o...are we making a big deal out of nothing? Have we made ourselves into victims, casting blame on well-meaning parents and spiritual leaders, not "owning up" to our mistakes or claiming responsibility for our own problems and sins? After all, there is REAL abuse out there...just look at all the shelters for battered women. But as all counselors will tell you, abuse takes many forms. It is unfortunate that the Body of Christ seems to place more importance and validity on the kind of abuse that endangers the body while neglecting the kind that endangers the soul.
Just because spiritual and emotional abuse is subtle and often unseen except by the victims, doesn't mean that it is less important than physical abuse that can be seen. Who are you to look at someone who is hurting and tell them that their pain isn't as important as another's? To look at the girl who wonders if she has any value in God's eyes and tell her "Well, buck up, take responsibility for your life, and be thankful you weren't beaten"? How are bruises on the body worse than bruises on the soul?
I refuse to play the my-problems-are-worse-than-your-problems game. Pain is pain. It hurts, it debilitates, it affects every area of our lives. Anyone who lives with chronic physical pain can tell you this. And those who struggle with spiritual pain know all too well. May I even suggest that wounded spirits have far more profound impacts on people's lives than wounded bodies? Perhaps because a heart that is whole can live a beautiful life even in a body that is broken. But it doesn't really work the other way around.
Yes, healing is our choice. But we first have to recognize the wound in order to apply the correct balm. Ignoring it, or telling yourself to "just get over it" won't work. If I've grown up with the belief that I am only pleasing to God if I perform correctly, then I must see the lie in that message, and apply the correct truth. The lie: that any works of righteousness can make me acceptable to God. The Truth: "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" and "when we were still without strength, Christ died for the ungodly" and "He has made you accepted in the Beloved".
This is not a "blame game". We do not believe in sitting around and blaming our parents, church, friends, whomever for our pain and the consequences thereof. But the fact is, there are things passed down to us from our parents that contributed, if not outright caused, certain wounds in our lives. This is true for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs. Acknowledging this, recognizing it, and discussing it is not the same thing as blaming others. I believe in family wounds and generational curses/pain. A woman who was told she was never good enough is going to pass that lie to her daughters and they to their daughters unless it is acknowledged and healed by the Healer. I can see some lies and strongholds in myself that were present in my grandfather. I am not blaming him, just recognizing where the lie started and looking at all the heartache it has caused in subsequent generations. I also know that it does not have to be this way. That lie and the wounds inflicted by it can stop with me. I do not have to pass it on to my children. I will not; I refuse. I'm sure my mother would have said the same had she but known to even look for it. Had she not been told "You're fine, get over it."
This is why we even bring this up. Not only so that we can live from a healed, whole heart, but for our children and our children's children. Broken people produce more broken people. It is an endless cycle of pain and brokenness and the Enemy of our souls loves it. Ignoring it will only perpetuate the pain. The Church today has very little understanding about matters of the heart and this has to stop. It is because of people saying "Buck up, stop blaming everyone else, get over it" that there is so much brokenness and dysfunction among Christians today. We've ignored our pain and the causes for too long and are now reaping the harvest of broken people, broken families. Christ's little ones are stumbling and falling and being told to "get over it" because their wounds aren't visible to the world. These things ought not to be.
Jesus said "Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest". But how can we get that rest unless we first admit we need it? How can we leave our burdens with Him unless we first admit we have a burden? Ignoring the burden or downplaying its effect on our lives will not make it go away. It will only cause us to live a half-hearted life and when we die, to pass that burden on to our children. Brothers and sisters, I beg you, do not perpetuate pain by ignoring, comparing, downplaying, and telling others to "get over it". And stop criticizing those who are recognizing wounds, denouncing lies, and inviting healing into their pain-wracked hearts. Be cautious lest you find yourselves fighting against the very God you serve. In the words of a very wise man, "And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it ~ lest you even be found to fight against God." Acts 5:38,39
Darcy is wife to a good man and mother to three beautiful children. Her passions include music, organic living, coffee, homeschooling, and Truth in the Person of Jesus Christ. Due to being raised in a spiritually abusive church, extreme fundamentalism, and other ills of the Dark Side of the homeschool culture, she is also passionate about freedom, finding healing in Jesus' grace, and leading others to the Healer of hearts and the Restorer of souls. She blogs at Darcy's Heart Stirrings.