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Archive for November, 2010


Refer to Step 7: I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.

It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.

—James Gordon, M.D.

In the weeks and months immediately following your religious abuse, the devastation is so complete that you feel certain life will never return to normal again. The wound to your soul leaves you bleeding emotionally, and most feel certain that the destruction will be permanent. For many, it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an alternative.

In my own experience, my wounds lasted for nearly twenty-five years, which was far too long, but there was no program available to help me climb out of the hole either. To me, it seemed like I would have permanent emotional scaring, but that’s not what happened. I finally became sick and tired of living life as an emotional cripple, after being abused by mean-spirited men whose purpose was to destroy me. I realized that there was nobody that would help, so I had to trust God once again and dig myself out.

There were many things that helped me recover, including my firm commitment to do so, but perhaps the greatest recovery tool was when I started writing about my experiences. I wrote about them in excruciating detail—feeling all of the debilitating emotions I had originally felt once again. When I was finished, I read what I had written and made numerous changes.

As I continued the process, I realized that the longstanding sting from the affront had abated, and I no longer felt as wounded as I had for years. I had begun to heal. By the time I was finished, my understanding about what had happened was much clearer than it had ever been.

Over time, and slowly, my healing became complete. Now, years later, I understand my wounds, but they are no longer painful. Instead, I have gained wisdom I never would have had before I wrote about my experience. This can be your reality as well, and writing about it can be a valuable tool for you.

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the lord always. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in this way. (Proverbs 23:17-19)

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Refer to STEP 4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

Pride erects a little kingdom of its own, and acts as sovereign in it.

—William Hazlitt

Nearly every minister can point to a time when they first realized God wanted them to serve in the ministry. Even those who become abusive can point to their calling with certainty. That’s what makes their dysfunction so difficult for them to recognize. For the most part, they believe they are being faithful to their calling—never questioning their motives or goals.

Because they have been “called,” when a conflict arises, it’s never their problem. It’s the other person who is wrong—not them. The problem is with those who criticize their leading, whether blatantly or subtly. Because the person doesn’t follow their lead—blindly, without question—that person must be wrong, and they deserve the criticism they receive. Religious abusers not only position it this way, they actually believe their abusiveness is sanctioned—even justified. That’s how narcissists think.

For an abuser, there is rarely any grey area. You are either with them or against them. If you are in opposition, you might as well be questioning God Himself. Because God has “told them” what to do, any criticism of their agenda is met with harsh rebuke; but that’s not all. That’s just the beginning of their abusive treatment.

The person who doesn’t buy into the program is not only rebuked, but his or her relationship with God is also called into criticized. To question the leader is perceived as questioning God, making the person who disagrees have flawed character qualities. Routinely, those who are in opposition are depicted as “carnal”—as purposefully going against God’s will.

This makes the questioning person’s walk with the Lord seem defective. As such, the person’s character is castigated, and they are abruptly discarded and shunned—just as a leper would be in India. The person asking hard questions becomes an “untouchable”—rejected by those who were co-laborers just a short time before.

This kind of treatment happens routinely in ministries and churches, wounding people beyond their ability to cope with the condemnation they receive.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Lert him show by his good befavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. (James 3:13-14)

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Refer to Step 1: I acknowledge that my life is shipwrecked and not where I want it to be.

Faith is our greatest gift; sharing it with others our greatest responsibility.

—An AA Slogan

Each entry in 365: One Day at a Time is authentic—devoid of meaningless, sappy, religious drivel. That’s a promise. Having heard unimaginable war stories of abuse, authenticity for recovering people is required—not religious platitudes, and that’s what’s being delivered. Regardless of how badly you’ve been treated—of how abusive your experience has been, others have similar stories and have recovered to lead fruitful lives—lives of value.

The Great Commission is to make disciples—not new converts, which makes languishing, wounded believers like you very important to us and to God. Make no mistake about it; the Lord loves you just the way you are, regardless of your circumstance—regardless of your state of mind. He knows you’ve experienced dark times and have made self-destructive choices. He loves you, in spite of everything, even though you may not love yourself.

Your life has value and, once you have experienced God’s accepting, forgiving touch, you’ll want to help others—just like you’ve been helped. Having been derailed will no longer continue to thwart your destiny. Like Israel after the Holocaust, you will learn to say with confidence, “Never Again.”

Our goal is to aid you healing—to provide reflective material that will help you become the mature man or woman God redeemed you to be—healthy, sound and resilient. As you continue on your journey to complete emotional and spiritual recovery, your entire outlook and attitude on life will change, becoming far more positive and productive.

Isn’t it time to put down your anger and malice? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness once again? Your life can be one of calm, strong sanity. This is not a “name it—claim it” approach to recovery. It requires real work, real faith, real commitment, and time. If you work for it, however, you will be amazed at the progress you can make—so will others.

Thus says the Lord, “If you will return, then I will restore you—Before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman.” (Jeremiah 15:19)

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Refer to STEP 4: I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

There are two kinds of people:

Those seeking the truth

And those afraid of it.

—an AA slogan

In the aftermath of spiritual abuse, your eyes become opened. You see things differently—with much more clarity and far less naïveté. It’s like the blinders have been removed, and you realize the direction you’ve been traveling will not take you to the place you believed you were going.

It’s like Todo has pulled back the curtain and revealed the fraud you thought was the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. Realizing that your religious leader is narcissistically self-interested, you feel like a fool to have been so gullible. Once you realize this, that’s when you become cynical, and nothing spiritual seems real to you any longer.

When this happens, you can either fritter away many years of your life, nurturing anger, bitterness, and rebellion; or you can redouble your efforts to develop your relationship with God. He is real and can be trusted. He is not abusive like some of His misguided people.

Having your eyes opened is a good thing—despite the disillusionment necessary to make it happen. Nothing good comes from blindness. In order to be of maximum use to yourself and others, having your eyes opened was necessary.

Now, what you need to change is your perspective. When you realize that God allowed your abuse to get you to a better place—a place where you could trust Him and not a self-serving narcissist, you can bow your knee and be thankful. When you look at it from this perspective, you can learn to think positively about your experience. By changing your perspective, cynicism will leave you, and you will be far less likely to be fooled again.

And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind. (John 9:39)

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Refer to Step 7: I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.

There is a weird power in a spoken word. . . and a word carries far—very far—deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.

—Joseph Conrad

Words are more powerful than most people can comprehend. No matter how much you desire to do so, you can never retract hurtful words spoken in the heat of an argument. Once they leave your mouth, those words can never be retrieved. Nearly everybody can remember hurtful words that were maliciously spoken when they were children, even if it was decades earlier. For many, the pain from a rebuke can be felt years after it was delivered.

Hurtful, scolding words make indelible imprints on our minds and on our hearts. The wounds they inflict may last a lifetime. Unfortunately, apologies don’t erase them from our memories—nothing can. The Scriptures tell us that no man can “tame the tongue. It’s a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” The power of words is incredible, especially negative, abusive ones.

Several years ago, a survey asked mothers to keep a daily record of how many times they made negative and positive comments to their children. The results were startling. The mothers documented that they made critical remarks ten times more often than encouraging words.

Statistics reveal that in an average household, children hear “no” or are told they “can’t” more than 148,000 times by the time they reach eighteen. One school did its own three-year survey and discovered the teachers were negative with their students 75 percent of the time. The study also determined that it required four positive statements from a teacher to offset the effects of one negative statement.

Why not take a few minutes and write down the negative things you have said to someone you care about? If you do, it will help you to think before you speak, and it can also help you make a positive impact upon another. Saying something positive can help heal a broken relationship. By encouraging someone today, it will also help advance your recovery. So, be merciful to someone who is wounded—someone who is in desperate need of validation.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Psalm 18:21)

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Refer to Step 9: I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes.

The brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried, and smelted, polished, and glorified through the furnace of tribulation.

—E. H. Chapin

For faith to have any lasting impact for you or others, it must be robust—filled with confidence that God is in charge and knows what He is doing. Does that sound like a tall order? If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll probably admit that it does. Like most, you wish that you were a stronger person; but in your heart, you probably know that you are not.

If this is an accurate depiction of you, you’re not alone. America is full of Christians who lack the strength of their convictions. Being short of strong, heartfelt faith, they either become legalists or sentimentalists.

The former doggedly pursue Christianity, trying to enforce harsh rules upon themselves and others, which is decidedly unappealing to most. The latter relegate Christianity to a small area of their life, choosing to believe but not allowing their beliefs to impact their lives appreciably.

In America, there are more Christians that are sentimentalists than any other kind. They are certainly more fun to be around than legalists but, being shallow, they lack the resilience to have much value when the chips are down, and the chips are definitely down.

This is where the value of being in recovery comes in. By having to dig deeply within, recovering people develop a toughness that eventually becomes significant for others. Because their faith has been tested by fire, their resilience becomes established, allowing them to develop strong, positive internal character qualities. Sentimentalists, by way of contrast, do little more than hope for a “divine bailout” in the form of the Rapture, which justifies their weakness with a “Last-Days” mentality that venerates apathetic “lukewarm-ness.”

If you have experienced religious abuse, regardless of the reasons behind it, at least you can know that the pain you have suffered need not be in vain. If you are still suffering from your abuse, rest assured that your future will have value—perhaps great value. By fighting back, you are creating strong, resilient character qualities that will be vitally important in the years ahead.

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

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Refer to Step 7: I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.

In the weeks and months immediately following your religious abuse, the devastation is so complete that you feel certain life will never return to normal again. The wound to your soul leaves you bleeding emotionally, and most feel certain that the destruction will be permanent. For many, it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an alternative.

In my own experience, my wounds lasted for nearly twenty-five years, which was far too long, but there was program available to help me climb out of the pit either. To me, it seemed like I would have permanent emotional scaring, but that’s not what happened. I finally became sick and tired of living life as an emotional cripple, after being abused by mean-spirited men whose purpose was to destroy me. I realized that there was nobody that would help, so I had to trust God once again and dig myself out.

There were many things that helped me recover, including my firm commitment to do so, but perhaps the greatest recovery tool was when I started writing about my experiences. I wrote about them in excruciating detail—feeling all of the debilitating emotions I had originally felt once again. When I was finished, I read what I had written and made numerous changes.

As I continued the process, I realized that the longstanding sting from the affront had abated, and I was no longer felt as wounded as I had for years. I had begun to heal. By the time I was finished, my understanding about what had happened was much greater than it had ever been.

Over time and slowly, my healing became complete. Now, years later, I understand my wounds, but they are no longer painful. Instead, I have gained wisdom I never would have had before I wrote about it. This can be your experience as well, and writing about them can be a valuable tool for you.

Read Full Post »


Refer to STEP 4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

Pride erects a little kingdom of its own, and acts as sovereign in it.

—William Hazlitt

Nearly every minister can point to a time when they first realized God wanted them to serve in the ministry. Even those who become abusive can point to their calling with certainty. That’s what makes their abusive behavior so difficult for them to recognize as being problematic. Generally, they believe they are being faithful to their calling—never questioning their motives or goals.

Because they have been “called,” when a conflict arises, it’s not their problem. It’s always the other person who is wrong—not them. The problem is with those who criticize their leading, regardless of whether it’s done in a blatant or subtle way. Because the person doesn’t follow their lead—blindly, unquestioningly—that person must be wrong, and they deserve the scolding criticism they receive. Religious abusers actually believe their abusiveness is sanctioned—even justified.

For them, there is rarely any grey area. You are either for them or against them. If you are in opposition, you might as well be questioning God Himself. Because God has “told them” what to do, any criticism of their goals, agenda, or methodology is met with harsh rebuke; but that’s not all. That’s just the beginning of the abusive treatment.

The person who doesn’t “buy into the program” is not only censured, but his or her relationship with God is also called into question. To criticize the minister is perceived as criticizing God, necessitating that the person who disagrees with the narcissistic leader to have flawed character qualities. Routinely, those who are in opposition are depicted as “carnal,” as purposefully going against God’s will. Many are even depicted as being led by Satan.

This makes the walk of the person in opposition an easy target for criticism. Castigating the person’s character, the abusee is abruptly discarded and shunned—just as a leper would be in India. The person who balks or even questions becomes an “untouchable”—rejected by those who were co-laborers just a short time before.

Treatment such as this is not a minor problem. It occurs routinely in ministries and churches, wounding people beyond their ability to cope with the results.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Lert him show by his good befavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you hav bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. (James 3:13-14)

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Refer to Step 7: I will make a detailed, written account of my abusive experiences, as well as my subsequent behavior. I commit to being as thorough and honest as I’m able.

True repentance means making amends with the person when at all possible.

—Lawana Blackwell

In the last half century, Christianity has undergone a fundamental change, especially in evangelical Protestantism. People no longer consider themselves to be as accountable as they once were. Because God forgives their sins by simply acknowledging them to Him, that’s all that’s needed in their eyes. Saying a quick prayer, they dismiss their behavior and move on to the next item on their agenda.

They rarely take into account the pain they’ve caused others, and they certainly don’t make amends for their actions. In their minds, they don’t believe it’s necessary. For them, forgiveness and accountability are vertical and never horizontal. Such thinking, however, repudiates Scriptural teaching, and it leaves a trail of broken relationships that never heal.

That’s why taking inventory and writing down the exact nature of your wrongs is so important. It provides a level of introspection that’s healthy and appropriate, and it allows you to take a hard look at what you have done. It’s easy to dismiss poor behavior and to gloss over wrongdoing, when all you have to do is think about it.

It’s much more difficult to be self-deceiving when you put it down with pen and paper. Taking the time to be completely forthright is an essential part of recovery, and there’s no way to circumvent it. It’s healthy, appropriate, and absolutely necessary. After taking inventory becomes routine for you, it will cease being a chore. Like flossing your teeth, you couldn’t imagine what life would be like without it. It’s that integral to recovery.

For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you, what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in this matter. (II Corinthians 7:11)

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Refer to Step 8: I will share my experience and my own wrongdoing with a trusted friend, confessing the exact state of my heart.

In every 12-step group, finding a sponsor is one of the essential steps for recovery. Usually, the sponsor has substantial time in the program—either alcohol or drug free— and has worked the steps to achieve a level of sobriety that someone new to the program can find beneficial. A sponsor is the first line of defense to keep a person from relapsing. Additionally, a sponsor is the person you are supposed to call before you pick up a drink or start using drugs.

In recovery from religious abuse, having a sponsor is not as critical for recovery, but developing a support system of like-minded people certainly is. In this recovery system, the emphasis isn’t on stopping addictive behavior but on reconnecting with God in a rich and meaningful way.

Having people in your life who have had a similar experience can help your recovery, just as long as that person has worked through his or her issues with bitterness and estrangement from God. Finding such people can be difficult. Most choose not to deal with their issues by being open and honest about them, choosing to suppress them instead. Perhaps it’s because they are too proud to admit they need help.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to develop relationships with fellow believers—those who will listen and not be judgmental. It may take you a while to find someone like this, but when you do, you will recognize his or her value quickly. While looking for such a person, however, be sure to be circumspect, knowing that Christians can be some of the harshest, most judgmental people on earth. If you detect even a hint of this, don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable.


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Refer to Step 3: I accept that the responsibility for getting back on track is mine and no one else’s.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

—Albert Ellis

When I was first subjected to religious abuse, I was hurt, angry, and confused. My life became purposeless for a long time. When I realized that wallowing in self-pity wasn’t making my life better or more manageable, I knew I needed to make some changes.

I would never become the person I was created to be by nurturing bitterness, and nobody was going to help me. I had to help myself. That’s when I stopped my downward slide and started working to recover what I had lost. Realizing God was not the problem but the solution, I looked to Him, and the words He spoke, as my source of courage and inspiration. I looked to Him for hope—for a way out of my emotional pit. I had to rethink nearly every aspect of my life, changing practically everything.

At first, I was overwhelmed by the daunting task, which had been set before me, resenting all that needed to be done. After a while, however, I chose to embrace my journey instead, which has proven to be a wise decision.

When I was much younger, I had a vision for what my life would be—a vision that was quite pretentious, but God’s purpose was different. Becoming who He intended me to be has taken substantial work, and it continues to take work, each and every day of my life.

By looking to God for the future, rather than blaming Him for the past, I chose life over the debilitating half-life of bitterness. I worked out a new lifetime purpose—a more realistic one. Now that I’ve lived it for many years, I can’t imagine I was created for anything else. My life is filled with the peace and contentment I always desired but was never able to achieve. Reflecting back, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

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Refer to STEP 4: I believe that God understands my wounded-ness and He alone can heal me. I chose to accept as true what God says about Himself. He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

—Anne Bradstreet

Do you ever feel like you’re being stretched beyond your limits? Just when you think you can’t handle one more thing; inevitably, two or three more problems are piled onto you. When you’re certain you’re not capable of anything else, you’re amazed that your capacity is greater than you ever thought it would be.

Believe it or not, the stress of the strain has incredible value for your recovery, although few can understand it at the time. Oswald Chambers puts it this way. Your life is in the “hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something” you cannot see. “He stretches and strains,” and you say, “’I cannot stand any more.’”

According to Chambers, “God does not heed. He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight. Then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands.”

I can think of several times in my life when I thought I had been stretched far beyond my capacity, but I was mistaken. My capacity was greater than I ever imagined. I whined, moaned, and begged God to make my life easier, but the strain continued until His purpose was complete—not mine. After the crisis abated, I knew I was stronger, but not during it. When I was in the middle of it, it was all I could do to survive—one day at a time.

Does this sound familiar? Has this been your experience as well? Is it what your life is like right now?

If so, take courage. The crisis will inevitably resolve, and you will become stronger from the experience. It’s how God works and how your recovery works as well.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)

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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.

You can’t think your way into a new way of living . . . you have to

live your way into a new way of thinking.

—Anonymous

It’s much easier to worry a problem to death than it is to trust God about it, which is why so few operate in faith. People rack their brains about how a problem is going to be solved; and for the life of them, they can’t see a way out. It’s common for people to disbelieve God when they can’t figure out how He is going to solve a problem, based on their common sense reasoning.

Does this sound familiar to you? How often has this happened in your life?

The problem is God doesn’t work in common sense ways—never has, never will. Because His ways are not our ways, we rack our brains and cannot understand how He operates; but when we look back at his faithfulness over time, we realize that He has done what we have asked—but in ways we never anticipated or even considered.

That’s the key. He operates supernaturally and not in “common sense” ways. We need to understand the difference and come to God based on His ways and not ours. If we do, then we will not spend so much time fretting about how God will answer our prayers.

Because we are not divine, we cannot think like God—not really. What we can do, however, is recognize our limitations and choose not to ascribe them to God. He is Almighty; we are not. Knowing the difference, and knowing that God is active in our lives, can spare each of us a world of heartache and trouble.

In this sense, being childlike is an essential ingredient of faith. Children have complete confidence in their parents. Once they tell their mom or dad something, they let it go, knowing that their parents will take care of the matter. It’s the same way with God. Once you put a matter in His hands, you can release it. Worrying about it after you’ve given it to Him isn’t a sign of maturity; it’s a sign of immature faith.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)

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Refer to Step 10: I choose to believe God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.

Loyalty to Jesus means that I have to step out where I do not see anything . . . . Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.

—Oswald Chambers

When trials come our way, most of us can generate the courage to fight our way through them. That is, when we know what the outcome is going to be. When we don’t, it’s a different matter entirely. Our courage evaporates; God’s power doesn’t seem to be almighty; and we spend our days terrified of what the future will bring.

If this is true for most people—and it is—it’s particularly true for those of us in recovery, regardless of what type of recovery that might be. It’s in situations like these where the rubber meets the road. It’s the place where you have to step out and do what God tells you to do—no matter what that might be.

It’s a scary place—a place where most sane people prefer not to be. It’s not only frightening, but it’s also lonely, nerve-wracking, and discouraging. It’s the way humans are made.

That’s why being joyful about your trials seems like nonsense—like God either doesn’t know what He is doing or He is like a politician and “misspoke.” But God does know what He is doing, and He never misspeaks—never.

When you count it all joy, you abandon your right to moan and murmur, choosing instead to take God at His word, knowing that heaven and earth will pass away but God’s word never will. This is a hard thing to do, but despite your circumstances, that’s exactly what God is telling you to do.

Even if you “have to fake it until you make it,” make a conscious decision to count your trials as joy, knowing that the end result will make you a better person—a far better person.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us and eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not see; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:17-18)

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Father,

It so easy to live my life each day,

Never taking the time to pay attention

To You or to all that You have done for me.

I don’t disregard You purposefully,

But I don’t make You a priority either.

Then, when everything begins to unravel,

When nothing works and everything

That can go wrong does go wrong,

My focus upon You is immediate,

And I instantly regret my dismissiveness.

I become paniced, wanting You to “fix” everything,

Fearful that my world will collapse completely.

Then, when I call upon You, from the depth of my being,

I hear Your voice, which gently but firmly tells me,

To be still and know that You are God, Almighty.

I know that this should give me confidence,

And that I should cease from my worry and fretting,

But that’s not what happens at all—

That has never been my experience.

Instead, I become more focused and insistent than ever,

Begging, whining, moaning, and beseeching—

Anything to get Your attention and demand relief.

But no matter what I do or how I flail about,

Your answer never changes—not even a little.

Then, in my solitude, when I’m forced to be quiet,

Your voice becomes even clearer in my mind, saying,

Be still and know that I am God.

If I were stronger, I would cease from all my striving,

But it’s not in my nature to trust so easily.

I wish that this was my way, but it is not.

I want to learn to rest, but that doesn’t happen

Until I’ve exhausted myself with worry and hand wringing.

Finally, when I am completely spent and can no longer

Muster fretful energy, I bow my knee, as I should have earlier

And submit to the small quiet voice that has never ceased to say,

Be still and know that I am in charge—that I am Almighty God.

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