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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: November 8, 2015.

Jack Watts’ weekly column is aimed at helping those who have been wounded, including those who have been abused by the church. If you are in pain—or if someone you know is in pain—you will find real comfort, wisdom, and many answers right here. Based on his book, Recovering from Religious Abuse, published by Simon & Schuster, Jack will teach you the value of working the “11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.” Remember, recovery is a process—not a destination. The answers are simple but not always easy. Look to the Lord and allow His Spirit to heal you.


If working the 11 Steps is the key to recovery from religious abuse—or any type of abuse for that matter, developing a different mindset is the key to making your recovery easy instead of being difficult. Like most things in recovery, the choice is yours.


For example, if you insist upon understanding why your abuse occurred, your life will be filled with frustration, bitterness, and failure. At some point, some understand why but most never do. God knows; that’s for certain, and He’s in charge of the outcome. If you can accept this, you’re on your way to recovery. If you can’t, you’ll continue to experience heartache, whether you like it or not.


You may have read the Bible verse that says, “Yea though He slay me; yet will I trust Him.” To most, this seems like sentimental nonsense or poetic hyperbole. To those of us who are in the process of recovery, however, it’s neither. It’s exactly how we feel. Having our spirit crushed by our abusers, we understand the Phoenix, which rose from the ashes to experience a new, more fulfilling life.


This is the attitude each of us needs to have: “Yea though He slay me; yet will I trust Him.” By having it, which comes from renewing your mind, God is free to work in your life. With it, He will produce everything He wants from you. Without it, you will continue to chafe at the bit, producing nothing of value. Your life will amount to no more than what you can produce with wood, hay, and stubble.


If you want more, renew your mind. Accept the Lord’s purpose as your own and press forward. If you can do this, your life will begin to exhibit estimable character qualities, which have intrinsic value—just like gold, silver, and precious jewels. If this is what you desire, join me in this prayer for renewal:



The wounds from my abuse run deep,

Creating shame, anger, and an

Overwhelming sense of worthlessness

That enervates every area of my life.

With my mouth, I refuse to admit

That this is how I see myself,

But in the recesses of my soul,

I wonder if my abusers are correct about me.

Maybe my life does have little value, after all,

Precisely like I have been told.

When my abuse occurred, I was as angrier

With You than I was with my abuser.

Being a person with spiritual authority,

I believed he spoke for You,

Which was certainly his clear indication.

In my heartache, it never occurred to me

That Your Son was also abused—just like me—

By hateful, self-serving religious leaders.

You permitted His abuse—just as you permitted mine.

What His abusers meant for evil, hoping to destroy Him,

You meant for good, redeeming Mankind through it.

Without Christ’s abuse, all would be lost.

Thank You for allowing such a tragedy

On my behalf, as well as that of others.

Can You redeem what is left of my life as well?

Can You use my pain and my experience for something

That has value for others as well as for me?

Father, turn my weakness into strength,

And my broken life into one

That is joyful, substantive, and purposeful.

I pray this in Christ’s Precious Name,



Refer to STEP 4: I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.


If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)



To see more on recovery, check out  The 11 Steps to Recover from Religious Abuse.


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