I hope the links to the articles and videos have been a help to you. I know when I was first beginning to question (and even now) it helped me so much to read everything I could find that showed me I was not alone. I have been so surprised to see how many people have been hurt by controlling churches.
I heard a great analogy the other day from a friend that I want to share with you. "The Bible says in Luke 4:18, "...Jesus came to heal the broken hearted and to set at liberty them that are bruised." He was not talking about an outer, physical bruise. He was talking about an internal bruise that caused hurt. A bruise comes about because of a hard blow and it takes time to go away. Some people say "just get over it" but there are hurts that will take time to heal. The bigger the bruise, the longer it takes to heal. There are many people who have taken blows from controlling church leaders. Some people have been hurt more than others, but Jesus came to set at liberty all that are bruised."
I also want to share a comment that someone left on one of my posts in reference to the healing process after being in an abusive church. "The difference for some people is how badly they were "burned". Maybe those that suffered third degree burns are taking a little more healing time than those who came away with first degree burns. The closer and longer you stay in the fire the greater the degree of pain. Also, there are some scars that will never completely go away. Those that have been able to move on are very fortunate, but they also must continue to understand that there are those who are still suffering everyday. The answers are not sometimes as simple as we want them to be, it will take more time for some than others because of the degree of pain. I pray that I will never appear judgmental to those who are still dealing with the hurt that they have suffered. There are many who are not able to just "get over it." They still have fresh wounds that are very tender and there are some who just now are learning how badly they have been hurt. Praise Him for the healing that He brings daily, because He is the only source of lasting peace."
These two analogies have helped me to understand how it takes time to heal. My heart goes out to all my friends and to the people I don't even know who have been hurt and disillusioned by these types of churches. I have read blogs by people from all over the U.S. and their stories are so similar I can hardly believe it. I know if I am touched by these things so deeply - how much more must God be. Every day is different as I walk through the process. I still have hard days, but I can truly say that it does get easier as time goes by. I am trying intently to follow my heart and keep my focus on what really matters - loving God and loving people. I think about those who are just beginning to see the truth and I want them to know that they have a friend who understands. And even more - Jesus understands. Jesus did come to heal the broken hearted and set at liberty them that are bruised.