To all....I did call my (former) wonderful friend on Wednesday. She assured me that to be in contact with me would just cause her to look at issues that she just can't afford to look at right now. It was heartbreaking to hear the fear in her voice. We won't have any contact from this point out but I got to tell her that I loved her and when she did have the freedom to look at the issues, she was always welcome at my door. (even if she did not want to talk about anything church related) I was eleated to get to talk to her and really end it for the time being. My only hope is that they are now in the position that Husband and I had left in leadership. NO ONE HAS EVER LASTED IN LEADERSHIP THERE!!! So it is just a matter of time before I get to have a real relationship with her again. And I assured her that I would never be angry enough at her to not be her friend in the future. I was so excited to address the elephant in the relationship that I danced around the house the rest of the day. Truth truly is freeing! And I love elephants!
I will no longer be silent!
I feel this today as clearly as I felt that we were to leave our CLB.
For the past year (except for a letter to two friends the first week we left) we have not initiated any relationships other than the ones who sought us out and those whom had already left the church.. We have worked hard sometimes to keep those – especially in the beginning – but we have not gone to our former friends to see if they wanted to have any sort of relationship with us.
But somewhere in the past few weeks I have decided something. I’M NOT WRONG!!
Now, I may not be entirely right. In fact I can say quite emphatically that I am certain that I am not entirely right on how I see facts from our past or our present situation. Really, that does not bother me anymore. I don’t have to be completely right. What a freedom that is!!
Husband has always said that when I finally decide that I have done nothing wrong, I will be dangerous. He was right because what has kept me quiet all this time is that I felt that somehow, I was missing something. Somehow, I was reading the situation at our CLB wrong. Somehow, I would find out that really they were not as deceived as I thought they were. Somehow, I deserved to have relationships cut off. Somehow, I had done something really wrong. Somehow, what I had done necessitated my not being able to have relationships with these people.
I felt like I needed to just disappear from their lives so that they could go on unhindered in the church life that they have. If I saw them, I needed to just tell them that I loved them and “be nice to them.” I felt that I should not be the one to address the proverbial elephant that was standing in the corner of our conversation.
Then Daughter taught me a lesson the other day. She ran into some of our leaders unexpectedly. They waved and smiled. She approached them and without a lot of anger told them that it was not appropriate with what they have done to simply smile and wave at her. She stood her ground. She pointed out the elephant between them and her. She told them that she was not going to play the games and then turned and left.
Know what? In addressing the real issue that is between her and them, she felt free for the first time since she left. Fear rolled off her. She is a new person today. She is no longer slinking around. She is no longer afraid. She found freedom! I was so proud of her. To our knowledge, no one has had the guts to do what she did.
If people are willing to talk, we are ready to talk. I re-read every blog that I have posted. I would love to sit down with ANYONE and discuss the things that I have written. I’m not ashamed of my journey since last March. In fact I think I have something to say!
I am not wrong. There are problems with my CLB. For instance, I can show you multiple sites that have lists of what makes a church a cult and my former ‘church’ fits all but one or two of each list! There is a problem there. I did not make up the lists. Nor did they visit our group and then make up the list. The lists FIT!! This is not my problem! We did not know this when we left. We just knew that the leadership was way too interested in their own position of Apostles and Prophets and in ranking themselves above all the rest of us.
I have learned enough now though to quit doubting my own sanity. I have learned why we are shunned. I have learned more about the whole movement of the New Apostolic Reformation. I have learned what about it I agree with and what about it I abhor. And, I have decided not to be quiet and play along with the whole thing when I have the chance.
Now, let me say this to alleviate the minds of all those who think I’m going to go off half cocked. I’m going to try and not be foolish about this. I am not going to go and intentionally stir up trouble. Wayne and Brad on their last podcast said something to this effect, “Don’t go and start a war in someone’s heart before it is Father’s time.” Therefore, I am not going to go and write to everyone who is there. There will be no mass emails, phone calls or visits. But to those that I just ‘happen’ to run into, I just may address the elephant in the room.
Maybe not, we’ll see.
I will not slink around them though as if I have done something wrong any more though. I will not play the game any longer as if I deserve to be shunned. If someone is uncomfortable talking to me I am apt to ask them why all the discomfort. If they ignore me, I am apt to ask why they do that. If they pretend that everything is just fine, I may ask why they are pretending with me when I know they have huge problems with me.
And, I am going to call two close former friends and ask them if they want me to leave them alone or if there is a way to have a friendship in the midst of all of this. At least I will know and not be left to my assumptions. Knowing is always better for me.
Will let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008