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Archive for September 8th, 2009

********** religious triggers **********

On my blog entry entitled My Own Faith Journey after Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

I’m curious how you got past the feeling that [God] deserted you in your childhood when you really needed Him. ~ Ivory

It took me a long time to move past feeling abandoned by God. I used to ask what the h@#$ good is it being God if He cannot even prevent one child from being abused. However, I came to realize that I was viewing my situation under faulty assumptions.

I blame organized religion for part of the problem. Churches often are guilty of saying things like, “God will keep you safe.” However, that simply is not biblical. Many of the apostles were martyred, and even Jesus himself was crucified. So, telling little kids that they will be safe if they believe in God is just plain wrong.

You will not find anywhere in the Bible that promises that God will keep you from being hurt if you believe in Him or trust Him. I think that church folks made this up to give them a false sense of security. That way, as long as they do X, Y, and Z, then they believe that they are safe as they go about their daily lives. The truth is that, if they have managed to live their lives without being traumatized, they are simply lucky.

Once I accepted the fact that God never promised to keep children safe, I recognized that I was blaming God for failing to do something that He never promised to do in the first place. It is not God’s job to keep my kid safe – that is my job as an adult who loves him. If all adults loved all kids, then no child would be abused. However, there are many people in the world who do not love kids, not even their own children, and that is the reason for child abuse. There is plenty of blame to go around, but God is not where I place the blame.

I do not believe that God deserted me. In fact, I believe He was ever-present, giving me the gift of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the hope that the future would be better so that I could survive the abuse. God promises to heal broken hearts, not to prevent them from breaking. God also charges His people to protect children. Those who did not heed his instructions will suffer one day. I blame the adults in my life who did not protect me for the abuse, not God.

Back to the question of how I reached this place – It was through a lot of Bible study, prayer (including lots of “prayers” that were really just me yelling at God), and meditation. It also involved letting go of what churches had told me about who God is and exploring who God is myself. God cannot be contained in a church or even in a book like the Bible. The Bible points us to who God is, but it cannot contain Him. To really get to know God, you have to reach out and invite Him in. Like Job, I wanted God to “defend” Himself, and, like Job, I found that I was asking the wrong questions.

Does this help?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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