I was sexually abused by my father. I was emotionally abused by my mother but at least she led me to the Lord. I loved Jesus so it surprises me that He would let me suffer at a tender age just out of high school under the leadership of some more messed up people.
I was physically and emotionally abused by my first husband. I loved Jesus and was totally naive. Apparently my church leaders were naive to physical abuse patterns as they said to separate them get back together. After the third abuse I was put into the hospital and miscarried a child. The leader told me it wasn’t real abuse he just “roughed me up a bit”. To this day they think they were justified in sending me away and excommunicating me from church for leaving him. They also ex communicated my mother and grandmother who said I should not go back to him. I listened to my family instead of the church who didn’t believe in divorce.
If I had gone back I wonder what would have happened to me or any (more) children we had together. I have many more stories of friends and close associates who went through church abuse in addition to physical or emotional abuse from their husbands. I like a few lines I heard from the movie Chocolat when the abusive husband says “we are still married in the eyes of God” and she quickly retorts “God must be blind”. It is sad to think so many of us have lived through such horror only to face more horror from our own church. No one is good except God it’s true. And more training needs to be done in the church about childhood abuses and what that produces in people (hiding, lying, manipulating etc) as well as abuse from spouses: verbal, physical, spiritual; and the resulting spiritual abuses from the church.
This happened in 1999. I walked away gradually from any and all church starting then until 2010 when I returned to church slowly. I was mad at God and mostly mad at this person as well as my church community for taking such drastic measures to protect an abuser and ostracize the victim. The abuser snowed people into thinking he was a good person taking the “proper steps toward reconciliation” and praying the right prayers. He was a class A antisocial personality and when I said he can’t continue to fool people he said “watch me” and I’d be so surprised that he would do it. I believed God was mad at me and judged me.
I could not understand why as a Christian girl since I was 8 years old, shared my faith in the religion at 15-17 and in church choir, pioneer girls...someone with a real heart for him would put me through this. I was devastated. I went to a Christian college and got some healing for it but I have never been the same since. My legs, heart, and etc have been truly broken and truly alone. We are promised suffering in this life. It is a sad and scary fact that even in our own churches we are not safe not in the world not in our homes. We will never rest this side of eternity.