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.

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.

The Rut of Comparison

Sometimes I feel like such a good mom, like I can do no wrong and easily meet every need. Not today. I feel so inadequate, weak, and hopeless. I am so concerned about the deficits I see in my children, and I blame myself for them. I compare myself to other moms and my children to their children, and I only see their shortcomings. This makes me harder on myself and harder on them. But this can’t be the right way to handle these feelings. It doesn’t help anyone, and it hurts everyone. How do I handle these feelings then?

Do you think I compare one flower with another? Do I criticize the late bloomers? Or do I simply enjoy them each for what they are? A rose will not bloom sooner if I am angry with it. It blooms in its time and in its way, and it pleases me by doing so. I enjoy all the steps in the process, and I love it no less as a bud than in full bloom.

So it is with you. You couldn’t be more pleasing or loved today if you were any way but as you are. Your children and you delight me today as much as you will when you are more mature. It’s you I love, not just who you have been or who you will be, but you, today, in all the glory that IS you today. You can’t make me love you more or less. You are already ALL that I want you to be today.

And when you remember this, and see yourself and your children as I do, you will cease striving and simply enjoy the beauty around you and within you.

A Math Meltdown

Yesterday was really hard with my third grader and her homeschool. She does fine until we get to math. Then she freezes up before she even sees the first question. I feel like I hover too much, like I haven’t given her the chance to really succeed on her own. Last week, when we did the place value cups, she soared! She really got it, and she felt so good about her accomplishment! But yesterday, she froze. What’s going on, and how do I help her? How can I build her confidence in math?

Peace. Be still. The storm is raging in you and in her. Your desire to see her succeed is putting pressure on her. She does need to know she can do it without your help. Take a break from your math curriculum for a while. Let her play online math games. Let her build her confidence in a way that she enjoys.

Take some deep breaths, mama. Don’t blame yourself for where she is. She is moving along the path that I have prepared for her. She is exactly where I want her to be right now. Don’t pressure her to take your path or strive for some arbitrary norm.

Look at my creation. You won’t find a “box” anywhere. I don’t put things in boxes. I don’t demand uniformity. Remember the waves. I love diversity. Be who you are. Let her grow at her own pace. Simply delight in her as she is today. Watch her thrive!

Follow up: Today went much better as I flowed with her energy and interest levels. She enjoyed playing math games online, and said she learned five new things! Success! Thank you, God.


Photo credit: R. Nial Bradshaw, https://tinyurl.com/mea9ofh.

Rhythms of Grace

Good Morning, God. I keep thinking about the incident with my daughter last night. I’m sensing part of her anger toward me is related to the new limits I have placed on Internet use and that I’ve linked it to helping out around the house. Give me insight and help me understand how to restore connection with her.

There are rhythms to grace. The waves crash on the shore in an unending cycle, year after year. Tides rise and fall. Storms come and go. One wave is higher or lower than the next. So it is with your expectations. They are always there, consistent, steady. But one day they may be high, another low. Don’t try to force your children into daily sameness. Let them surge when motivated and rest when needed.

Show yourself the same rhythms of grace. Don’t try to work up a high tide when it just isn’t there. You will find my expectations of you are also as the waves. I know when you are ready to surge and when you need to rest. I allow for these cycles. In fact, I created them. And I created you and your children to flow with them. Get familiar with the rhythms of grace. Watch them. Listen to them. Flow with them like a child playing in the waves. Yes, life can be this fun!

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