What’s a family to do when a child’s spiritual direction threatens family traditions? In her own words, a preschool teacher shares some thoughts from a difficult childhood:
I had a very rough childhood. I experienced some sexual abuse growing up and my house was much like a war zone. I was not told that God loved me or cared for me, nor did I think he did, considering my childhood trauma lenses.
We only went to church on special occasions or if my mom was feeling like we should. I will say that when I occasionally went to church I felt something in my heart. I remember thinking, ‘I want to be one of those people, one that God loves.’
If I questioned about God it was tossed aside as unimportant or not for people like us–that is–those who God forgets. My grandmother considered our family in the group of those God forgets because we didn’t go to church and there was just too much disaster and brokenness in our lives.
My grandmother saw God as a person who loved you only when you did good things.
We also lacked forgiveness in my household, so when I began to express my own beliefs [different from those of my family], it was not fully accepted. My grandmother thought I was in a cult.
My mom and sister were suspicious that I was manipulating them to try to get back into good graces after years of rebellion. Today, my mom and sister are mildly supportive and highly suspicious. Both still feel as though I will come to my senses someday.
Whenever possible on this blog, I share from the perspective of a child (or in this case, former child reflecting on her experiences.) What is a family to do when a child’s spirit threatens the family traditions? What actions foster harmony and understanding in the family? I would be interested in your thoughts and there is a Comment Box below.