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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

God is my judge

So far my method for answering the questions for the step study is to read over them on Saturday, type them up as an email draft so they are in my phone throughout the week, and answer them sometime before Wednesday. I have noticed I always think the questions are easy on Saturday. “Good,” I say, “We are getting a break from all this emotional work.” On Wednesday as I look at the questions, I think, “Break!? What break? These are hard!”

One of the questions for this week (lesson “Turn”) was, “What does repent mean to you? What do you need to repent of?” Now why did I think that was easy on Saturday?

Today I was not feeling well, so instead of taking homework babysitting, I grabbed my copy of Wounded Heart by Dan Allender. It just so happened I was reminded of his take on what  abuse victims may need to repent of right before answering this question.

I need to repent of not trusting God. Due to misrepresentation of who God is when I was a child, I developed a great fear of pastors in particular and other Christian leaders also. I developed a false belief that pastors and the elders of the church determined who went to heaven or hell. I was not taught this formally or doctrinally, but I came to believe this lie because they could determine who was allowed to take Communion and the pickings were few. I have carried this lie into my adulthood, shunning most pastors and avoiding getting to know them for fear they decide I do not make the standard and they condemn me to hell.

Now I happen to know in my head, God is my only judge. Even if a pastor decided I was going to hell, it would change nothing but whether I continued attending his church. However, I still really struggle to believe even with my head that my pastor does not somehow have the power to send me to heaven or hell.

As I have been working through a new level of healing in the last few weeks, this wound has become so raw that I struggle to even  physically look at my pastor when he is off stage. As long as he is on stage, I am fine. It is a sufficient barrier. Once he steps off, I find a way to flee. It does not matter what my best laid plans were or how I planned to change. When I am in the moment, reasonable actions leave me and I will find a way to ignore and avoid.

What does this have to do with trusting God? As I thought about it this afternoon, I wondered what I thought would actually happen if I faced these deep rooted fears. Did I honestly think I would not make it through? Did I think God was just going to leave me during the situation? I realized I simply was not trusting God could get me through the pain of dealing with it.

It probably sounds like spiritual hyperbole to you. It does to me. Next Sunday, I probably will run like hell again. The same thing might happen, but maybe it will not. Maybe I will face this wound with Jesus by my side. I expect it will be painful. Real painful. But I bet Jesus actually has the power to protect me while I communicate with a pastor. (I would say lol, but it is really a lot more of a dry, somewhat cynical smile.)

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10

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