I was working my way through some boxes on Sunday in an effort to complete the Projects I set out to do before I went through the ordeal. I bumped into a bit of my history. I bumped into 1987. That was the year of my salvation. I found pieces of journaling which began a few months after I got saved. I was living at home with my mother and step-dad. I'd been there since February…got saved in May…this was August. Wow! Was I ever messed up! I was like totally in love with Jesus but I was struggling with about a zillion areas of life. The brief journaling revealed issues with weight, submission, my family, the church and the fact that I was dealing with tormenting thoughts at the time. Some women had come around my life to provide guidance to me in all areas. What I recorded was quite a dilemma of loving Jesus but "feeling" quite harrassed by His people. Frankly, I don't know how I survived. No kidding. Granted, I had no personal discipline in my life. Granted, my family was ready for me to move out. The church at the time was teaching that all single women really belonged under the family roof. My place was with a family. If my family didn't want me at home, that was revealing that my "rebellious" heart was being refined. If I were "truly submitted" my family would want me at home with them.
I really bought that idea completely. It was a dark time. I was submitting to all people as "authorities" in my life. This included work, folks and church folks. Everyone had a say. My journaling recorded the multiple times I came to Jesus with the pain of it. I was expressing love for Him. I was asking Him to change my heart.
The "discipline" I endured was cruel and isolating. I got some really bad counsel back then. REALLY bad. Really! For the record, it was just a few months after these entries, that I became involved in a relationship that took me away for almost 3 years. THAT was the thing that really took me to the bottom. That would be rabbit trail.
"You don't need friends. You just need Jesus."
"Fasting more proves to God that you are serious."
"Until you can get a handle on your thought-life, you need to give up all personal pleasures."
Since I am only posting this to the neighborhood, I hope none of you are offended that I consider this stuff to be bad counsel. I just can't believe that I made it though that time and that Jesus was still able to reveal His unchanging love to me. I am reminded that in Romans 2 it is written that it is the kindness of God that brings us repentance. I'm reminded that in 2 Samuel it is written that God does not take away life but devises plans to bring the banished one near.
Hmmm. I wonder if I have ever given counsel that was this bad?