Presentable

August 15, 2014

I’m so tired. Instead of going to church, I wish I could go to sleep.

Why can’t you?

My hair is wet and needs to be styled.

Why?

So I can look good to the people at church.

Why do you care what they think?

Is it wrong to care? Is there not value in being presentable?

Presentable. Yes, you are a gift from me to others, like a present. Are you not then intrinsically presentable?

Even with rumpled hair and no makeup?

Haven’t they seen you like that before, when camping for example? Why is this day somehow different? Why do my people place such a high value on being presentable to others on this day? Is this in the Bible? Where do I say you must dress up for church? Don’t I tell you to rest? Don’t you need a nap now?

Yes, I just don’t know if I can get one with my family’s needs.

Can you trust me on the Sabbath to care for your children a little bit?

Is it really this simple?

It is.

 

Humble or Humiliated

May 25, 2014

I had a disturbing dream last night. My take-away is that when I see others as hating, disliking, making fun of me, I respond with my own anger and hate. A friend of mine said I need new “glasses,” that in truth, people like, even admire me. She said when I see people through God’s eyes, I might be very surprised.

As I work through the spiritual abuse issue, I begin to see people differently. The guest speaker at church yesterday made statements I agreed with and some I disagreed with. Here’s the cool thing. I found myself able to both agree and disagree while still feeling love and respect for him, AND I didn’t automatically doubt or berate myself because of his message. I saw him as a lover of God sharing his heart, not as a messenger from God with 100% truth. This allowed me to find his truth and let it have a place in my heart without being guilted into something untrue.

In the past, I have seen myself as “falsely humble.” It had to be false because according to my faith tradition, no one is truly humble. In fact, all this time I was being humiliated by spiritual abusers and their hyper-spiritual, people-condemning rhetoric.

I’m beginning to see my ideas and opinions are just as valid as those of others. As I validate my own humanity, I am better able to validate others, even those who disagree with me, without feeling threatened by them.

And there is true humility. When you realize that you are infinitely valuable because I made you exactly as you are and say you are good, the natural next step is to see that everyone else is just as infinitely valuable as you are! Your abusers were so full of pride themselves, they couldn’t see the value in anyone different from them. But the value of humanity is in it’s diversity! You love others not because they are just like you, but because they are unique, rare, one of a kind! That, my precious child, is humility.


This post is part nine of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

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Photo Credit: Nasrul Ekram, https://www.flickr.com/photos/inrime_nasrul/997415862.

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