Author of numerous books; her latest: Wounded by God’s People (2013)
Founder, AnGeL Ministries, 1988, a non-profit organization that holds Just Give Me Jesus revivals
Second daughter to Billy and Ruth Graham
Husband: Danny; Mother of 3 grown children
Anne Graham Lotz: Wounded By God's People
The 700 Club
CBN.com - WOUNDING ONE ANOTHER
Anne recalls many years ago when she and her husband were profoundly rejected by their church. Though it happened years ago, Anne, then 37, says the memory is still painful. Danny and Anne were faithful to their church. Danny was chairman of the board of deacons, chairman of the men’s fellowship and an adult Sunday school teacher. When the church went through a pastoral change, the leadership maneuvered to remove Danny from his positions and becuase they were afraid of their influence he and Anne would could have on the congregation. The church voted Danny out during a Sunday worship service and they applauded when they did it. For one year Danny and Anne were believers in exile. For years, Anne suffered in silence from these wounds and others. Then she decided to break her silence and began writing her book four years ago. “As painful and devastating as wounds inflicted by God’s people can be, they have made me more determined to live out what I believe authentically,” says Anne.
Anne shares the story of Hagar, the young Egyptian slave with whom Abraham had a son name Ishmael. Hagar was wounded, not physically, but in ways that were as emotional and painful as any bodily injury. Some wounds were provoked by her own bad behavior, but others were inflicted by those who considered themselves God’s people. Amazingly Hagar did turn around and had a personal relationship with God.
Dealing with pain is a journey Anne says. The first step is to acknowledge your pain. “Stop covering it up, rationalizing it, defending it, excusing it, ignoring it. Just admit it,” she says. Sometimes the wounds are so painful that people walk away – not just from church but from God. Anne says, “God cares about those who are running from the pain. Running from the problem. Running from God’s people.” She reminds us that while we may have experienced rejection, we have not been rejected by God.
Wounding smashes relationships. For years, Anne had a best friend. One day, Anne found herself helplessly standing by as her friend was deeply wounded by another then watched as her friend chose to retaliate. Anne warned her of the consequences of her actions. That was not what her friend wanted to hear and severed her relationship with Anne. “The ache in my heart was almost a physical pain,” says Anne. Years later, that friend called asking for forgivenesss and they have reconciled.
If a person has wounded you, or has been wounded by you, rejects your forgiving words or gestures and refuses to move toward reconciliation, Anne reminds us to take it to Jesus in prayer. “He understands what it feels like to make every effort to reconcile, only to be rejected,” says Anne. “The relationship may never be reconciled, but Jesus can heal you and your memories.” She says God continues to teach her that living in her forgiveness from Him is a way of life.
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