One of the most painful parts of the process of moving forward after experiencing a trauma (physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental) is dealing with the questions that arise.  The first, and possibly most important part of the process is accepting that questions are normal, can be very healthy, and are an expression of your quest to work through issues. Actually if you are not wrestling through some questions, doubts, fears, concerns, frustrations, anger, etc. then you are probably not working through things in a healthy way. You may be in denial or minimizing the issues. The type of questions, frequency, depth, and style will vary depending on who you are, what you have been through, what type of support system you have, and where you were at emotionally and spiritually before the abuse occurred.

In my situation the abuse occurred by trusted leaders and close friends/mentors. The situation was especially traumatic for me because the people were so close and trusted. Also, my abuse occurred in a church. That shook the foundation of my beliefs about God, the church, my faith, my understandings of God, and how I fit into the world. Even as I have walked through portions of my recovery I have learned that there are stages and layers to the questions and the healing.

It is normal for someone who has been abused spiritually to have a lot of questions about God and their faith. It is normal for someone who has been abused in any manner to have questions about how God could have allowed the abuse. It is easier to avoid the questions, to run from them, to deny them, or to give them a quick brush over than it is to consider them

“So is it any wonder that many of us do not want to ask God why?  The response we demand may be one that causes even greater pain and uncertainty.  How much easier is it to brush aside these questions and stick with the answers found in Theology 101. Considering the “answer” I received, it’s fair to ask: Is it worth asking why?  Without hesitation, I would say yes.  Asking why is important for many reasons.  It keeps our communication lines with God open and functional.  It is honest, a quality God heartily endorses.  It brings us to the core of a problem, clearing away the insignificant issues.” Doug Herman in the book Faithquake.

The questions are not easy to work through, to understand, or to get answers to, but the journey through them is one of the most valuable things you will do as you work through your healing. Hopefully you will find others to walk with you and support you through the questions and the struggle, but even if you do not have that close support pursue after the questions and the answers. You may not be at a place to consider God and his part in this, but if he is real (which I believe with all my heart) then he will be with you through this process.

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