The Exit Rollercoaster
"I feel lost. I don't know where I'm going; I don't know what I'm supposed to do; I don't know what I want; I don't know who I am, and I want to know who I am...it was just like one morning I woke up and collapsed....There's a lot of confusion...." Ronald M. Enroth - Churches That Abuse
The exit process and readjustment period leaving an abusive church can be lengthy and riddled with confusion. Relationships can be difficult. The ones you are supposed to be able to trust don't always feel trustworthy, and it is a long road back to normalcy. Enroth writes, "Restoration, after experiencing the effects of an abusive church situation, can be a long and painful process. This can be true even if the exposure to that influence was only of short duration. Individuals have been devastated after only a few short months."
There are no easy paths to restoration. It takes work and commitment to regain what was lost. It often feels hopeless. Progress is made, and then it falls back. It is two steps forward, one step back. Where do we turn in these times? The Lord promises His help for His children. He promised He would restore that which was taken.
Joel 2:25 "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..."
It is not my desire to take this out of context, so realize the nature of the context is judgment. For a good analysis of this Scripture see this article. Ultimately God is always working for His glory and for the good of His people, and the pericope concludes with this statement. "I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame." Joel 2:27
The exit process is painful and often overwhelming, but the Lord is working His good in all situations. Stay close to Him. Continue to work even in difficult times. He will sustain you.