Sunday, April 4, 2021

What kind of New Life?


 Happy Easter. We say it so quickly, like the greeting, Hi, How are you? We don't expect anyone to really tell us how they are. We say it because, well, it's what we say when we see someone!

I think the same can be said of Easter and resurrection and Jesus in general. We've become accustomed to the accounts given to us, the message we are supposed to take from it, and therefore, Happy Easter!

I'd like to suggest something a little different today. When you think of Easter and resurrection, I'd like you to think of recovery. A specific recovery, from emotional and verbal abuse.

If you have suffered from these, you know the damage it does. Robin Stern, in his book, "The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life" includes some of the signs of gaslighting:

* No longer feeling like the person you used to be

*Being more anxious and less confident than you used to be

*Often wondering if you're being too sensitive

*Feeling like everything you do is wrong

*Apologizing often

*Having a sense that something's wrong, but being unable to identify what it is

*Feeling isolated from friends and family

*Finding it increasingly hard to make decisions

These are just some of the signs. I think the biggest consequence of gaslighting is a loss of confidence in self. When you leave the situation of abuse, you don't automatically and suddenly gain that back. 

That's where the Easter story comes in. Is Jesus just redeeming us from sin? Or are there other interpretations for his resurrection? Like healing from trauma?

Healing from trauma is a slow process. With confidence, it means learning to speak up when someone says something you don't agree with. It means believing your decision is the right one, without constant second-guessing. It means being able to say no and not give an explanation. It means being able to make a mistake, and not feel the world has ended or you are being judged. It means believing in yourself enough that outside criticism does not take it away.

Jesus shows us the way. Patience. Acceptance. Healing. His resurrection story is also a story of healing from the passion of abuse. 

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What kind of New Life?

 Happy Easter. We say it so quickly, like the greeting, Hi, How are you? We don't expect anyone to really tell us how they are. We say i...