Posted by: gtcounseling | August 10, 2010

Recovering From Cultic Spiritual Abuse

Dear Grace Tree,
I grew up in a cultic sect. Now, I am 40 and have 5 kids I have been homeschooling. I recently separated from my husband and I have a very deep interest in helping other people who have been spiritually abused.  I am trying to figure out my options for moving forward, but I am paralyzed by fear.  There are so many options but little actual financial help. I am afraid I will give up and go back to my husband.  I feel passionate about being able to help other people get free from spiritual abuse and there have been some amazing things that have happened and that I considered God orchestrated that point to me following that path. But, I was recently told by church members that Satan will also arrange events so that we are deceived.
I am exhausted and can’t figure out how to do this. I have little income and have talked to some schools but I would have to borrow a lot of money and I can’t see walking out of school with that kind of debt in 6 years to get a degree and almost be 50 years old. On the other hand, I can’t stand the thought of working a job I am not passionate about either. I would also like to be able to continue to home school somehow. I checked into online schooling but it too is expensive and I cannot seem to figure out if online degrees are accepted or not.  I have a chance of getting an internship at a counseling office in our town, but a lot can change in the 6 years it will take to earn a degree. I am just not sure what to do at this point and would appreciate any input you can offer.
Thank you for your time,  Julie

Dear Julie,

It sounds like you really have a heart for helping others and are woman after God’s own heart in wanting to help the healing process of others and I don’t think you should ever give up on that. God has given you that desire in your heart and when God wants to use an experience, talent or a gift he has given us he will make a way to do so whether it’s in a professional or para-professional setting, mission field, or something else.  And, often times it doesn’t match up to our notion of what that would look like or in the time frame we think it should happen. We seldom know where God will take us in advance, but we are called to trust in him for all of life’s journey. 

Your future with God can also unfold whether you stay with your husband or not, get formal schooling or another type of training, or any other scenario that may occur. God isn’t limited or hindered by anything. And yes, while satan can deceive us we all have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us discern if our choices and decisions are based in what God would have us do at any point in our lives. In your life right now you are still a wife and also a mother of 5 children whom certainly need you and that takes priority. The best encouragement I can give is to rest and take a step back from things for a bit, stay close to God, and watch for his guidance in reference to your marriage and family life and also how he plans to use your past experience and passion to help others. The direction and answers may not come as fast as you’d like or be what you necessarily think they should be or in your idea of timing, but I don’t doubt that God will guide you and ultimately use your experience and passion for his glory and kingdom.  Keep stepping out in faith in God Julie, and know that whatever he guides you toward in his time, he will provide the way.


Carole L. Miller, LCSW-C



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