Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
“Don’t you ever come near my tribe again”
“The next time I see you…”
“You have delayed your season because of this”
“You’re the reason you’re all alone”
“You are so emotionally unstable…Look at how unstable you are” (After not getting a reaction out of me)
“You have such a victim mentality”
“No one will believe you, you did this to yourself”
These are just a few of the words spoken over me as I broke free from what I believed to be a group of godly people. By the power of the Holy Spirit I did not fight back but rather, He had me speak a promise.. I would now speak against abuse within the church and help people heal from spiritual abuse.
These last words were a tool to manipulate and shame me into silence, The uncovering of true character and motives had been uncovered. Fruit had been exposed and it was rotten.
With a history of childhood trauma it was easy to believe the lies that were sown. Often abusers use things that you tell them in confidentiality and care as weapons later on. You see, these people knew I had just went through another miscarriage, my husband was deployed, and knew I had went through prior abuse within the church. They used they very things I had asked them to pray about and twisted fears and insecurities I had into what looked like truth.
I finally blocked every single person that had participated in this hurt and began to ask questions. Would He actually hurt me with my husband not home? How could a godly leader threaten me over accountability for their own actions? Was talking about my problems and asking for prayer about abuse I had suffered in the past, really a victim mentality? I am really alone right now. But I was just trying to set healthy boundaries. Was this really my fault? Where is Jesus in all this? Is this how God really feels about me?
The Anointing at Bethany is a well known testimony in the bible where Jesus was at the house of Lazarus, Martha was serving, and Mary took the pound of perfume, pure and expensive and anointed Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot had plenty to say:
“Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.”
-John 12:4-6 CSB
Judas criticized Mary’s extravagant worship to Jesus. Like many abusers He shamed because there as a hidden heart motive at play. He shamed her. But what was Jesus’ response to this?
Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” -John 12:8 CSB
Jesus spoke up for Mary. He wasn’t ashamed of her actions and He was not afraid to stand up for her when shame was thrown at her to make her feel belittled. He saw the heart of the matter.
I am not sure where you are in reading this, but I do want to let you know that if you have endured shame being thrown at you by an abuser to silence you, know Jesus’ first response is stand up for you. Spiritual abuse can be confusing because it is someone who is supposed to represent God’s character. We can often relate our abuser’s to God’s character. We can fall for the lies and shut up and shut down. I want to let you know today that no matter what was spoken over you, Jesus is not ashamed of you. His grace, His mercy, and love outweighs it all.
More To Chew On:
-The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18 CSB
-Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.
You yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me. -Psalm 56:1-9 CSB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. -2 Corinthians 1:3-5 CSB
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