Perhaps there is someone out there that can benefit from this random article I found on the net. I don't know anything about the author but the advice is helpful. Here's how I relate to it.
I am pretty sure #1 has been happening to me for a while and I don't want the devil to win.
I FAILED at #2. I rushed it for sure and did not take time but I'm in too deep and can't go back now without looking like a jerk.
I have no clue how to do #3. I was however, mysteriously compelled to sign up to wrap christmas gifts at the mall with the church next Saturday.
I am very good at faking #4. I go through the motions with a gigantic wall up and no one has a clue.
#5 We have selected a good church for this purpose, there are 3 excellent pastors and the worship is good.
I hold on to grudges for years so #6 is hard.
#7 It is hard for me not to live in isolation. I am around people but I am pulled toward isolation with the exception of my husband. He is the only reason I have not gone completely insane.
I am bad at #8. There are days I can do it but some days I am really mad at them. Did they not realize how dangerous it was to change denominations of a church cold turkey like that? One can seriously damage sheep that way. Especially the naive and young ones.
Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.
Healing Church Wounds
August 18th, 2010
In this post, I’m addressing the question ”how can those who have been wounded (in / by the church) experience healing?” As we consider this, I want to also ask if healing happens by some prescription (i.e. a prescribed set of actions we can take), or does it happen through a process that may take some time? My answer, for what it’s worth, is “BOTH”.
What I want to share with you here is a process that I am presently working through as I allow God to bring healing to my own wounds over the past few years. Yes pastors do experience “church wounds” too; in fact we call it “sheep bite”. As we serve as under-shepherd of God’s flock, sometimes the sheep we love and serve can turn around and bite their shepherd. When this happens it leaves wounds that sometimes take a good amount of time to heal.
In my particular case, I have suffered from a combination of “sheep bite” and ministry burnout. The burnout is another issue, and I take responsibility for that (for some thoughts on how to deal with ministry burnout see my July 29 post). But today I want to focus on the process of healing for those who have experienced the common “church wound”. I believe that God can work through this if we let Him, and these things will in fact work if we will approach them as a process and not a “miracle pill” that produces a quick cure.
- Simply make the choice that you will move on by God’s grace (the devil will tempt you to hang on to anger and hurt, asking “what’s the point of trying again” )
- Don’t expect healing to come quickly (be asking God for the grace to forgive those who hurt you) If you’ve left a church due to being hurt, don’t rush back into another church setting and/or serving right away. Relax, awhile and enjoy your family and be sure they heal too. Have some fun, engage in worship and Bible study with your family outside of church.
- Get back to the basics of allowing yourself to be loved by God, as well as revisiting your first love for Him (some say the key is serving again……giving in order to receive – but if you are empty, you cannot give what you do not have)
- Learn to trust other believers again – do not continue for long in isolation. Even if you cannot bring yourself to attend church for a season, meet with others just for fellowship. No “religious” agenda or program is needed, just enjoy each other’s company and learn to trust again.
- Find a large church with good worship and Bible teaching where you can blend in for a while anonymously. As you begin to heal and learn to trust God and others again, find a safe place where you can share your heart with others (with the goal in mind that you will serve again when ready)
- Keep in mind that this is a process and do not allow others to rush you. Learn to communicate with others what you are going through, but do not let this permanently define you.
- Also be determined that this process is temporary and does have an end – do not live your life as a perpetual victim, and do not live in bitterness and isolation (that is exactly what Satan would like)
- Continue to pray prayers of blessing for those who have hurt you. Ask God to prosper them and be at work in their hearts and lives (do not pray prayers of witchcraft such as “God judge them, or cause them to be ashamed of what they did.