Refer to STEP 11: . I make a commitment to nurture my relationship with God, asking Him to reveal His will to me as well as the power to carry it out.
Having experienced religious abuse as a child of Roman Catholicism in Boston, while living as a hippie cult in California during the Vietnam War, and as an adult working for Christian ministries for thirty years, each experience had a shaming effect on me. For many reasons, I believed that I didn’t measure up, and my sense of self worth was abysmally low. I was not alone. Many of my peers had similar experiences and felt the same way—exactly the same way.
Some of those around me seemed to be able to handle their abusiveness better than I did. I wanted to be like them and cast God aside, but I couldn’t. For me, He was real, and I had to deal with Him, regardless of what others chose to do.
Perhaps that’s why helping others recognize their abuse is so important to me. I know that when I began to understand the causal factors behind my abuse, I was able to use the recovery tools I gained as a member of AA and turn my life around spiritually.
For years, I wondered why everything happened the way it did. What was the purpose for it all? Since then, however, I’ve come to realize that nothing happens without a purpose. I couldn’t see it at the time, but each incident had a purpose and helped make me the person I am today. While it was happening, I was in too much for me to discern anything.
From that abusive confrontation, my burden has always been for people who have been hurt—the underdog.
It’s why I have been writing about religious abuse for years. My burden is for you and for the millions of other wounded Christians whose lives are more typified by pain and sorrow than love and joy. Despite whatever has happened to you, you can become the person God created you to be—the person you know you want to be. I know it; I’m not guessing.