Presentable

August 15, 2014

I’m so tired. Instead of going to church, I wish I could go to sleep.

Why can’t you?

My hair is wet and needs to be styled.

Why?

So I can look good to the people at church.

Why do you care what they think?

Is it wrong to care? Is there not value in being presentable?

Presentable. Yes, you are a gift from me to others, like a present. Are you not then intrinsically presentable?

Even with rumpled hair and no makeup?

Haven’t they seen you like that before, when camping for example? Why is this day somehow different? Why do my people place such a high value on being presentable to others on this day? Is this in the Bible? Where do I say you must dress up for church? Don’t I tell you to rest? Don’t you need a nap now?

Yes, I just don’t know if I can get one with my family’s needs.

Can you trust me on the Sabbath to care for your children a little bit?

Is it really this simple?

It is.

 

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.

I Feel Like a Failure

May 23, 2014

Fail, fail, FAIL! It seems everything I set out to do I fail. Is it any wonder I hesitate to set any goals at all? I cannot write here the depths of my sadness and regret, the intensity of my self-loathing.

My husband has been gone on a business trip since Monday. I’ve missed him, but I’ve had a great week. I had planned a thorough cleaning of the house to surprise him when he comes home. Monday we worked very hard, got the bedrooms almost done.  Tuesday we were less motivated, got the girls’ room almost dome. Wednesday I helped one resheet her bed, and after I was so exhausted from fibromyalgia I went to bed for 3 hours. Yesterday was the girls’ school end-of-year party at an amusement park. It was fun, long, and tiring. Nothing got done. Today, my husband comes home and the house looks worse than when he left.

And now the pressure I feel every day, that lifts when he leaves and descends as he returns, is back. I know it’s related to my upbringing, spiritual abuse, and the arguments my parents used to have over the state of their house. It’s also in part from something my mother-in-law said to me once. “The last thing my husband said to me when he left me was, ‘You’re the worst housekeeper in the world.'” Am I going to drive my husband away with my lack of housekeeping? What am I teaching my children? Am I failing them as well? Would they all be better off without me?

I know I should listen to your voice right now, but I’m afraid to. I don’t want deep religious insight. I want this problem to just go away. I want to have physical stamina, a pain-free body, and intestinal fortitude. I want to be young again, skinnier, and not depressed. And it seems all I want is beyond my grasp. I don’t want to fail my kids or my husband, and yet I do daily. Failure perpetuates failure ad nauseum. I don’t want to hear your wisdom right now. I just want to know you care how I feel, love me as I am, and are with me in the depths of my despair.

May 24, 2014

Thank you for listening to me yesterday. After I wrote all that I began to bounce back. Thank you for bringing my husband home safely. It’s good to have him home. He’s even noticed some of the work we did. The kids are so full of excitement to be with him! It’s wonderful to see.

And now I really want to hear what you have to say. Please speak to me.

It’s okay. I do understand how you feel. And I know all the reasons for it. Some came from inside you, and some, MANY, from outside. Your “personality” isn’t now what I designed it to be. It’s full of coping mechanisms you’ve put on to deal with your experiences in the world. Can you give me those coats and hats and mittens and galoshes?

If I do, how do I live? How do I weather the storms?

Take refuge under my wings.

Wow. Sounds easy. Somehow I doubt it is. This will require some thought.

Take your time. Imagine how a mother bird protects her young from a storm. Under her wings they are safe and warm. That’s where you are, safe and warm under my wings.


This post is part eight 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.

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.

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.

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