Saturday, September 25, 2010

MY JOURNEY OUT OF OZ – THE EXODUS

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

OR

”THERE’S NO PLACE

LIKE HOME”

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.”

~~~~~REUNITED-RECONCILED-RESTORED~~~~~~

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!!!

windblown1

~~~~~~~~~~

My Daughter’s Story

~~THE MASTER WEAVER~~

THE HOMECOMING

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

Friday, September 10, 2010

44 Years Together

Well, another year has passed. It’s hard to believe that today, I’ve been married for 44 years to the same wonderful man. Married life is still an adventure of learning and growing. Relationships are never static and ours certainly hasn’t been but I feel like I’m still learning what it means to live in an authentic relationship of loving and caring.

This is a special day that I never dreamed about 44 years when we committed to one another so, to celebrate this day, I’ve decided to link to a post I did two years ago on our 42nd anniversary.

Charlie, it’s been a wonderful 44 years and I still love you. Happy anniversary!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Killing the Heart

The heart is the fountain or wellspring of life. It contains the essence of who we are so that’s why God has chosen to live within our hearts. Because it is the place where God has chosen to meet with us, it’s critical that we guard our hearts.

Religion by its nature is an enemy of the heart because it attacks it by telling us that our hearts are wicked and can’t be trusted.  This creates insecurity because it causes us to distrust the voice of God who speaks to us from our heart. This false teaching is actually based on an Old Covenant verse which doesn’t apply to us today. Instead as children of God under a new covenant, we’ve been given a new heart which is infused with the life of God. 

Discussing spiritual abuse, Jim Robbins said that “This abuse may not even be intentional, but kills the heart nonetheless.” Since the heart is the wellspring of life, it’s critical that it be protected. Wellspring is defined as “a source or supply of anything, esp. when considered inexhaustible.” In other words, God’s life in us can’t be exhausted. It never comes to an end nor can its supply be depleted unless we allow a cap to be placed on our heart.

Instead of trusting the heart, religion depends on externals and it imposes a standard of obligation that’s impossible to keep. Therefore, we’re left feeling like we’re never good enough. No matter how much we read our Bible, we feel like we could have read it more. We spend an hour in prayer and we feel good until we read about the person who prays three hours a day, EVERY day. Then, the guilt sets in. It increases even more when we read about the person who fasts regularly and even does a 40 day fast EVERY year. Stories about believers who have been imprisoned or killed for their faith while we struggle with our 9:00-5:00 jobs make us feel uncommitted.

Those unfair comparisons rob our hearts of life and cripple us.

I love the description of God as a potter. A potter is an artist, a craftsman. He takes an ugly lump of clay and, out of it, he fashions a thing of beauty . . . a one of a kind piece of pottery. There is no other vessel exactly like it nor will there ever be.

It’s the same with us. We’re God’s unique creation. We’re one of a kind because there never has been anyone else exactly like us nor will there ever be.

Religion, however, takes our uniqueness and destroys it. It produces a group of cookie cutter Christians who follow the external rules of behavior instead of following the promptings of their newly created hearts. The truth is that a cap has been placed over their hearts and God’s life can no longer flow the way he intended.

In order to be fully alive, we have to break free and recover our good and noble heart. Until we do, we’ll continue to believe that our hearts can’t be trusted thereby effectively silencing God’s method of guidance in our lives. The truth is the Holy Spirit lives in us so we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do or what not to do since He is always available to teach us and to guide us.

Recently in a conversation with a friend, I told her that I don’t feel like I need to go to church anymore. She said, “So you think you know everything?” She caught me off guard and all I could think to say was, “No but I don’t think the man talking knows everything either.” Looking back at that conversation, I now think the correct response should have been, “Yes! I do know everything because God is in me and he knows everything. What I now need to do is re-connect with my heart so that I can know what he knows.”

I believe we’ve really under estimated what this new life should look like and it’s time that we change the way we view our hearts. We need to believe the truth about our good hearts and protect them at all cost from the lies that tell us that we’re not good enough.