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Solomon Says,

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”

Ecclesiastes 3:2-4

I receive comments from time to time from Ex-Chapelites (for that is what former members are often called) that exhibit an enormous amount of anger, pain, and hurt.  To be so vitriolic after nearly 30 years is a lot of pain to carry in one’s heart.  I suffered a lot under the iron hand of church leadership, yet even I eventually let go of the hurt and forgave those I felt did me wrong.

First of all, I don’t discount those who are feeling this way. Your pain is real, even after all this time.  When you express your disdain for Chapel, or Don Barnett, I don’t doubt that you feel that way at all.  I had no first hand experience of some of the things alleged by those who still harbor ill will towards spiritual connections, but I cannot categorically deny what you say did not happen.  Only you know whether you are being fair-minded or blinded by rage.

I understand why you feel hurt

Most of my pain stemmed from how I was treated by those who were supposed to love me.  Even my main mega-connection typed my disfellowship letter, then had the audacity to call me up to say she did.  The truth is, none of us behaved in a particularly godly fashion in many situations, mostly because we had no real idea of what was going on.  What surprised me most of all, though, was the lack of integrity that people exhibited when the chips were down.  I actually expected better from those who taught and preached the word of God.  I expected much better from my connections too.

To me, what happened at Chapel is just a sneak peek for how people will act during the great apostasy.  Some stood firm and while others let themselves be swept away by hate and vindictiveness.  I met some of these people afterwards and they never seemed to lose their absolute hatred of connections. It seemed to me bitterness had taken root deep in their souls.

Hate is not of God

Hate is not of God.  If you hate your brother then, no matter what your theological bent, you do not love God as you should.  Saul sincerely hated Christians and did his best to destroy any who followed the way.  However, on the road to Damascus, the persecutor of the brethren found out that Jesus was indeed the way, the truth, and the life.  Likewise, those who still persecute connections are severely misguided and, if they continue unrepentant, are in as much darkness as Saul was before he became Paul. However, like Saul, you might have a change of heart when confronted with The Truth.  I don’t count anyone out.

God’s love is the only power that can truly heal – you must experience it for yourself

Oddly enough, and this is the main point of this essay, I believe Divine Love is the only power that can heal those who are still in pain over spiritual connections at CC&BTC.  Some Chapelites are wounded so deeply, that 30 years later they still cannot forgive and their pain seems beyond human intervention.  However, you cannot close yourself off to God’s love.  Frankly, it will take God’s love, through another human being,  to pull out that root of bitterness.  The trouble is, those who are hurt so deeply rarely let anyone close enough to learn of their trauma, let alone heal it. I ask you though, “why allow others to continue to hurt you so?”, and “Why endanger your soul because others did you wrong?”

God saw Lori’s bitterness

I knew a woman like that.  She was so hurt by her spiritual connection that she was literally bitter to the core about it.  People could hardly stand to be around her due to the vile that continually spilled out of her due to the pain caused by a man who used and then discarded her.  I felt God’s love for her, and though she treated me terribly, I could not stop showing her the love of God.

One day, while sitting with her, listening as hurt poured out of her, I asked, “May I pray for you?”  To my surprise she said, “Yes”.  Boldly, I put my hand over her heart and prayed, “Father, please deliver Lori from her hurt and pain, fill her will your love and peace, amen”.  Lori’s face softened instantly as she exclaimed in amazement, “It’s gone!”

God healed Lori’s heart

From that moment on Lori was a changed person.  She no longer talked negatively about her connection, the bitterness left, and she began to live again.  Jesus instantly took all that hurt from her heart and healed her emotionally.  I recognize that same level of pain in some of those who are still wounded 30 years out from CC&BTC.  You may blame people, God, connections, things done in the name of connections,  but you have a root of bitterness inside you that, frankly, only God can pull out.  Like Saul, the Holy Spirit changes your heart and life.

God heals the broken-hearted

Lori was hurting for real, I have no doubt about that.  You are hurting for real, I have no doubt about that either.  God touched Lori by the hand of brother.  Likewise,  your healing is probably going to come through the hand of someone God chose for you.  We automatically trust God, therefore, when people manifest God’s love we trust them.  Went your feel God’s love through another, you will let down your guard long enough for healing to take place.  There is hope, God is going to do a miracle.

Heal My Broken Heart by Patty Felker