a scheduled month-long trip to another country where we did missions work.
The church was still intact at this point, although everything was being shaken and about to implode.
I was still on staff, but since my main function was as “intercessor/armor-bearer/traveling companion” for the pastor, my “job” was pretty much gone. But, all I felt was “peace.”
Several pastors and leaders had told me that I should try to contact my daughter whom I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over 7 years. I told them that I had to forsake my family because of my loyalty to my church and my family was not agreement with our views and beliefs. Plus, my daughter, according to my beliefs at the time, had broken “covenant” with us by leaving the church–a very grievous action.
One person said to me, “ Would you have stood by your daughter if she had committed a crime?” (Thinking of mothers of even the worst criminals that I had seen on TV who stood by their children, I knew that a mother’s love never stops and always believes.)
I answered, “Of course. But I needed to be loyal to my pastor. “
The person said, “What about loyalty to your own daughter?”
The power of those words hit my heart like a hammer, shattering the lie into millions of pieces, like broken glass, falling around my feet.
How could I have been so blind?
How could I ever think she would forgive me and welcome me back into her life, after my treatment of her?
I knew that I had to try to get in touch with her before I left the country.
As I was walking from my car, to the house where I was staying, I remember praying,
“Lord, I will contact my daughter, but I don’t know when and I don’t know how.”
Fear gripped me as I thought about her hanging up on me or telling me to leave her alone. Besides, I didn’t have her address or phone number.
When I reached the top of the stairs going to my room, a phone in the room down the hall was ringing. I usually just ignored it, since it wasn’t mine, but I started walking toward the room, and listened as the answering machine took the call.
It was my granddaughter on the answering machine, saying,” Do you know where my grandma is, my dad and aunt are worried about her and we don’t know where to find her.”
I could hardly believe my ears~~it hadn’t even been 5 minutes since I prayed! How did she get this number and why would she call here?
I picked up the phone, told my granddaughter what was going on and asked for my daughter’s phone number.
I dialed her number, it only rang once and there she was.
I said, “It’s mom.”
She said, “Oh mom, when can I see you?”
I said, “I’ll be right there.”
We made plans where we would meet and within an hour we were hugging and crying!
~~~AMAZING GRACE~~~HOW SWEET THE SOUND~~~
I know how the Prodigal Son must have felt when his father RAN to meet him on the road, held him and welcomed him back to the family, after all the years of squandering his inheritance.
I had squandered my most precious jewels for a deception and a lie.
But now I was HOME!!!
My Daughter’s Story
~~THE MASTER WEAVER~~
Separated by the powers of darkness, 1997 proved to be the darkest valley of my life. In this year, over the period of one night, I would be amputated from every relationship in my world, including my Mother (with the exception of my husband and Good Samaritan.) Resident in this cocoon of grief, turmoil and raw despairing of life, I believed that my Mother and I would be reunited. Though the bond suffered an agonizing blow that appeared dead, time would mature this faith until the powers of resurrection delivered her to my heart 7 years later.
There was a guest bedroom in our first home and there was a note on the table beside the bed. The note read, “Welcome Home MOM.” Though she did not know it, He had prepared a safe place for her to reside. She would not arrive in time to see this room, but another room awaited her in our present home.
One evening in May of 2004, my husband and I were relaxing after dinner at our kitchen table. As we spoke, the Sovereign Presence of the Almighty filled our kitchen. It was as if time stood still. I said, ” God is doing something right now….with Mom.” I felt like God ushered himself through our kitchen.
It was the very next day, my telephone rang and my mother was on the other end ~ freed by the King of the Exodus. In an instant, the forces of restoration were moving at lightning speed to forever weave the ties that He created long ago.
Truly, let NOT man put asunder that which HE has JOINED together.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. We made it ~ to the Glory of our King.
Join us now in rejoicing in this wonderful modern-day story of redemption and restoration.
“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Corrie ten Boom
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Heidi Venie was Darin Hufford's special guest on the Into the Wild podcast. Heidi and her husband, Daniel, were on staff at a church in Alaska as worship leaders for many years. In a series of three podcasts, Heidi shares her story of her experiences in a spiritually abusive church. As in all cases of abuse, it's a story of heart break and betrayal but I think those of us who have experienced spiritual abuse will be able to relate to her experiences.
You can listen to Heidi tell her story here and here and here.
You can listen to Heidi tell her story here and here and here.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I just added some additional resources on my sidebar. I'll be adding more from time to time and I hope you'll find these resources helpful as you sort through the issues related to your experiences with spiritual abuse. Please feel free to add your comments to any of my posts. I want to hear from you. Hopefully we can encourage one another.