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How Can Metaphors Help Us Heal?

Uncategorized Nov 06, 2019

Spiritual abuse in churches is an abomination.  It causes wounds, it ruptures friendships, it destroys faith and trust.  For some of us that it happens to, the main emotion is anger – anger at the injustice, anger at the abuser, anger at the church where it happened.  For others the main emotion might be fear – fear of it happening again, fear that you will be blamed, fear that others will believe it was your fault, fear of repercussions if you do anything to counteract the abuse, much less report it.  For still others, the main emotion might be withdrawal from group activities because it’s too painful to be among them anymore.

Whatever your emotional reaction to the spiritual abuse may be, have you ever thought about coming up with a metaphor that could describe at least one aspect of what it’s like for you to experience such an abomination?  Metaphors can be quite helpful in providing an anchor, so to speak, to hold on to, while we figure out what to do really.

In my own experience, these are some of the metaphors that have meant a lot to me: 

  • A spiritual hurricane swirling around and around, and I’m absolutely caught in it.  The winds seem to consist of a whole array of unwanted emotions with utter shock in the eye of the storm.
  • A desert where all seems unreal and dried out, and in which I struggle to discern the difference between a mirage and what is really real.
  • A wilderness with dense forestation all around, and I don’t know the way to anywhere, much less the way out.

How about you?  Is one of these metaphors meaningful to you?  If so, which one?  Or is there another metaphor that I haven’t mentioned that more adequately describes where you are? 

Leave me a comment.

And remember, you're awesome!  God holds you in the palm of His hand.



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