Healed of Church Abuse

Christian Leadership University Course:
COU202 Counseled by God

Written by Karen King -- March 12, 2002

(reprinted with permission)

Through this course, Counseled by God, I found more inner healing. Every chapter was helpful in various ways, but the chapter that guided me to the most help was Chapter Five, Seeing God in the Past. For years, I have been bound by chains from the past. I have sought God for deliverance many times. I have read many books, some of which have been helpful. I have searched the scriptures and have claimed many verses, but the chains still remained.

This seeking, without finding lasting deliverance, brought about much frustration, anger, and less faith in God. I felt hopeless, alienated, and that God really didn't care for me anymore. The past controlled my present and gave me a black, bleak looking future. These wounds were all inflicted by "Christians" and the Church. Maybe that is one reason it all seemed so much worse for me. Where I should have found love and support, I received criticism, judgment, condemnation, hurt, and loss of identity. While studying, it was a relief to find out that it wasn't just myself digging up these past hurts, but that it was Christ gently bringing these events to my consciousness so that He could touch me and give me inner healing.

While listening to the taped session on this chapter, I followed the directions Mark gave to the group. First, I found a hurtful scene I wanted to enter into. I went back to one of our BHS School Board Meetings. Then as I entered the scene, I could see the classroom, the contents, where I was sitting, where School Board members, staff, and parents were sitting. The School Board President stood in front of us, presiding. To my right, several rows across from me, sat my accuser, the woman who was having an affair with my husband.

The events leading up to this meeting, in short, were as follows: The Board President, a holiness pastor, extreme in his views (he had even kicked his only daughter out of his home when she had needed help), had asked both my husband and this woman if they were having an affair. They both lied, and he chose to believe them.

My husband, during this time, had become so mean that I feared for my own safety. I left him, hoping God would somehow work out the situation. As a result, the pastor told me I had sinned; that under NO circumstances was a wife to ever leave her husband. This pastor then spent an hour and a half convincing the Board not to renew my teaching contract for the following year. Since the Board knew the circumstances, they voted unanimously for me to stay. The pastor told them if I stayed, they would also have to keep this woman. They didn't want to, but in order to have me continue, they agreed. Following that, she caused all kinds of havoc at the school and church where my husband and I had pastored.

Going back to the vision, it was during this Board Meeting, the pastor allowed no one to speak in my defense; however, he allowed this woman to publicly accuse and rip me apart. While she was speaking, I suddenly saw Jesus standing in front of me, somewhat between this woman and me. I could feel His warmth and His love flowing toward me. His eyes were fixed on me. Then He put His hand on my shoulder. From that point on, I could see the woman's mouth moving, but as I focused on Christ, I could no longer hear her. He picked me up, and I became totally immersed in His protection and love.

While in His arms, the healing flow began. Even though I thought I had forgiven this woman a long time ago, He asked me to do it again while in His arms. He proceeded to take me to other related scenes in the area, and had me forgive others. After this, He took me back to the classroom, where the woman was still pouring out her accusations. It no longer mattered. I had been touched and healed by Jesus.

Jesus closed the vision by relating another incident to me. He asked me if now I could understand Steven's death when he was being stoned. Steven was so focused on God, that he was oblivious to the accusations, threats, and stones. It also brought to mind the deaths of various martyrs I had read about when they had been burned at the stake or thrown to the lions. No wonder they could sing while being burned or ripped apart. This all reinforced the importance of keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus. Now I know how to face present and future situations, whether by living or by death; when I see Jesus, nothing else matters. I am awed!

Even though there are many other hurts from the past, this one vision, at least for the present, seemed to bring healing to those also. For when I tried to enter a healing vision for the other hurtful scenes, the healing from the Board Meeting vision entered into those. I know I have a lot to learn about all this, yet I am so thankful for all that I have gained. Once again, I am experiencing a rest and peace in my whole being that I have not enjoyed for many years.

One of my weak areas has been my focus. This is one of the things Father has been telling me about over and over in my journaling; that I need to keep focused on Him. Now that I have been made aware of proper focus, I immediately notice what happens when I shift my focus off Christ. Depression immediately takes over; I begin to whine in self-pity. Everything appears hopeless again. Since depression is a part of my low blood sugar, I have to be on double guard against it. But now that I am armed with the truths from this course, I can overcome it by Christ's strength.

I have had hardly any depression since beginning these studies. Before, depression engulfed my life constantly. As a child, I was depressed. As a teenager, I was so depressed I almost committed suicide. I have been depressed most all of my adult life. Even when I was happy, there was still an underlying depression. My parents were depressed. My oldest brother's depression placed him in a stress center several times. My youngest brother almost committed suicide and was on the verge of divorcing his wife due to his depression. Even though I don't sense the devastating depression like I did, I still lack evident joy. I know the Lord has more to show me about this area.

Learning to see God in everything, everywhere, and in everyone has brought a great measure of comfort, peace, and rest. I liked the comments of one woman during a taped session. She was to stop praying that God would help her. She was to ask Him to "do it." This was such a simple statement, yet it was so profound and has changed the way I pray and live. I now can simply rest in Him and open myself to His operating in me. This certainly makes life much easier.

I have been told in the past that I worked so hard at my faith. I always wondered about that statement. After all, I was taught that I had to pray, read my Bible, do this, and do that in certain ways in order to please God. What bondage! When I fell short, I lived in guilt. The guilt later turned to frustration and anger. I hated when I would lash out at God and be irritable with others. Thank God I have found a better way of living. I don't have to be bound to certain rules and regulations, thinking these please God. He has brought me into a living, real relationship with Him. A relationship in which there is love, confirmation, security, peace, and joy.

Having been taught all these Pharisaical procedures produced other weaknesses in my life, such as my struggling to be righteous. Even though I knew I was to live by God's strength, and that I was supposed to be crucified with Him, this information didn't become Rhema until I studied this course.

As was brought out, too often the focus is on death on the cross rather than the resurrection life after it. I can now read scriptures about the cross and resurrection in a different light. I no longer have to struggle, but simply give the struggle to Christ (be still, let go, cease striving, and know God), and allow Him to work.

A long time ago, I discovered that receiving Christ's presence and help, was gained not through struggling, but simply giving Him the problem, allowing Him time to work, resting in Him, and praising Him. I am so glad for this liberating, simple truth. God is so faithful. He has heard my pleas over the years to set me free. Yet being human, I know there will be times when I will still fail.

At present, there is another area of weakness I am still dealing with, but I know that through Christ, I will gain victory over it. I am thankful I have learned how easy it is to come to Father and ask to be forgiven so I can be cleansed.

Chapter Three The Accuser and the Comforter reminded me of the different operations of satan and the Holy Spirit. Many times I have wallowed in false guilt and condemnation. I was surprised and ashamed when I realized how much time I have focused on satan's lies. The simple little comparison between the Holy Spirit's Conviction and Satanic Condemnation helped bring release from false guilt. I know first-hand what general feelings of despair are. Many times I have had to resist urges of destruction and was told there was no way out. This area of darkness was diffused when the light of knowledge came in--the Spirit points to specific problems, urges repentance, and gives me a specific way out.

I was also dismayed when I realized I was more familiar with satan's names than the Holy Spirit's. After all, at times, my former religion dwelt more on satan's tactics than on Christ's. Testimonies of the holiness people often served to praise satan more than God when they would tell about how satan got them to do this or that, or what all satan was doing. Thank God, He delivered me out of that religion!

One of the assignments in this course was to ask the Lord for goals in the coming year, month, etc. Father told me, that at the present, I am not to think that far ahead. He wants me to learn to keep my focus on Him; to walk day by day with Him; and to concentrate on these studies. He told me that He holds my future, He will supply my every need, and that is all that I need to know at this point. Since He loves me and wants to give me His best, I can simply rest in Him and practice incubating Him and His Words.

Basically the information from this course, at least to me, boiled down to FOCUS and INCUBATION OF CHRIST. When I lose divine focus, I am open to depression, fear, anxiety, worry, self-pity, improper thoughts and attitudes, guilt, accusation, inferiority, hopelessness, sadness, anger, deep hurts, sickness, religiosity, an impure heart, anything that is negative and anti-God. Trying to be a Christian with wrong focus has been my experience for years. It doesn't work. It brings shame to me and dishonor to Christ. It makes me the tail rather than the head. It turns others away from God.

With my focus being trained on God, by incubating His Word, by glorying in my weakness so His strength can be made manifest, by quickly going to Him confessing sin and receiving forgiveness, by praising and worshiping Him, I can say, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life that I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing" Galatians 2:20, 21. Praise the Lord for the Truth, for by it, I can be set free and live the way Christ intended for me to live.

You can experience exactly what Karen has experienced, and receive complete emotional restoration by the power of God. The following books will guide you step-by-step through the process: Counseled by God and Prayers That Heal the Heart.

These books, as well as several others, are also part of two distance learning college courses from Christian leadership University: COU202 Counseled by God and COU301 Prayers That Heal the Heart. Committing to this level of discipleship will allow you to fully integrate these principles at the level that Karen describes.