Shunned

October 1, 2018
by Karen Milam

Recently, I have been reminded once again of the wonderful healing power of Jesus.

Thirty-three years ago, at the age of 42, I was shunned and excommunicated from my cherished childhood church because I had divorced and married again. The congregation included my parents, siblings, and friends. I learned of this action when my mother called to tell me that she would never be able to talk to me again. The pastor told me that I was under Satan's spell and was walking in darkness. The small church leadership had decided that because of my remarriage, I was setting a bad example for the young girls in the church, and I was unclean. I mistakenly concluded that I had lost my salvation, and I felt like the essence of my being had been sucked out of me in a heartbeat.

Matthew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (KJV)

As time went by, I searched churches and pastors for answers that weren't forthcoming or that I couldn't receive. I was terrified at the thought of being disconnected from God. Distraught, I felt that the person I knew as me was slipping away. Then one day in tears, I simply turned to Jesus and said, "I don't know if You want me or not, but I will follow and serve You for the rest of my life, even if You send me to hell." I discovered biblical Christian radio and television pastors. I listened to a sermon each morning before I went to work. Like a sponge, I soaked in Scripture. I read my Bible, and I prayed. God's storehouse of blessing poured down on me as I learned from His Word and teaching that I was indeed saved, and that His forgiveness of sins applied to me — past, present, and future. At some point, God, through the Holy Spirit, enveloped me in Christ's healing power. Then, unexpectedly after seven years, the pastor lifted the shunning. He notified me that "marriage is good in the eyes of God", further explaining that my husband and I were welcome to return, which we did for a visit. Years after my release from the shunning, I realized that I had been gifted with those seven years of adversity to develop a biblical relationship with Jesus Christ and to learn that He alone is the essence of my spiritual being.

Psalm 30:2 – O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. (KJV)

If ever you are in a place where doubts assail you, don't turn away from God. Run directly to His holy Word. Review salvation, forgiveness, repentance, and restoration. Know that according to Romans 8:38-39, nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (KJV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we come to You with our surface needs, to find that You have something much deeper to teach us. Teach us — everyone — that You, Lord, are the essence of our spiritual being. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wow, powerful. Thank you!


    Wonderful story, Karen. Thanks for sharing.


    Thanks for sharing your very touching story, God bless!


    Amen Karen! Thanks for this valuable word.
    Blessings.


    I had a similar experience and I know your pain. I’m thankful you persevered.


    Oh my goodness, Karen, what a story and what a lesson for us all.
    Thank you
    (Texas)


    I had a dear friend wo had a similar experience.
    She bounced back and I am so glad you did.
    And you forgave them too.
    Praise God.


    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for this very touching devotional. The Lord’s love, care and total forgiveness is ever available and healing to us.
    Lord’s blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for sharing your devotional testimony, of how you came through the ordeal of being shunned, and how it caused you to grow even stronger spiritually!
    God truly does work all things work together for good. God Bless You!


    Your story and testimony is so moving! Let me, on behalf, of all Christians in any formal institutional church apologize for what they did to you and your family and friends.
    I also ask forgiveness for all ‘church’ people who have hurt and judged others. We are still learning and hopefully will continually learn.


    O Karen! I started to cry as I read this. But God is faithful and would not let you go, even though that misguided church were not walking in God’s ways. How encouraging it is to hear you say that you forgave them, gave away any resentments and found God was right there with you all the time. Nothing, of course, can separate us from the love to God, not even principalities or powers. How much your devotional today will help others! Yay for your inspired writing today. Love to you on the journey.


    Being shunned in a Church should never happen. The worst part is being shunned by your parents. At least you can find another church but you can never find another set of parents. You held on to your faith through all this and you should feel proud of yourself for doing so. God never ever leaves you and will never forsake you. He is there with you every step of the way. If this makes you feel any better, we had a pastor who was with us for 20 years who was divorced and remarried. Bless you for holding on to your faith.


    Good Morning Karin,
    It was sad to read the early part of your devotion, and I feel very bad for you. Especially in the past there have been many mistakes made by the Christian church that were shameful. Who are we to judge others? One of my own sons divorced after a dreadful marriage, but thankfully is remarried and is enjoying a happy family life now.
    Best wishes for your future,
    (Ont.)


    Oh Karen, what a difficult time that must have been for you and yours! Thank God you received His Word of forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Yes, Scripture is very clear regarding divorce, but it speaks volumes about forgiveness. Scripture clearly teaches that all sins separate us from God, even those we think aren’t all that bad, but thanks be to God, the blood of Jesus wipes them away as if they had never occurred! For that, I’m truly grateful. You see, I’ve definitely done heaps of things that shamed Christ’s name, but I rejoice in His forgiveness of that past, for this present day’s missteps, and trust Him to keep me on the righteous path in the future. Blessings.


    Dear Sister Karen, Shalom
    Thank you for your courageous Devotional. I have “walked in your shoes” so to speak. My wife’s first husband was killed in a car accident, and I walked from an intolerable first marriage which resulted in a divorce. When we asked our (Anglican) Priest to marry us, he refused, because of my Status. When I told him that I firmly believed that Jehovah had forgiven me and I was asking the Church to do the same, he met with the Bishop and discussed my situation. Many years ago, he married us!
    We serve an awesome God.
    Blessings!
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Hello Karen,
    I have been an almost daily reader of PresbyCan Daily Devotionals for about 4 years after a buddy introduced me to it.
    I love to hear the stories of people who have overcome hardships in their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Living Word.
    All too often people give their opinion of what others are doing and all too often it is not God’s Word that is quoted.
    For He said the Greatest of these is LOVE.
    Thank you for sharing your Love for Christ and His people through a very tough life lesson that God walked you through to grow your relationship with Him.
    May God continue to bless you and make you a blessing.
    (Ontario Canada)


    Dear Karen,
    What a wonderful testimony of how wonderful and loving the Lord Jesus is to reach out and heal the wounding you received. Thank you for sharing your heart and experience. May those who have been shunned come to Jesus knowing that all who come to Him will be received and loved and healed.
    (Canada)


    Hi Karen,
    Such a moving story. My father was divorced in the late 1920’s. Divorce was not very common in those days so I was told.
    He later met, what was to become, our mother, whose large family attended a very conservative church. However they accepted my dad and his daughter and he became a real good friend of the family. I remember the good times they had when they visited our place or when we went to see one of them. Their marriage was good in their eyes but also in the eyes of the Lord.
    Thank you for writing.

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