After years and years of fearing God to the point of not being able to walk into a church; a young woman was desperately seeking to push past her fears and to begin to have a deeper understanding and a deeper relationship with God. To receive this reward, she walked into this church, sat down in a pew and began listening as the minister as he began preaching. Due to a childhood consisting of physical and emotional abuse cruelly combined with isolation from others and false teachings on God's supposed hate for her; sitting there that day pure unbridled act of self-sacrifice on her part. Despite her fears and years and years of being “shown” how much God hates her; she took this perceived huge risk in order to learn about and become closer to God.
Despite taking this brave step; she was still learning to cope with the ill effects that such an up-bringing leaves behind. She would have flashbacks, reliving past abuses. She was unable to look at people's eyes, also looking down to their hands to tell her who there where. She suffered from fears of being hugged, fears of being seen as evil, fears of being humiliated in front of others, and fears of being physically harmed by participating in church rituals such as the anointing of oil, holy water, and even touching a bible.
At first, this little coast church welcome her when introduced by the minister. She was greeted warmly each Sunday and her obvious and unusual behaviors where overlooked. In fact, her ability to even be at the church was seen to many members as a lesson for them to heed. The minister had taken the liberty to tell many in the congregation this new visitor's history and past experiences, despite much of it being told to him in the presumed confidence of the pastoral counseling relationship. Perhaps this breech was seen by him as needed to explain her seeming odd behaviors and mannerisms. Perhaps his trust in the this congregation willingness to take her in, give her a safe place to heal and grow, and to find acceptance and belonging was contingent on “if only they knew what she had been through”. Regardless of his intentions, at first this breech seemed only to give her exactly what she needed and so craved – a closer relationship with God and a safe, loving place to heal, learn and grow as she discovered and experienced the Loving God others had told her about. It was first through her being accepted but the minister and then the congregation; she began to see God a loving Father and herself as a blessed child of God. But that was very short lived. The minister was not up to the task of living out the word of God:
1 John 4:20-21 ESV If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.John 15:12 ESV “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.Romans 15:1-2 ESV We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.Philippians 2:3 ESV Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. . Psalm 103:10-14 ESV He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Matthew 18:21-22 ESV Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Luke 7:44-50 ESV Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven— for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
I could go on and on but it really boils down to this church, following this minister; rejecting this wounded child of God out of their own fears, unwillingness to offer seemingly easy sacrifices, and placing their own selfish needs above of what God had asked them to do. Choosing to seek to prove her a lier when spending half that time seeking to prove her honest; would have resulted in find what they were seeking. In the end, they kicked her out of this church, explorted her name to other churches, and defaming her charter and symbolically stoning her. They refused to walk with God and took the easier path.
Easier for them. Not for her. This rejection and judgment not only caused her heart to break but served to prove to her the lessons of her childhood – she was evil and hated by a revengeful God – were correct. It was through this minister's and church's actions that a young but beautiful relationship with God was turned into a very dark night. To be continued.......
We can not control other peoples actions but we can control our reactions. Every time we believe the devils lies that we are not worth of love he rejoices because we become that much farther away from God. Don't give the devil one more minute of stealing your joy. The very fact that you are here means you are totally loved by God. Embrace that love no matter what others have told you. They are liars to who listened to the devil. Start watching Joyce Meyer online she had a rough childhood also and she has come out on top. She is happy and peaceful inside and you can be also. Good luck and God bless you!