Readers (if anyone actually reads this blog),
I've been meaning to post, but I'm actually trying to have a life right now. :P A lot has happened, and will be updating soon. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about this blog I follow called Recovering Grace. It's a blog where people write their experiences about growing up with the teachings of Bill Gothard, IBLP, ATI, and all that stuff. I went to a church and was surrounded by families that lived and breathed that stuff. My parent's never bought into it, but I got sucked in for a few years because all of my close friends influenced me that way without even trying. It's hard when you're a home schooled teenager surrounded by almost nothing but those controlling influences. It was really damaging to me in a lot of ways and I couldn't write my experiences with Gothard teachings in one blog post...that's a series for another day. What I will say is I believe his teachings are wrong, very damaging mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and I will never support them. If you want to know more about it, Recovering Grace is a great way to start.
Let me say that it's been a long journey and I've had to overcome a lot of anger about it. It still is a topic that can anger me, however I don't harbor any ill will to anyone I know who still follows those teachings. I know some of you do and this post will probably offend you and I'm sorry if it does, but I have to be honest and say how I feel about it. This doesn't mean we can't be friends! If people can't be mature and continue being friends despite their doctrinal differences then that's pretty sad. I know that it IS possible to be friends with someone even if you don't agree on the same things doctrinally. WOW!! Crazy right? ;)
Since going through everything that I did with Gothard (and believe me, I was one of the lucky ones), it really messed me up emotionally and it caused me to reject God and act in ways I regret and will never do again. Instead of his teachings drawing me nearer to God and reveling in His love and Words, it caused feelings of judgement, inadequacy, overwhelming fear, anxiety, pure isolation, depression, (all of which I am still dealing with today and considering getting counseling for), and instead of seeking out God myself and finding His will for me, it became about everyone trying to be my personal God and inform me how to live my life. That's putting it nicely and neatly. It's way more complex than that.
Since rejecting all of that once and for all when I was around 17, I've been studying up on it a lot and reading different peoples experiences (along with my mother,) and although I am at a Christian college I have had to completely start from scratch and try to figure out how I view God and what I believe without everyone's input on what I SHOULD believe. It's a slow road, but I know Jesus is at the end of it. This article perfectly sums up my journey and I thought it was very powerful. If any of you have been involved and left IBLP, Gothard, ATI any of that you will understand and identify I think with this article. Hope it blesses you. It was just what I needed to read.