the Hope of Survivors

Love Beyond Measure by A.H.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Looking back on my experience, this verse describes the amazing turn of events, as well as my thankful heart to Jesus my Savior. It all began not quite a year ago when my husband and I were on the brink of divorce and sought counsel from a trusted and highly recommended pastor. Though my husband and I had both created problems in our marriage, I was also struggling with molestation from my childhood and our problems were so severe, we saw counseling as our only hope. At our first counseling session, the pastor—within minutes of commencing counseling—asked to meet with me alone. Uncomfortable as it was, we continued to counsel with him and, at our next counseling session, I was again alone with him and there was very inappropriate conversation and actions.

After leaving his office, I immediately told my husband what happened, but depression gripped me so hard that I gave up hope in my marriage, in pastors, and in life. To God’s glory, I could never bring myself to commit suicide, though I thought about it daily. My husband and I began, on our own, to mend the broken pieces of our relationship by moving away from this pastor and the church where he served. Months later, we were called back to the state we had moved from for a great employment opportunity and decided to go back to the church we had tried to escape just months before. I saw the pastor almost on a daily basis, and found out very quickly that co-existing without the situation being rectified was impossible for me.

My sister, who had heard of The Hope of Survivors, recommended I call and talk to Samantha. Alone, I could have never taken the steps I did to see that this was prevented from happening again. Samantha went before me each step of the way and uplifted me with prayer and encouragement. Had it not been for The Hope of Survivors, I may not have ever seen the amazing workings of God. The outcome of this situation is why I put the verse I did at the beginning of my story. It was beyond my expectations or even what I was asking of God. The church was made aware of the situation and, in the process of going through the appropriate channels, we were informed that it had happened to someone else who had not come forward. God’s heart showed through the leaders of the church that did not even question my motives or my story. This pastor, when approached, was repentant and submitted to all discipline the church imposed. To my amazement, he is now being discipled and receiving help. God called me to a courage I did not possess in order to show His strength.

If you have been abused by a pastor and have silenced yourself due to fear, remember that we are not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind. Let the truth set you free and, like Gideon, push through your doubt and fear to become a mighty man (or woman) of valor. Remember God called Gideon a mighty man of valor while he was still shaking and scared. He sees what he can do with us, not what we can do on our own. Praise God for The Hope of Survivors! This ministry has helped me to rise to the calling of God—despite my fear—and walk in the healing that I have received.

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If you are a survivor of pastoral abuse, we would love to hear your story and possibly make it available on this web site for others to read and renew their hope. You can use a pseudonym if you choose and rest assured that all personal information will be kept private and strictly confidential. Please contact us.

Please note: We do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the information contained in the survivor’s stories. We do, however, feel they have some valuable information that could be useful to you in your recovery. It helps to know you’re not alone, that others have shared your pain and have healed, by the grace of God, in their own time and way.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18