God, the Best Father

August 15, 2014

You know how I have been feeling. I’m confused, and I need clarity. Speak to me. I need to hear your voice.

Do you think I am mad at you? That’s what you’re feeling, isn’t it? That feeling is a phantom, not reality. I’m not angry with you any more than you were yesterday when your daughter was afraid you were. Let that feeling go. It is born of spiritual abuse.

Thank you for seeing me, knowing me better than I know myself. You are not angry with me. You’re my Daddy. I am your daughter, and you love me. Thank you for that.

You’re right when you say spiritual abuse is the biggest dragon you have ever fought. You’re beginning to recognize it as the thing that has kept you buried all these years. I know you grieve for the 20 years you have spent in depression, feeling as if this time has been wasted. But NO. It has not been. I WILL redeem it. Every day, every hour of it will be to your benefit. Do you believe I can do this?

Honestly, it is beyond my ability to grasp. But I believe you can do anything.

I will do it, and you will be amazed. As for today, like so many days, you are imagining what must be done and planning for it. So often when you do this, you end the day filled with regret. Let’s not live that way today. Let’s take today as it comes. Will you take my hand and walk through it with me?

Yes. Thank you. You’re such a good Daddy. You know just what I need.


This post is part twelve of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Rafal Olechowski, Shutterstock, https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/mother-holding-hand-her-daughter-spring-100800745?src=JzZfGsKOB8uTHa2xHNPn1A-1-47

The Abused Abuser

May 31, 2014

Only you know all that is going on in my heart and mind today. Only you understand completely. Only you have the answers. God, I need your answers. Please speak to me.

Apologize. If it’s not right for your daughter to do, it’s not right for you.

Okay, I’m hearing you. I have been hearing you lately talk about hypocrisy. My husband and I are hypocrites to our kids. We tell them to speak kindly while yelling at them. We use foul language and tell them not to. I tell them to work hard, but I don’t show them what hard work looks like. We are hypocrites. No wonder one daughter is bitter and the other is confused.

I admit it. I can also admit I feel powerless to change. I don’t feel I can just make myself more patient, kind, or loving. And here we are to the fruits of the Spirit again. You and you alone are the answer. Help, please!

Don’t try to change her. Find out who I made her to be. Do you think I would treat her the way you do? You have been spiritually abusive to her, perpetuating the abuse you received. It’s time to break this cycle of abuse. You must STOP mistreating her and saying you’re doing it on my behalf. I don’t mistreat people. Stop portraying me to her that way. If you stop thinking of yourself as her parent, it will help. I AM her parent. She is MY responsibility. You are to direct her to me. I get angry when my little ones are mistreated. But I am full of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.

Oh God, forgive me! Please have mercy on me! I will change. Lead me in your perfect ways. Make your path straight before me. Heal the wounds that still fester inside me because of the abuse I have received. Break the cycle of abuse. Heal me. Heal my husband. And heal my children. Make us all new as only you can. I place myself and your children in your hands. I take refuge in the shadow of your wings. You are our hope.

Those who put their trust in me will not be ashamed. Meditate on verses like that. You will NOT be ashamed. Let that really sink in.


This post is part ten of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.

Humble or Humiliated

May 25, 2014

I had a disturbing dream last night. My take-away is that when I see others as hating, disliking, making fun of me, I respond with my own anger and hate. A friend of mine said I need new “glasses,” that in truth, people like, even admire me. She said when I see people through God’s eyes, I might be very surprised.

As I work through the spiritual abuse issue, I begin to see people differently. The guest speaker at church yesterday made statements I agreed with and some I disagreed with. Here’s the cool thing. I found myself able to both agree and disagree while still feeling love and respect for him, AND I didn’t automatically doubt or berate myself because of his message. I saw him as a lover of God sharing his heart, not as a messenger from God with 100% truth. This allowed me to find his truth and let it have a place in my heart without being guilted into something untrue.

In the past, I have seen myself as “falsely humble.” It had to be false because according to my faith tradition, no one is truly humble. In fact, all this time I was being humiliated by spiritual abusers and their hyper-spiritual, people-condemning rhetoric.

I’m beginning to see my ideas and opinions are just as valid as those of others. As I validate my own humanity, I am better able to validate others, even those who disagree with me, without feeling threatened by them.

And there is true humility. When you realize that you are infinitely valuable because I made you exactly as you are and say you are good, the natural next step is to see that everyone else is just as infinitely valuable as you are! Your abusers were so full of pride themselves, they couldn’t see the value in anyone different from them. But the value of humanity is in it’s diversity! You love others not because they are just like you, but because they are unique, rare, one of a kind! That, my precious child, is humility.


This post is part nine of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Nasrul Ekram, https://www.flickr.com/photos/inrime_nasrul/997415862.

Like a Slinky

I refuse guilt. There is no condemnation. But I see the futility of doing things in my own strength and on my own schedule. It just doesn’t work. I know you embody all truth, and even facing my own weakness points me to your strength. Bottom line: you are calling me higher as a wife and mother. Help me. Show me. Point the way.

You’re like a slinky. When I lift you higher, more of you flows down to your children, husband, and home. I lift you up; you pour down. You are still all you, but more of you is available to flow to others. And in turn, I lift others to pour into you. It’s not a fearful thing. It can actually be fun! But it’s my power, not yours; my strength, not yours; my goals, not yours; my timing, not yours. I do it, not you. Just don’t fight me as I do it. Remember there is no fear in love, no fear in me. I am light, and in me is no darkness.


This post is part seven of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: By Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA (All work and no play) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Crucible

April 19, 2014

Wow! Big dream. Lots of images from my past and present. I was plagued by fear. People could easily manipulate me because I was afraid. I heard you say, “liquid character.” What are you trying to say?

Fear is a crucible. People have different melting points, but at some point most people’s character liquefies in the face of fear. I want to raise your melting point.

Uh oh. Sounds really scary, like you’re going to turn up the heat.

Some might see it that way. But are you willing to see me as FOR you, WITH you in difficult circumstances? I want you to be who YOU ARE in the face of critics, in the face of people who want to manipulate you.

How can I tell when it’s people manipulating me and when it’s you molding me?

Perfect love casts out fear. If fear is involved, it’s not me.

So you’re telling me not to fear, but people are about to turn up the heat?

Yes, but fear is the crucible. You don’t have to be IN the crucible.

I don’t have to live in fear, but in love.

What does love look like in this metaphor?

It’s not the fire, or the heat. It’s the light.

Yes! Live in me, in the light, in love! You don’t have to live in fear.


This post is part six of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Dan Brown, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepuzzler/5439493601

Listening to God

March 14, 2014, morning

This is the second time this week I have heard an audible voice call my name.* I like it. What do you want to say?

I want you to keep listening to me. I have a lot to say.

Do you mean right now or in general?

What I have to say will take months, even years. And it’s going to involve everyday moments. It’s time to bring you out of that dark place and into the light. I want to shine my light on all the dark places in you.

Sounds kind of scary.

It is to someone who has been in the dark so long. But I am your light. Do not be afraid. I am coming to rescue you. You can trust me.

I feel such a peace.

Good. That’s all I want to say right now. Meditate on my words for a few moments. Keep relaxing in that place. And keep listening.

Your words illuminate Psalm 27 like never before. Thank you. I love you.

I love you… so much more that you know.

8:59 am

See how much you love your kids? You are a good mom.

12:33 pm

I’m back. I’m tired and would love a nap. Do I have your permission to take one?

You’re thinking of this wrong. There’s nothing wrong with taking a nap if you’re tired. You’re putting this burden on yourself. It’s not from me.

But what about…? Well, now that I think about it, it does seem resting is one of your key themes. It’s when I strive that I become angry.

Good memory. Hang onto that and let me show you how to rest even when you’re busy.


* Background: I thought I heard my husband say my name. It sounded like his voice. The first time he was next to me in bed asleep, and I thought maybe he had talked in his sleep. The second time he was in another part of the house but sounded like he was in the room with me. I asked if he had called me and he said he hadn’t. This reminded me of the incident in 1 Samuel 3 when Samuel though he heard Eli calling him, but it turned out to be God. So I responded as if it were God and listened to what he had to say. This has happened to me a total of 3 times to date.

This post is part two of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: db Photography, https://www.flickr.com/photos/demibrooke/2470252246.

Looking Back

It’s been three plus years since you first began taking me on this journey out of fear and into your love. As I read through my old prayer journals, I am amazed at what you have done in such a short period of time. I want my readers to hear some of the things you have said to me that have brought me to this place. And so I begin by looking back.


March 11, 2013

You’re calling me to yourself, but I want to crawl up in a ball and go to sleep. The sadness is so profound today, so deep.

I know. I see the darkness. I feel what you feel. I am intimately acquainted with your grief. I am here. You are not alone. You are like those lost treasures in Monuments Men. You’re a priceless work of art stuck in a salt mine where only I can see. Most people don’t even know you’re there. They can’t see you, touch you. It’s dark, and it’s lonely, and you feel worthless. You’re damaged by the mistreatment of others. They don’t know how deeply their carelessness has hurt you.

You will not stay here forever. You will not be destroyed. With gentle hands and steady step I will carry you out. The light will shine on you again. Others will see what I have created and preserved and restored, and they will rejoice because of it. Your redemption is near.


Note: Heartbeat of Grace is where I have blogged about my recovery from spiritual abuse.  In January of 2015, I wrote more about this journal entry. You can read that post here.

This post is part one of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Susanne Nillson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomastern/13982836004.

When Enough is Enough

After our last conversation, I sank into a deep depression. For two days, I sat in my own personal darkness and mused. I know what you said. There were for me no unanswered questions. I just didn’t like the answers.

The more these thoughts tumbled around in my head, the more depressed I became. At times, I couldn’t stop crying. At others, I sat and stared numbly. By the third evening, my husband became very concerned. He said it seemed like I was giving up.

Something about that statement shook me out of my stupor. That’s not me, I thought. I don’t just give up. I laid my head down that night knowing something had to change.

Then came the dreams. I woke up at about 3AM with thoughts running through my head, visions of tragedy, of suicide, of death. I saw the last scene of Thelma and Louise (I know it was a great way to end that movie, but it ruined the whole thing for me. I hate suicide.) Then I saw a vision of a Latino truck driver driving off a high mountain cliff, crossing himself and screaming as he fell. Next was a passenger plane falling to the ground as horrified passengers banged on the windows trying to get out.

I hate this horrible world, I thought as I wept. Then your words came back to me. Do you  not agree there must come a time when I say enough is enough?

And then the depression lifted, as if someone had pulled a blanket off my soul.

How can you summarize all this for me? What do you have to say?

I love you. I love your neighbor who is rude to you. I love your friends, the ones you really click with. I love your friend’s transgendered daughter. I love your gay friends. I love your atheist friends. I love Barack Obama and Donald Trump. I love the members of ISIS and the members of the fundamentalist church down the street. I want them, every one of them. I want to shower them in my love and spend eternity giving them good things. 

Many people don’t want me, my love, or the good things I have for them. For some, it may  in fact be they are deeply hurt by the circumstances of their lives. If I choose to give them more lives to find me, am I not God? I do as I wish, and my wishes are always good.

There are those who even if I gave them a thousand lifetimes would never want me. This is true freedom, the freedom I have given everyone to reject me. Many will. I will not force myself upon them. Neither will I hold them hostage in some sort of limbo until they change their minds. Neither will I make them pay eternally for their decisions in this temporary world. In me is life. I will let them go. Perhaps in ceasing to exist they will finally find rest for their weary souls.


Note: Thank you for sharing this journey of discovery with me. Though I am sharing what I feel God is saying to my heart, I am in no way trying to create a theological treatise. Neither do I believe these words are “inspired.” This is how God talks to me. If you disagree, that’s okay. Ask him your questions. He’s waiting with answers for you.

Photo Credit: Mike Steele, https://tinyurl.com/hnsywy9.

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