I know this is one of the hardest hurts to begin to process, unfold, and make sense of, friend. I know it’s not easy to discern at times what is you, what is God, or what is the enemy because, for a longer period of time, they were all mixed together in what seemed like beautiful harmony and understanding. I also know how hard it is to trust in God after experiencing spiritual manipulation.
You know why I know, because this was my husband and I. There are still times, even now, I have a hard time talking about it because when someone starts talking about an experience it’s easy for them to become the villain in the story instead of the victim. (A victim from a situation but not living from that as an identity.)
It’s a huge reason why I started my Spiritual Growth Mentorship last year, why I am always updating it with new content, and connecting with the women inside Voxer.
Breaking the Cycle: Learning to Trust in God After Spiritual Manipulation
However, one may ask, why would one stay if the church is doing such things? Shouldn’t they know from the beginning? Maybe for some, but for others, the spiritual manipulation happens so slowly which leads to a lack of trust in God.
It’s a steady process of what seems reasonable and good. Until time goes by, and we start to reason with their behavior and their words because accepting the reality also meant leaving behind a family, a community, who we thought loved and cared for us as much as we did for others.
That’s when the inner critic comes in from spiritual manipulation and begins to break our trust in God because we try to trust ourselves.
Maybe it is me?
Maybe I do not believe enough?
Maybe I need to try harder and read more?
However, that’s when we know too. We know that doing life with God has become more about what we do than what He has done for us.
Things have happened to you but they are not you! Sometimes we need to recognize the habit or thought cycle. The first step is to identify the habit or thought pattern that you want to break that you feel is breaking you. What are the things being said about God and your hindering your trust in God? This may require some self-reflection and awareness of your behaviors and thoughts.
The process of unwinding the tangled cord of lies and being relieved from the constriction will take time.
Navigating the Aftermath of Spiritual Manipulation: A Journey to Trust in God
If you have experienced this, it can be challenging to trust in God or any spiritual belief again. However, there are steps you can take to regain that trust.
Acknowledge the harm that was done.
It’s essential to acknowledge the harm that was done to you, as it can be validating and help you to heal with Jesus, especially when you are honest with Him. You may have been manipulated, exploited, or abused, and it’s crucial to recognize and process through them. You were not to blame for what people were saying to you and how they treated you which began to break your trust in God.
It’s essential to seek support from those who understand what you have gone through. Whether it’s through therapy, support groups, or a trusted friend or family member, talking to someone who can listen to you without judgment can be incredibly healing and rebuild your trust in God after spiritual manipulation. You may need to take some time away from the physical building of church but it’s important to stay slow to the body for support.
Connect with a supportive community.
Finding a community that aligns with sound teaching of the Bible. Doing this can be crucial in rebuilding trust in God after spiritual manipulation. Look for a community that values transparency, accountability, and prioritizes the well-being of its members. However, take your time so you know you can discern what is good and right.
Clothes yourself with patience.
Be gentle with yourself as you work through the aftermath of spiritual manipulation to trust in God. It can take time to heal from the harm that was done to you, and it’s okay to take things slow and focus on you and God.
Rebuild trust will take time.
Finally, remember that regaining trust in God or any spiritual belief is a process that takes time. You will have to unfold the lies and renew yourself to what is true.
Breaking Free from Spiritual Manipulation: Learning to Trust in God
Spiritual manipulation can be a subtle yet a form of abuse that undermines one’s sense of self, autonomy, and trust in God. Whether it’s a cult leader, a controlling partner, or a toxic church community, spiritual manipulators often use fear, guilt, shame, and confusion to maintain their power and influence over their followers. They also spend a great deal of time blaming others and convincing others that it’s everyone elses fault but theirs.
Breaking free from spiritual manipulation requires a lot of courage, clarity, and support. It’s not easy to overcome the psychological and emotional scars of being gaslit, brainwashed, or coerced into believing in a distorted version of reality. However, it’s possible to reclaim your agency, your faith, and your dignity by learning to trust in God on your own terms. To look at the scriptures for yourself.
Experiencing spiritual manipulation can be incredibly difficult and can shake your trust in God. However, by acknowledging the harm that was done, seeking support, examining your beliefs, connecting with a supportive community, practicing self-compassion, and rebuilding trust at your own pace, you can find trust in God again.
Here is what I know, friend! There is hope and healing with Jesus. God is still for us. Jesus’ goal isn’t to punish us through the word. The word isn’t to condemn or keep us a slave to fixing ourselves to be approved by God. We can find our trust in God when we acknowledge harm was done after spiritual manipulation.
One day that inner critic will lose its power over you.
One day you will wake up and be able to see more clearly than you have in a long time.
I’m sorry you were handed this inner critic and it hindered your trust in God..
A reminder for your heart, God sees your pain and cares about the hurt you have been through. Draw near to Him. He is close.
Praying for you,