My Tug of War With Religion

My Tug-of-War with Religion.

Religion didn’t save my life.

Relationship did.

Not sure if you can relate, but in my case, religion actually got in my way.


It was a tug-of-war in my heart.


I mean, "religion" is supposed to help me get closer to God, right?

But then “religious” people got all judgmental and hurtful, so I pulled away from them AND God.


Abuse. Abandonment. Rejection. Pain. Sorrow. Assault. Molestation. Rape.

I hear stories. I have a story. You have a story.

It changes your life. It changes your mindset.


Listen, if I had a bunch of time to talk to you and smooth into this, I would. But in these times, this coronavirus crisis has changed everything, hasn’t it? 

I may not have a lot of time to share my heart with you. So here goes.

Quick. Direct. To the point.


Abuse. Assault. Abandonment. It changed how you have been able to live your life. .

When religion is tied to the wound because the person who hurt you was “religious” or a “Christian”? Oh. That really sucks the life out of you, doesn’t it?

Maybe you felt like you COULDN’T TRUST ANYONE.


Maybe you felt like you were ALONE.


Maybe you have felt like you have this emptiness inside that nothing, I mean NOTHING, can seem to fill.

I have seen so many people hurt by this idea of “religion.”

When I was 21 and wanting to get married, I had a pastor make this crazy black-and-white highly judgmental comment. The way he said it, the judgement behind it – totally turned me off. I thought "Christians" were to be kind and compassionate? I eventually turned away from religion.

20 years later, I tried a couple churches. I met some really nice people. But had similar judgmental results and actions from key leadership. Yikes.

As I said - it wasn’t religion that saved me. Relationship did.


I have been hurt, disdained, dismissed, discouraged, hit, hurt, dragged, pushed, pulled, thrown down, and strangled. All by the man I married – who supposedly believed in God.

I was hopeless. I felt helpless. I escaped with my 3 little boys from that tiny Alaskan island. I was being destroyed – mentally, emotionally, and physically by the man who was supposed to love and cherish me until death do us part. Ha. He was hastening my death by his behavior. You can only be grabbed by the throat so many times…


I hear stories. So very many women who were abused or assaulted as children. By people in their lives who were supposed to take care of them.

Here’s the deal. When you get hurt by someone who is supposedly “a believer” – it can be easy to turn against God. I did for a while, for sure. I was so pissed, so angry, so bitter.


But then I GOT IT.

I realized something super critically important.

THE SECRET TO LIVING MY LIFE.

Straight up.

The secret? 

God didn’t attack me.

God didn’t assault me.

God didn’t wish evil upon me.


Evil wished evil. Evil got its hooks in that person who did those unspeakable things. To me. To you.

I am not condoning anyone’s behavior. I am saying I believe evil takes the opportunity to use people’s choices. That individual who hurt you? The person who stood silent while you got hurt? 

We all have choices.

AND – it didn’t come from God even if the person was a “believer.” 


That crap came from poor choices that fell on the dark side of human nature. Evil.

So…

I am curious.


Even in the midst of all of this crisis and chaos.

ESPECIALLY in the midst of the crisis and chaos with this virus…

If you’ve turned away from God because of stupid, cruel, manipulative actions of someone in your past, what would it take for you to reconsider? 

NO one knows your full story.


NO one knows how much you’ve been through.

If you’ve suffered, if you are struggling, if you are stuck, so stuck…

I am so sorry for what you've been through. My heart hurts for your losses. My heart hurts for you.


AND - There is One. The is ONE person who understands. Who really, truly gets you.


He is the healer of your heart. He is the protector of your soul. He is here for you, if you let Him be.


We never know when our time is done here.

You may have years.

You may have decades.

No matter how much time you have... Stop living a dying life.

Start LIVING YOUR LIFE. The life you were built for.

*** It’s time to live. ***

It’s time to allow yourself to be loved.

It’s time to allow yourself to be freed.

It’s time to allow yourself to be accepted and wanted and cherished.


By the Only One who knows everything that happened.

By the Only One who can touch your heart and begin the healing.

Religion didn’t save me.

Religion was full of rules and regulations and judgement.

Relationship saved me. It’s so MUCH different from religion.

He is the most tender, most astounding person I know.


We look for answers. He is the Answer.

We look for peace. Peace isn’t an emotion. It’s a Person. He is Peace.

We look for protection and healing. They aren’t things – they are a person. He is your Protector.


As I look back on the escape 23 years ago, I see God’s hand on every step we took. He got us out alive. He got us out safe.

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah. 41:13


His name is Jesus. He came as our Protector. He is our Healer. He is our Guide when we need direction. He is the Light in the Darkness. He is who saved me. He was there in my worst moments. He kept me alive. He pulled me out of the worst pit in my life. Religion? Nope. Relationship with Him? Yup, Yup. Yes Yes Yes.


Invite Him today. He isn’t social distancing! He will show up. Even if you don’t believe yet. But want to. You want the protection, love, and peace.

He says to ask, seek, and knock. Ask Him. “Lord – if you are there, please make Yourself known to me. Show me Your heart. Let me see You moving in my life. I need You. Life is too hard alone. People can’t always be there to help. I need someone who will be there for me always. Someone I can count on.

Relationship. Teach me how to have relationship with You. Amen.” 

My friend just sent me a text as I get ready to send this message out.

"Many turn from Jesus because of a bad experience with religious people. We need to remind them that Jesus also had a bad experience with religious people: they crucified Him."


These are such turmoil times.


If you need help or just want to talk – reach out.

There are people out there that get this.

They’ve been where you are.

We are here.


My love to you on this gorgeous new day.

Blessings of health and protection to you and yours.

Ana-Christina

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Ana-Christina Hicks
hope@toolsofhope.com
720-984-1463
Aurora, CO, US
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