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WARNING:  POTENTIAL TRIGGERS

I sat through an hour of a sermon yesterday that just infuriated me. Our pastor was gone, so the associate pastor took over speaking duties. We should have just sung some songs and gone home.

This associate pastor is the one who told me that he would pray I didn’t leave my husband when I went to him about the abuse and confessed that I had come up with a safety plan with the help of the Women’s Crisis Support Team. He is also the one who told my 12 year old that desiring control over another person isn’t really a control problem, it’s an impatience issue. It just shows you’re impatient because you see them doing something you know you could do better, faster, so you want to take over and just get it done. Huh? Brilliant! [eye roll]

The entire point of his sermon was that everything comes back to pride, which for the most part I agree with.  I do believe that all sin stems from pride.  That is the original sin afterall…..you will be like God.  Or, even further back to Lucifer’s fall…..I will be like The Most High.  So, that I get.  However, his rambling excuses and covers made about as much sense as his idea that controlling other people for your own benefit is nothing more than impatience.

He started out discussing the obvious issues surrounding a pride problem but quickly digressed into the murky claims that shyness, anxiety, and fear are issues of pride.  I understand that false shyness, false humility, can be a ploy to get others to pay attention to you, which equals pride.  My ex was FANTASTIC at that.  But, he said that when you have anxiety and fear it’s because you are full of pride.

I’m currently doing a study of Nehemiah and just read that this giant of the faith was “very sore afraid” when he approached the king.  Jesus himself experienced hematidrosis, obviously stressed over his impending torture and death.  As God, He would have fully understood and had preknowledge of the details of the event.  As a man, that would have caused Him tremendous anxiety.  So, according to my associate pastor’s thesis, Nehemiah and Jesus, the sinless one, were dealing with pride issues???

Last night I had a nightmare.  I was having a party of some sort, and there were a lot of people at my house.  It wasn’t the house I live in now.  It was actually more like a dream home.  It was a well kept older house with lots of windows and a huge farm kitchen, all white, like the rooms I pin to my boards on Pinterest.

My children were present.  And, R was there, too.  He was angry and on the rampage.  He was storming through the house, circling me and glaring at me.  He would yell at me, “This is my house!  Get them out.  I don’t want these people here.  If a man can’t be the king of his own castle…..”  I’ve heard those words in real life many times.  Obviously, my subconscious was just bringing old memories to the surface and combining them with images I viewed right before bedtime.  However, in the dream, unlike I’d done in real life, I refused to make my guests leave.  I told a large, bald man, the kind of guy most people wouldn’t mess with, to take the other guests in the living room.  I was smiling and really didn’t feel any fear.  My 6 year old son, however, was obviously extremely frightened and was following close to my side as I moved about this lovely little home.  I turned to R and gently suggested that he leave until he could calm down.  I put my hand softly to his chest as I spoke to him, hoping to quell his anger.  He glared at me and made the same loud, guttural noises we’ve heard him make so often and then stormed out the door.  He did not close it behind him, so I calmly walked over to it and shut it behind him.  He was glaring at me through the window of the door.  I noticed the door had a deadbolt and a lock on the door handle.  However, I locked neither of them but turned to go back to my guests.  My son was clinging to my left leg.  R bent over and picked up a large, broken concrete block that was sitting on the edge of a flower bed.  He turned on his heels quickly and stormed back into the house, right at me.  He raised the block above his head and screamed, “You think I won’t kill you?!”  He slammed it down on the top, right side of my head right in front of my son.  I went black and immediately woke up.

My heart was racing and doing that weird flip flop thing in my chest.  I was in a panic.  My daughter, too, was groaning and talking in her sleep as she thrashed about.  I knew we were both under a spiritual assault, so I prayed intently.  I don’t know how long I laid there praying in the dark, but I couldn’t go back to sleep…not after I experienced my own murder at the hands of a man I’ve always felt would someday kill me.

I won’t take the concern of this spiritual assault to my associate pastor though.  I’m sure that he will refuse to see that I’m like a Pavlovian dog, conditioned to fear and anxiety at the sound of R’s voice, the sight of him circling me, the hate in his eyes because I know those things immediately precede a physical assault.  He’d probably just think I’m being prideful.

His sermon felt like a spiritual assault of a different kind.

Shame on him for making me feel that way.  Shame on him for misrepresenting my Jesus.

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