If only I had remained in the church….
People who have left an unhealthy church and are going through a rough time sometimes have the thought that, had they remained, the [difficult/unpleasant/tragic situation] would not have happened. If they had just stayed in the group, they wouldn’t have lost their job or there wouldn’t be family problems or their child wouldn’t have become ill or….. They have temporarily forgotten that bad things happened while they were attending their former church. Old thoughts, from sermons using twisted scriptures, can have a hold on people for years if they do not deal with the issues from their involvement. “If you leave, God will strike you down! You may be in a car wreck or become ill. Perhaps you will lose your job or home. The way of the transgressor is hard!”
I recall all kinds of bad things happening to people who were in my former church. A home burned down, there were all kinds of vehicle and job problems, car accidents, financial difficulties, marriage trouble and divorces, and people getting diseases with some dying. The church itself was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. It would be an extensive list of woes if everything could be mentioned. Being a member of the church and being involved did not keep us from the things of life that can happen to anyone.
In like manner, being out of the group, we need to understand that good and bad will also happen. It is part of life. It doesn’t mean God is after you and trying to get you to return to the church. It doesn’t mean you are lost or backslid. It doesn’t mean you would have been safe from whatever happened had you remained. Take the time to look into the passages that were used to scare you and see the fear that permeates the teachings. If you do this you should no longer have to fight such thoughts. It’s a guarantee that should you return, bad things will still happen.