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Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40
Internet surfer that I am, I recently came across a meme which could be described as a drama queen's motto:
"I don't want to be overdramatic. But today felt like a hundred days in hell."
Yes, within the faith community, it is often agreed eternal torment is some kind of reality, even if it is beyond our finite minds.
Nevertheless, we do ourselves a large disservice to ignore our own self-created and contained versions of this most unpleasant torture. For indeed, even those pious Christian versions of us need to admit something hardly "Christ-like" or flattering. Sometimes we like to create our own little Hells. And then we further enjoy tossing others - and ourselves - INTO them.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Once I admitted my issues with control, trust, retail therapy, and co-dependency, I found the love of God waiting for me. Since I had not previously walked the Christian walk, I had a lot to learn. I am an overachiever and a perfectionist by nature, so naturally I wanted to know as much as I could in a relatively short period of time.
I dove in head first into studying God's Word. I prayed without ceasing. I thanked Jesus on a daily basis for saving me. I did everything right, right?
"Blame holds us back. Responsibility moves us forward. Constant self-blame is just as irresponsible as insisting that others are always to blame." ~Thom Rutledge
For those of us struggling with addiction and disorder, it is not too long before we encounter blame. It is an insidious creature; it is virtually impossible to escape.
Since our addictive natures are usually heavily intertwined with other complicated life issues, like abuse and trauma, blame often surfaces as a coping device, used to enable us to simply function in our lives. Survival is as far as we can go; healthy flourishing appears to be an out of reach luxury.
That’s odd for me. I want to focus on moving forward, dreaming big dreams, taking risks. And lately, for some reason I don’t understand, I seem to hear STOP.
I don’t think it’s about the big things, I’ve no sense about stopping those efforts. So I’ve wondered about STOP as it relates to the ordinary, everyday stuff. I think I might have noticed something interesting.
STOP is nearly always useful advice when I’m uncertain.
Are you lost? STOP. Don’t keep wandering, compounding the problem. Get your bearings. Ask for help. (Hint: Works for more than driving.)
The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.
Thank you for the many many resources that have helped to benefit me greatly during a long period of recurring losses and depression. I know without a doubt that God led me to the CIR website, and the benefits received during my long membership will continue to be an invaluable gift of healing for myself, and others with whom I can share my uncovered strength and wisdom. Thank you CIR! ~Dolores
This wonderful book by Rich Dixon helps you to find freedom in the face of criticism.
We cannot call our worrying, anxiety, and fretfulness a sign of godly concern and faith
without at the same time implying that our Lord is a liar.1 ~ R. J. Rushdoony
It’s interesting that the modern world struggles with worry and anxiety as much as any other time in history. It’s interesting only because civilization, industry, and technology are so highly advanced so that modern man needn’t concern himself with “What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (Matt. 6:31). So, why are we so worried and anxious?
This is a two part article. See: Part Two
When someone mentions the term, "spiritual abuse" today, sexual molestation of a child often comes to mind. We have too many accounts of priests, pastors and Sunday school teachers preying on the children in their care. And yes, sadly, that is spiritual abuse.
But this kind of abuse can also take on a more subtle form as well. Its definition hinges on the manipulation of power enforced by a spiritual authority figure, with the abused party feeling helpless and coerced.
Children, of course, spring to mind as the most vulnerable. But the net spreads wider.
And a heartbreaking reality emerges: loving God does not exclude us from being hurt, even in the seemingly Godly setting of church. We are all susceptible when it comes to spiritual abuse.
"...Many spiritual abuse victims find themselves struggling to make decisions, and may even have a hard time disciplining themselves to do basic everyday functions such as getting out of bed and brushing their teeth. For so long, we allowed the group/leader to think for us, formulate our opinions for us, and make decisions for us. No wonder so many of us struggle for many years learning how to find ourselves again after leaving a spiritually abusive situation..."
"Spiritual Identity Crisis?" www.churchabuse.com
Used with permission.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shutter once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening.
You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for, happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact she is not Cinderella and you are not Prince charming , and that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings or beginnings for that matter, and;
That any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. And in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love,
Appreciate or approve of who or what you are and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own Views and opinions).
And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and ...sense of newly found confidence is born -- of "self-approval."
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) – And you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that
Not everyone will always be there for you, and that it’s not always about you. So, you