Here’s the Issue

This post will go deep very quickly…hang on folks. 🙂

I sat teary eyed last week, talking about my blog.  I realize between my last post and this one…you all probably think I’m just a mess.  Well, I’ll help you out.  I am and I’m not afraid to admit it.  I have issues too…just putting that out there. 🙂

Part of me wants to publically address the emails, phone calls and Facebook posts made about my blog and the things I have written.  And then I think…that is abuse too.  Taking a platform and using it for personal gain.  That’s the same thing I saw years ago and it caused an enormous amount of damage. 

The bottom line is…I’m striving to help people break free from spiritual abuse…not cause it myself.  My heart is heavy for those suffering in the same manner we did.  So, if My Story is hard to handle or makes you feel defensive…I’m so sorry.  If you have to ask permission to read my blog or even if you feel guilty when you do…please don’t give up in your pursuit for understanding. 

You aren’t doing anything wrong…that’s the issue.

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14 thoughts on “Here’s the Issue

  1. Thank you for your courage in sharing your pain openly with others. Too often in the church, we put on a “happy mask” and never let people see who we really are. I applaud you for being real. Hang in there and keep blogging!

  2. Jana,
    What you are walking through in trying to come to terms with your blog is normal, healthy, and incredibly hard.

    There are two things I have learned through my journey on this same path.
    1) My story is my story. I need to own it, and it is okay to share what happened to me and my perspectives on it. It affected me, I have learned from it, and it has shaped who I am today. The Lord is the author of the story, and for reasons I may never fully understand he allowed me to go through things that I would not have chosen for myself. I trust him and know he can use them though.
    2) What I share and how I share it are important. My heart is to glorify God in all I do, and to surrender myself fully to the Lord. I am seeking to tell my story from my perspective, to admit the areas I failed and was flawed, to seek reconciliation and unity with others involved, and to do all I can to use my story and what I have learned/experienced to help others. Others may not want me to share my perspective, but I am not seeking to hurt them but instead to live honestly, authentically, and transparently about my faith journey.

    I am sure you are facing some difficult feedback from others. Hang in there. Paul was honest about his past, the persecution and struggles he faced, and also the mistakes he made. In reading your story I have never felt like you are angry, bitter, or vengeful toward others in your story. That is beautiful. It shows the Lord is working on your heart and you are open to him.

    I stand with you as my sister in Christ and want to encourage you. Check your heart about why you are sharing, and if it is for the right purposes then move forward. Be wise and righteous in what you share and how you share it, but if your story and what you are learning can be used to help others heal and walk in faith with God then speak, proclaim, live, and share loudly!

    Praying for you,

    1. I sort of feel like I’m butting in this whole conversation but Jana, I have been praying for you today. Sheri’s words of encouragement were great food for thought for my own life and I’m sure they lifted your own heart as well. Man, I wish I could wax eloquent like you guys!!!! Just wanted you to know I’m lovin’ ya today and praying for you. You have a sweet heart for Jesus and we’re all a work in progress and have to flesh things out with the Holy Spirit’s help. I know God is using you and will continue to do so in mighty ways.

      1. Thank you Melody…your comment really did encourage me! I am so thankful that you logged on today and left such kind words. And to know that I am in your prayers made it even better!! 🙂

    2. Sherie, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write me today. I think I’ve read your comment about 5 times and it continues to encourage me….your comment is greatly appreciated! 🙂

      1. Your post inspired a few more thoughts that I blogged about on my site later today. It might help you if you have time to read it.

        I gave 5 guidelines regarding telling our stories:
        1) Own your story
        2) Check your heart
        3) Guard your words
        4) Seek to give God glory
        5) Give grace

        Just keep making it about Him and pursuing him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.


  3. Jana,

    Thanks for the comments on my posts! They are much appreciated. I can’t wait to catch up either!

    I love reading your blogs. I can relate…

    In my heart, however, I can’t bring myself to indulge in the bashing of a church, whether its a church that I attended, or just the church in general. I hate lumping individual churches by saying ‘the church’ needs to do this, or that.

    But I guess a rotten apple spoils the whole bunch, huh?

    I will never name names. I will never put a whole church on blast for the whole world to see. That’s gross. There’s a site that I have been following closely lately that’s doing just that. I think that the author of this site is alienating people for their own gain. I’m not the Judge, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have to answer that on Judgment Day. I am accountable for every word that I say. I want to think provocatively when it comes to how I view Christianity. Do I agree 100% with what that church is doing? Nope…but I will never allow myself to openly bash that church, or its leaders, for that matter. I don’t care if they treated me like a piece of trash, my respect for them will never change. If David can do it with Saul…I can do it with a pastor. Authority is given by God alone…I have to respect this decision, even if I don’t like it!

    I love you guys greatly,

    1. These are really good thoughts here. I do have a question though. Can you define “respect” in a situation where leaders have made or are making serious repetitive mistakes… maybe based on a flawed philosophy of ministry? Do you mean respect by not talking of the things you don’t agree with or do you mean truly holding that person/persons in a position of honoring and looking to as an example?

    2. Hey Brett,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I must say that the people I know who are blogging about abuse in the church are trying their best to make a difference…to bring attention to an important topic. So, for the ones that I know and love who are processing and being bold enough to share their story publically… I will not fault them for being so brave and I will not critique the way in which they are trying to help others.

      We love you too!

  4. Jana,
    I spent a lot of my morning reading your posts telling of your story and I had no clue the extent of what you went through. I read some a few weeks back but didn’t realize you added to them until today. I just wanted to tell you that I respect the way in which you are sharing your story. It seems as though you are writing with a prayerful heart and for the purpose of trying to help others come out of what honestly sounds like a cult to me. Maybe that is too strong of a word and I don’t fully understand the implications of a cult. But I’m sure others that are suffering under that kind of leadership will find similarities in your story and encouragement to find an authentic place of community where healthy spiritual growth can happen. I pray that as you thrive and grow where you are that you will maintain a spirit of thankfullness for being freed from where you came from. I would think it’s easy as *the lights come on* to look back and see more clearly the harm that was done and for that to cause much bitterness and resentment. You don’t seem to have that in your spirit and you’ve probably worked through some of that over the years. I love how you are not wasting those hard years and you’re not burying them in complete denial but instead are seeking God in how you can help others and give him praise in the midst of it. I do pray for you to have continued wisdom in approaching this subject. I pray for spiritual protection for you as satan hates it when we expose truth in the midst of darkness. But praise God you know who you look to for that spiritual protection….Jesus himself! And I’m thanking God that you have a wonderful group of believers and spiritual leadership that have a healthy understanding of their God given role. May God continue to use you, my friend.

  5. Jana you have brought a real issue to light. The church is run by humans – who are not perfect. Mistakes will made but I think a major point you are making is when its over and over – thats not a mistake – its abuse and taking advantage. As you blog grows their will be people who dont agree- BUT you are saying something important. Based on the amount of hits you get daily- people NEED to hear what you are saying – even if they may not agree or dont want to hear it ( because they are probably the ones who need to take heart to what you are saying). Anyway , keep it up- you are doing a great job! ❤

  6. Keep up the great work Jana! It’s good therapy too! Anytime that I’ve had to deal with tough issues, writing about it or talking with others to get it out always helped. I wish I could do something to help those still stuck, but what? They have to feel it in their hearts and souls.
    Love you girl!

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