Wow! I'm on a roll!! Two days of "Ahh Ha!!" in a row!!!
I guess you could say I got even a bigger picture, and what I see now has left me feeling a bit disappointed in myself. The disappointment comes not from what I accomplished, but for how long it took me to get there.
You see, that spiritual leader that mistreated me wasn't the first, and there was one more after him. I think the Lord really had this thought out for a long time.
A very long time...
Somewhere between 18 and 20 years ago...
I was in child abuse recovery, my life was pretty much upside down. I was still married to my first husband. I was depressed, suicidal, and unpredictable. I had a bishop who I dearly loved. He was there for me. He was my source of strength. He went the many extra miles to understand me and help me. He put me into counseling.
One night I was at a ward function. It was some kind of a dinner. There were several other couples at my table. One of the men started bragging about having "inside" information. I didn't like him so I was not really listening. Until he told what his information was. My beloved bishop was going to be released the following day.
My world came crashing down around me. I was devastated. I became hysterical. I ran out of the building and collapsed on the ground. I was crying and shaking and screaming. Not very grown up of me I know, but like I said, I was a mess already.
A friend followed me out and talked with me for a while. She was kind and gentle with me. I am so grateful for those kinds of friends. She calmed me down and then asked me if she could leave me for a few minutes. I said I was okay. When she returned she told me that my beloved bishop was in his office and he would like to talk to me for a bit. By this time I was feeling really foolish for my behavior, but I agreed to talk to him. He had never belittled me, and I didn't think he would do that now.
We talked, and he did his best to reassure me that my life would go on. Yes, a new bishop would be called, but it was going to be okay. Then he offered to give me a blessing. I accepted. I do not remember much of the blessing, except for one line... "There are those who are in position to help you, but they will hurt you instead". I know I was given instructions on how to deal with this, but I didn't hear them. I got stuck on the hurting me part.
Then I got the same words in another blessing, administered by another priesthood holder. Then again by another. All in all, I heard those words 6 times!!! And each time I got stuck on the "hurt you" part and didn't hear the instructions on what to do about it. I was not equipped to handle what was coming and it was not the Lord's fault. He tried really hard, it was me who was messing it up. Fear kept taking over and faith flew out the window.
Well, sure to the warnings, I started having a difficult time with my leaders. After the third bishop that I could not see eye to eye with, I started calling it my "trial of the bishops". It was too. But now I can see that I was the one blowing things out of proportion. After all, they were human too and having their own earthly experience with it's ups and downs. There may have been lack of understanding, unfeeling words and unkindness towards me, but the problem in the situations was me. I never saw that before today.
That trauma bond needed to be broken.
I now know the gist of the instructions that were given to me. The other part of those blessings that I received 6 times. The instructions were "Look to the Lord for strength. Seek Him out in all things, use His guidance, His love for me, to help me through my trials. Listen to the Lord before I listen to others."
I could have saved myself almost two decades of pain and grief had I kept my ears open to the whole blessing.
I didn't realize until this morning just how stubborn and difficult I have been. That is where I have been disappointed in myself. Why did I take so long to get it? Why did I have to be shattered before I finally learned to turn to the Lord with all of me? I now see that I kept holding a part of me back. I wasn't trusting my Savior enough. There is a difference between believing in Christ and believing Christ. I did the former with no problem, it was the latter I wasn't doing.
But I can do it now.
So... I'm going to stop being disappointed in myself. What's done is done. Instead, I'm going to be grateful that it didn't take me another decade to figure it out.
I find myself so amazed at God's love for me. I have been such a temperamental and difficult child. He never gave up on me. He kept pushing, but was careful to not violate my agency. I could never tell Him enough how grateful I am. But He knows that, so I will give him all I am. I am grateful that is enough.
I figured out how to change this blog so anyone can leave a comment. So, feel free to comment to your heart's content...it will still go to moderation, but you no longer have to have an account to be able to comment.
11 months ago