"Dear Former Fellow Church Members From Raccoon Ford Christian Fellowship - If you are not currently on my friends list and someone I actually still have a positive relationship with please do not send me a friends request. If you behaved hatefully towards me when I left the church I really have no desire to be 'friends' now. I've moved on."
Last night, after another week having withdrawal symptoms from that damned drug and dealing with the world, I was in no mood to see the friends requests from four former RFCF members, one of which is a sweet girl that annoyed the piss out of me the last time we were Facebook friends with her pm's telling me that God told her I was in a bad place spiritually and needed to turn back to Him. Duuuh! Ya' think? She didn't need a direct pipeline to God to figure that one out. I admin a site for survivors of spiritual abuse and am not shy or reticent about it on Facebook. God didn't tell her a thing, she made a lot of assumptions. That was only after she pmed me asking for my phone number so she could give me a weekly
The other three requests were from ladies that had confronted me, whispered about, secretly bashed me and were part of the brigade determined to constantly remind me that I was busy decorating my handbasket bound for hell by leaving the old church. Considering these three were close friends the likelihood of them all randomly trying to friend me on the same day seems sort of slim. More likely it was a concerted 'Come to Jesus or ELSE!' scheme. Not having any part of that either.
They don't get it that they have no say and no power over any spiritual journey or life I may or may not have now. I've had nothing to do with them for years now. Forgiving someone from the things they've said and done to you doesn't mean you have to allow them back into your live to try and wreak more havoc. Sometimes forgiving means moving out of the path of destruction and getting on an entirely different path your forgivees will never understand.
But, Suzanne, I hear you say, you're not keeping the 'Unity of the Body' by ignoring those sisters in Christ.
Sometimes the 'Unity of the Body' is better maintained by keeping away from the sicker parts of the 'body'. You don't do or say anything evil or revengeful back, you do nothing to them more than forgive them and move just far away from them in the body so that they cannot try and harm you again.
Suppose you have a family member you love, perhaps a cousin or an in-law, someone you know you have to see at family reunions or holidays yet each and every time you see this cousin they whip out a wooden stave and start knocking you about the head. At first you're shocked and frozen, unsure what to do. You forgive and the wounds heal, but the next family pot luck and you get seated next to this cousin and he pulls out his wooden cudgel and proceeds to whomp the crap out of your poor noggin again. And this continues every get together until one day you decide to sit at the grownups table in the next room, far, far away from psycho cousin with a stick. You're still part of the same group/family, you still love that person and you are not excluding them or doing anything harmful to them, but you are protecting yourself.
Allowing those who've repeatedly hurt you or abused you to be a close enough part of your life to be a 'friend' on Facebook is like going to that family holiday and saying to your cousin Bam-Bam, "Okay, so you flay me every time I see you and cause me harm, here I am again, please start to beat me about the head violently. I'll just forgive you later and everything will be yippy-skippy peanut butter fine! So what if I'm bleeding profusely!"
You should not have to martyr yourself to others to keep the "Unity of the Body". Let Bam-Bam find other activities while you keep your skull free of new stitches and bumps.
You have the right to emotional an spiritual safety even if it means denying friend requests on Facebook or refusing to participate when someone wants to cudgel you.