Previously in Spiritual Abuse Part 1 – Spiritual Abuse Is A Thing I outlined and described specifically what spiritual abuse is and how to spot the signs. I gave some examples of how one is victimized by this type of abuse and how it so easily crushes the victim and traps them in a never-ending cycle of perpetual spiritual, emotional, and mental torment. Spiritual abuse is a hellacious trap that it seems like there is no escape – until God finally reaches down and touches you and gets through to you because he’s fighting for you. When you finally get out, you have a whole other battle to fight. So what’s next? How do you recover from spiritual abuse?
Well.. the aftermath of spiritual abuse can wreck a person even more. Picture this.. you’re driving your car into a security zone that has traffic spikes. It’s supposed to be a safe zone for you, but once you get in, you realize it’s a trap. You’re surrounded by enemies and they start to attack your car. You peel out the same way you came in but when you do that, the traffic spikes blow out your tires. With the petal to the floor, you do the best you can to get control of your vehicle but you’re not only being attacked at the gate, but your tires are blown out and your vehicle is flying sparks and spinning out. You land in a ditch and jump out of the car – you run as fast as you can to safety. You find safety, but now you don’t know where to go. You see people in the distance but you don’t know if they are friend or foe – you don’t know who to trust now. Not only that but you got turned around in all of the chaos and you have no idea which way to go now. You don’t know what’s safe. So you just start walking and pray to God that he will get you back on course and keep you safe.
That’s pretty much what happens. You realize that you’re in danger so you get out, but when you get out you’re attacked, ridiculed, hurt, and your beliefs are unraveled, and you don’t know who to trust. What you thought was true, you realize was only partially true. Now you have to completely figure out everything all over again and start from scratch. You have to re-learn your own beliefs and build from the foundation and rely on God to tell you truth. Not to mention that when you start hearing the same things your abuser said, you shut down and back out. That’s because it’s triggered something deeply traumatic for you. You may start to think that everyone believes like him. You may start to wonder why you even believe anything anymore. I went through a phase where I couldn’t pray with words because I didn’t want to sound like him. I had trouble hearing others speak about anything having to do with Christianity – despite my deep love for Jesus. I love my pastor and my church but I even had difficulty hearing some of his sermons because I heard with ears trained to hear what my abuser would say. It took me a very long time to feel comfortable with “Christian language” again. Even as I write this there are still very triggering issues that I choose not to approach yet. Trusting anyone else is extremely unsafe for the survivor of any kind of abuse – it’s scary and hard to do. So you have to do a lot of the work yourself and pray to God that you’re hearing His voice and no one else’s. It’s possible you’ll question everything you ever believed before because now you don’t know who told you the truth and who told you lies. Then, on top of all of this, evil lurks waiting to pounce and bring you down because Satan does not want God’s children to grow. So spiritual warfare happens all around you and you’re caught up in the middle of it. If you really are spiritually attuned, it’s quite possibly one of the most terrifying experiences you’ll have. PTSD has nothing on spiritual warfare.
You know what the craziest part is? If you are determined to find the truth, YOU WILL FIND IT and it’s beautiful and amazing. (Proverbs 2:6) In the end – this whole process can give you a more solid foundation than you even had in the beginning. Through solid yearning and prayer, asking for truth and wisdom, you’ll learn to hear the voice of your shepherd like never before. It opens the spiritual world and if you are truly receptive to Christ, you can experience Him in ways you never knew. The realization that the God of creation is actually fighting for you – YOU – and wants you to really know the truth – is so incredibly humbling and amazing. He sends armies to fight for you. I think that’s why I love Riley Clemmons’s song “Fighting For Me” so much. It so beautifully describes this whole process. Please listen.
Insecurity, fears, and distrust take a very long time to overcome – and it may be a very long time before you trust again, but learning that your trust should be in Christ alone creates all the security you need. Do not place your faith in man, but in God. God is so generous with His love and truth.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”James 1:5
If you want to learn more about the truth of the scriptures that were used against you, check out Untwisting Scriptures by Rebecca Davis.