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A Time To Feast

I’m tired. My pointing out the Greenville Syndrome — which was as much a test to see if it would fit and a plea for more discussion as anything else — has resulted in the largest onslaught of vitriol since we left our former life. The irony is palpable since people are revealing the Greenville Syndrome while railing against my description of it. The syndrome or trope or habit is all a kind of bait-and-switch. The bait of approval dangles in front of your nose, and when you say, “No thanks!” you get slugged upside the head. You have a choice then — either take the bait or feel the pain. Either join the dance or get kicked in the teeth. And when you walk away — out of reach of their right hook — they call you back, screeching louder and louder, telling you that you’re ruining their whole performance, that you’re nothing without them, that if you leave now you’ll never be able to come back. . . . until you let the door quietly shut behind you. They don’t miss you. They really don’t. They hardly notice you’re gone. The bluster has blinded them.

I’m shutting the door. For now. I’m going to take that fight to a different place, with a different audience. My teachers told me that the best scholarship speaks to the public at large. That was a big part of my goal — to see if I could explain theoretical stuff in a common voice. I did that. And I was successful. This is a good blog with good stuff on it that will continue to help the hurting. But it’s time to turn my research into a more academic conversation behind closed doors. It’s just that important.

In sum, I need to let these wounds heal instead of getting eaten alive. I’ve been blogging for six years. So I’m ready for a little Sabbath rest. A little feasting.

::deep breath::

I picked up a book a few weeks back that I have to put down. Funny way to put that, I know. But each paragraph was like a Godiva chocolate, and if I consumed too many, I’d miss out on the joy. It’s a savory book. About God and cooking. And I want to relish each paragraph. Out here. In the open. Because good books — like a good meal and a good God — are meant to be shared.

Would you like a bite? . . . of the book, mind you. Not me. I’m not on the menu.

8 thoughts on “A Time To Feast

  1. Enjoy your sabbath rest. You’ve most certainly earned it.

    {{{Hugs}}}

    My sister goes to BJU. She’s gone from being a slight bully to being emotionally manipulating and spiritually abusive. I tried maintaining a relationship with her but when I stopped allowing her to bully me she completely gave me the cold shoulder. Now she only calls out of obligation to Christ and to try to get me saved.

    Reading your experiences, Berg analysis and book redommendations have given me a clear understanding of how her manipulative tactics work. I would NEVER, EVER have been able to deal with this if I hadn’t found your blog.

    THANK YOU!!!

    I’d love to hear about cooking. 🙂

  2. enjoy the feast and the dance that will follow. not the quivering dance of the shakers, but the freeing dance of david in 2 sam 6.:-)

  3. (((hugs))) Personally, I know that I have benefited from reading your analyses of fundamentalism. Thank you for putting it out there for us to read, and best of wishes in your scholarly writing and speaking. Again, (((Camille)))

  4. I have enjoyed reading every post since I found you a year ago. I too have put fundamentalists BS behind me. Your academic writing is too smart for my mommy brain, but I hope you have much success!God bless you in your endeavors!

  5. Yeah, let me add inmy two cents of praise for you and your efforts! Without you and this blog, I’d likely be still wandering around in bitterness and confusion, wondering why I just wasn’t good enough. You’ve helped to show me that it isn’t about *me* and my “not-good-enoughness.” It’s about *HIM* and his unfathomable Grace. Great stuff, grace.

  6. I’m in the broad category of those who have left Greenville (graduated ’03) (in nearly every way imaginable)- but I’m pretty over it, and frankly, I’ve read your blog with some level of nostalgia but often wished that you’d (speaking of feasts) would fry bigger fish. 🙂

  7. Camille, it’s been refreshing for me to read your thoughts and comments over the last several months. If this blog were live performance, it would get a standing ovation. I’ve experienced first-hand many of the same phenomena described here, and I have to say that your insights (particularly of the Greenville Syndrome) are poignantly accurate. As you move on to a new phase of your research, just know that there are many of us still cheering you on–although I’m sure that fact can’t compare to just knowing that you’re doing the right thing.

  8. We just dove through a town on our return trip from picking up a new used trailer for our newly aquired dingy boat. It was the town where the ‘snobby’ community’s high and mighty leaders were so mean to me some 14 years ago. What they did so devastated me at the time, that I felt I would never be the same again. It was so wonderful to drive through that town this morning, and actually have no more negative feelings or negative emotions about what happened there anymore.Even my husband notices the difference. This is a testimony to God’s saving, healing Grace and love. We ‘do’ get better. We ‘do’ get stronger. And we really ‘do’ heal and become free from what went so horribly wrong. I hope this encourages someone out there. Last June, I attended a wonderful weekend retreat conference. God gave us a word of promise that ‘He was going to make up for what went wrong’, ‘He was going to heal us’ so that we could really let go, forgive, heal, and even forget the past.’ Not long after I began to realize that His promise had come true in my life. Because I feel like I did before everything went wrong. I feel like I did before the crisis that I went through even happened. It’s like they never happened to me. This is healing at its best. God can and will do this for everyone who lets Him. This is what you guys can look forward to. The enemy lied to some of us, that,’we would never be the same again,’because of what happened. That ‘we would always be a mental, emotional, spiritual wreck’ because of how we were so bady hurt. But Jesus said, “I am the GOOD SHEPHERD.” Jesus said “I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” God always has the last Word. Be encouraged everyone that If God can do this for ‘me’, He can do the same for ‘you’. I used to think I was finished and had to be thrown on the junk heap, that God couldn’t ever use me anymore, because my mind had been so messed up by the spiritual abuse. I remember how numb I felt after the dreadful crises had happened to me. How I wondered in confused bewilderment, how such distorted versions of christianity could actually be practiced in such an awful manner! But I learned that God still wants me. And that He ‘never’ considered throwing me on the junk heap, ever. He loves you so much. And He will restore to you all the peace and joy of the freedom that got stomped on in the past. “God will restore the years the locusts have taken.” See Joel. I hope this blesses someone. It sure has blessed me to write it.

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