I used to write a lot about spiritual abuse on my other blog, but it got exhausting rehashing each heartbreak over and over again. I lost a lot of friends when I spoke out, so I took an enormous break from writing about my beliefs and my faith to focus on something more practical, home remedies and essential oils. When our daughter was hospitalized and toxic doctrines came flooding back during her psychosis, I was faced with reliving it all over again through her eyes. When your kid suffers, your faith gets tested.
Doctrines and practices don’t bring comfort or hope. The argument of whether a woman should wear pants or not, or if you should vote Conservative Republican or as an Independent, nor even whether you baptize in a pool or a creek…these debates won’t offer what a desperate mom needs when she sees her daughter’s mind and personality disappearing.
Battling with people on Facebook about whether you should attend church weekly, tri-weekly, or monthly won’t bring your daughter’s mind back. Throwing down a gauntlet on whether you should tithe ten percent or give to the homeless on the corner won’t give your daughter’s her health back.
Trying to memorize verses and sitting silent as a woman in the church won’t be what you grab a hold of when you’re bracing yourself for caring for an adult child who may or may not get her life back.
I’m deeply grateful that she is healing now and will be able to provide for herself, but in those moments when we weren’t sure… in those moments when I slipped out to the car so I could sob, when I bit my quivering lip in front of the nurses, when I had to face her younger siblings…when holding back the tears to be strong… yes, those moments that made me feel so weak and unsure.
It wasn’t which denomination to belong to that held me up. It wasn’t which bible version I read. It wasn’t wearing a cross necklace or rubbing beads.
When these kinds of moments hit you like a ton of bricks and you feel like you can’t even catch your breath, it’s times like these that you look within and realize a lot about your faith.
There’s a huge difference between faith and religion. This experience has taught us a lot, it’s brought us closer together as a family, and it’s made us each re-examine our own individual paths.
All of a sudden things just don’t seem to fit into neat and tidy little belief boxes. Thank God, Jesus is found in the chaos.
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