The 3HO Dysfunctional Family - How I Figured It Out was a difficult read, but Rachel was right on. The discernment and thought she put into aligning the assembly with the dynamics of dysfunctional families was genius! I can tell this exercise has helped her on her road to recovery out of denial and into God's grace.
I think it was interesting that I 'just happened' to click on to the Assembly Relfections link today. I just finished preaching the last of three services at our church where I am serving in the teaching role while our senior pastor takes a group of people over to Israel for a tour of the Holy Land. This had to be the final rung on the 12 steps out of my own association with the Assembly - can you imagine what George would say about a woman pastor?
What I did today was also a first for our church, and many of our more conservative members had to really stretch their theology in order to be comfortable with me in the teaching role. But because of my twenty-year history of serving as a licensed minister at Bible Fellowship Church in various ministries (most recently Care and Recovery) our dear, mostly older saints were the first to come and thank me for the message.
It was a message of hope and healing out of Matthew 5, the basis for a Christ-centered program called Celebrate Recovery, of which I am not only a leader at our church, but a participant. At BFC, authenticity and transparency is prized, so when I shared my own story of recovery and how Jesus Christ had removed so much of the guilt and shame I had carried throughout my life (as well as leaking it out all over my children)- well, the response was nothing but love. It was also fun to have my two younger sons, JP and Andrew, as part of the worship band this weekend too - they rock!
Rachael so beautifully illustrated the pit of denial and how everyone in the family protects the lie out of fear of exposure - when in fact exposing the lie is exactly the way out. Good for you Rachael. "Blessed are the pure in heart - for they shall see God." I believe you have. :)
(You can listen to a podcast of the message at this site if you like.)