Exit and Support Network

Intense Feelings of Loss

Going to your site has helped me a great deal, if only because it allowed me to see a lot of what I was feeling in words, especially the anger and loss. It was all the things that I have been experiencing, but thought maybe I was the only one and that I should buck up and deal. My best friend and her family (our pastor in Pasadena) left Worldwide Church of God a few years ago. I haven't seen her in 8 years. We don't talk about it, we never have. There was such an intense feeling of loss. When I told her, she didn't even understand. She told me I shouldn't feel that way since it was Worldwide that "changed."1 In the midst of all the changes in the `90s I and my family were moving hither and thither (six times total to three different states) So this pervading feeling of loss, loss, loss has crippled me. But in the midst of it, I know God was with me. 

We moved in 1991 from Pasadena and it was as if California was vomiting us out of its mouth. Things were happening rapidly. I'm so glad now that I wasn't there when all the crap hit the fan. It was bad in the field ministry, though. Do I want to go back to Worldwide Church of God the way it was? Heck no. I have so much more freedom in Christ now. It's just that sometimes even freedom feels uncomfortable. Does that make sense? There is so much healing that must go on. I know that Jesus can and is doing that--I'm not even as depressed as I used to be when we first started moving (which has its own set of emotional problems). I'm just a big mess. I know it's no challenge for Jesus to "fix" me, but sometimes I just wish He'd hurry up.

I miss the community that the "church" provided. I know that now. Sometimes I'm just burning inside with anger--when I can't find a job and when I'm shy and retiring, even though I know that there is a bold and energetic person inside me. Was WCG a spiritually abusive group? Yes. Do I miss some of it? Yes. Would I want to go back? No. For the friendships? Sometimes. I know I've made different friends now. Last year I traveled with a student exchange for a whole year to ten different countries. I stayed in host families and I went to Rome, to the Netherlands--so many places. I did things I never dreamed. I would have never been able to do all that in Worldwide. For that I'm grateful.

Am I still fearful to tell people about Worldwide? Yes. Because they give me a blank look and they tell me, "Well just get over it." So I just smile sweetly and inside I say, "Point: Don't confide anything in them again." So it's a process. I'm so incredibly glad I didn't grow up in Herbert Armstrong's family. I can remember when I was little, sitting at the Day of Atonement and hearing him bang on the podium and thinking "he's a mean man." I feel sorry for him. He will have to answer to God. But I don't worry about him at all. I just focus on my own relationship with Jesus.

You know, I've learned more about Jesus in the past five years (been baptized/saved-- whatever lingo you wanna use--since 1996, and this after a "worldly" Christian concert, ha ha ha) than my whole life up to that point. It's been hard, but sweet.

Today I took my mom to your website and she said she felt relief that she wasn't the only one. Slowly, but surely, the Lord is leading us to doors that are helping us restore our broken lives. I have more hopes and dreams than before, but many times I second guess myself that God can use me, or that I can help someone else.

I can remember one Sabbath sitting in services and one of the ministers was talking about being the "one true church" (makes me shiver to think of that phrase. What arrogance--yick!) And a little voice came in my head and said, "What if we aren't the only ones? Other churches think they are right too." I got scared. I couldn't have been older than 8 because I remember my feet didn't touch the floor. Anyways, I remember closing my eyes and telling God, "Please help me God, please don't let us be wrong. But if we are, God, please tell us soon!!" Isn't that funny? I thank God for His mercy.

Thank you for the work you are doing so that people can vent about all the nasty stuff inside. What Satan meant for evil God is using for good. Your experience in Worldwide is being used as a testimony and you are helping people. I have to believe that. I have to believe that even in our ignorance that God was fully aware, that He was still on His throne and that everything was under His feet--totally under His control and that His heart longed to bring us to the truth which was very plain to see in his Son Jesus Christ. I feel blessed that I found my true Deliverer even though I still have questions of Him and I get angry sometimes. One day we'll look back on all of this and praise Jesus that He trusted us enough to deal with something so ugly and not relinquish our faith; that we leaned on Him enough and refused to allow Satan to use the situation to kill us totally to the point where we turned our back on Jesus as some who left Worldwide did. Anyways enough of that. I could go on and on. It's cathartic. Thank you.

By Kaye - Child survivor of WCG
August 26, 2001

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