This is just an announcement– most of my lovely readers probably already know about this, but just in case there’s someone who doesn’t:
Hänna, from Wine & Marble, is kicking off the Spiritual Abuse Awareness Week tomorrow, March 18. She will be hosting the first day of the three-day link up, focusing on the question:
What is your story? Share your experience — showing the details without going into specifics about places or people involved. What made the environment spiritually abusive? Was it language, unspoken social codes, beliefs, assumptions, expectations? How did these factors enable the abuse? How did you eventually leave, and why?
I hope that tomorrow is a really important day. One of the biggest problems facing the modern church, I believe, is that it’s incredibly difficult for people to spread their stories about their experiences with spiritual abuse. Part of overcoming that will be by showing that the spiritually abused have a voice, no matter how well-connected or powerful their abuser is.
The second day will be hosted by Joy from Joy in this Journey, focusing on:
How has your experience affected you? What has it done to you emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc.? What has your journey been like? How have you gotten where you are today? Do you feel you’ve healed? What do you still struggle with?
This was one of the hardest things I had to realize about getting away from my spiritually abusive environment– it followed me, because it was inside my head. Spiritual abuse, just like every other type of abuse, has long-term consequences.
The third and last day will be hosted by Shaney Irene, talking about:
Why should those who haven’t been hurt care about this issue? What do you wish you could tell those who want to help but weren’t close enough to know or see your situation? What do you wish every pastor knew before starting ministry? What would make the church a safe space for you?
Optional, for those who didn’t do the first two days: What did you learn? What changes will you encourage in your churches, etc. in order to prevent spiritual abuse and provide healing?
Also, Rachel Held Evans will be participating in Spiritual Abuse Awareness week with her series “Into the Light.” I’m excited about that, because, well, it’s Rachel Held Evans. What’s not to like? And Elora Nicole will be hosting anonymous stories of spiritual abuse all week.
Please get involved, either by writing your own story or reading other stories– or both.