It brings me peace to know that I don't have to concern myself with my abuser's attitude of repentance or his position with God. The greatest vengeance would be to hope that God would reject him. But I don't want to be that person. I don't want the responsibility of determining his eternal fate. That's too much weight, too much responsibility.
I'm not perfect or holy, so it's just not my place. I'm at peace with that. Scripture (Jesus's own words) show that He alone is the author of salvation. He's the Great Discerner. He's the Judge re: eternity. Matthew 7: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"
No matter how smooth talking & charming they are, if they've led others to Him with those smooth words, Jesus knows who the false prophets are and He will judge accordingly. I can hope for justice on this earth. I can "judge" in terms of warning others and speaking truth, but I don't have to concern myself with my abuser's final judgement. What if he is a believer? What if he does go to heaven? Hard questions, but in my heart, I want him to have a repentant heart, so if he steps into eternity, that's fine with me. My eyes will be on Jesus. I won't be concerned w/ my abuser.
All this to say that I refuse to give any power whatsoever to my abuser. My healing and moving forward is not in any way tied to a single thing that man does. If forgiveness means leaving his fate in God's capable hands so I don't have to think about him, then I've forgiven.
I want true, absolute freedom. I sought justice and failed. I'm proud of the way I've fought this battle. My priority was to seek justice and bring honor to God. To do it His way as best as I could understand. That was for me, my journey.
I don't judge any victim's journey or pursuit for justice. I stand with them. But our journeys may look different. We do what we need to do to find freedom, to survive, to seek justice, to find peace, to heal, to move on. There is no one way to get through this, no one way to fight. We must give each other room to be ourselves, deal with our trauma, and find our way to wholeness.
Just the perspective of one survivor of clergy abuse. Feel free to disagree, but be kind.