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Archive for the ‘pain, hurt, wounds, and healing’ Category

A Broken Marriage

A Broken Marriage <– Click Here for pdf

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I wrote this for 2hold.wordpress.com but have reservations about publishing it there.¬† So here it is, set aside for my children in hope that you may understand my heart toward you and how much I hate the “SHAME on YOU” messages you have been subjected to. ūüė¶¬† So sorry my dear ones!¬† Please don’t allow those messages to stick to you and cause you to stumble!

I have a huge burden to advocate for egalitarian marriage, but I am often completely stumped as to what I can contribute to the conversation???¬† I can’t identify.¬† My own “christian” marriage of nearly 30 years has¬†battle scars from many years of husband rule, some porn use, and¬†a¬†couple seasons of adultery and alcohol¬†abuse.¬† What can I say?¬† I’m still married- “for better¬†or worse”.¬† My husband is now porn and alcohol free because I was not willing to continue in the marriage otherwise.

Marg and Kristen have done a very nice job clarifying the power in being ezer-meet help for our husbands.¬† In 2004, a mission board required counseling and I began a journey of recovery from some traumatic childhood wounds.¬†I cried out to the Lord distressed that my husband was incapable of offering empathy and support (he seemed to be more of an enemy of my recovery than supportive).¬† God spoke to me quite clearly (though not audibly), “I have not called him to HELP you.¬† I have called you to HELP him!”¬†¬† Ezer- lifesaving HELP.

My husband has childhood wounds too.¬† In a very real sense, he is as handicapped as Ian though you would not know this by looking at him or talking to him.¬† He was wounded early and deeply and is emotionally handicapped.¬† The counselor who worked with us¬† explained that a child emotionally wounded in pre-school can be left with “empathic failure”.

Our 17 year old daughter has asked to attend counseling.¬† She struggles with toxic guilt/shame.¬† She is a beautiful, talented, smart, and spiritual young woman.¬† But if a teacher has a speech about cheating, she automatically feels guilty, even though she has never cheated.¬† I attribute this to our dysfunctional family, to constant messages of “shame on you”.

As EZER I am, once again, attempting to deal with this issue.¬† I’m not angry, I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face, tears of frustration¬†that we never seem to get rid of this, and grief that another generation is being saddled with this baggage ūüė¶¬† Kathy Escobar¬†has a relevent post and prayer:¬†“God, may we let you gather us up and help us believe we are worthy of good things, of love, of freedom.¬† that we deserve better than we think we do.

The following comes from¬†real life¬†“shame on you” messages.¬†¬† If you are a praying person, pray for our children.¬† I hurt for them.

Shame on you:
You are a wuz. shame on you
you have no common sense. shame on you
you failed your road test. shame on you
you play computer. shame on you
you spilled your milk. shame on you
you broke that. shame on you
you lost that. shame on you
you smiled at the wrong time. shame on you
you got tired and cold and whined when I wanted to ski. shame on you
you hurt your ankle and couldn’t hike ten more miles. shame on you
you cost me money. shame on you
you’re wasting time. shame on you
you’re making too much noise. shame on you
you have a deep belly button. shame on you
you bore a female child. shame on you
you were born female. shame on you
you feminist. shame on you
you never ever ever live up to my expectations. shame on you

NO! NOT shame on you!

Grace
Love
Acceptance
Mercy

I’m tired of “shame on you”.
and when I defend the children from the toxic shaming and blaming…
he said its my fault he feels rejected and condemned. He insists I want him to go
He says this is about MY childhood, MY baggage. There is some truth to this- I was blind to the shaming and blaming because it was familiar; Daddy did it too.

No. I don’t want him to go. I want him to STOP with the constant stream of “shame on you”.
I won’t be surprised if he does go, though. “Leaving” and “divorce” come out of his mouth at every conflict. What is in a man’s heart comes out of his mouth. Thus saith the word of the Lord…

So, what does this have to do with egalitarian marriage?¬† Well instead of Sapphira-like harmony, submission,¬†and agreement unto death,¬† I¬† renounce the Sapphira spirit.¬† I will not lie to the Holy Spirit; I will not follow, nor support, nor make excuses for¬†a husband’s¬†destructive decisions.¬† Here I stand.

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Since coming out of the fog in 2004¬† some things have become clearer and clearer to me so I want to set the record straight.¬† When I wrote this apology letter to you, my children, there is still an element of “blaming” the woman for provoking male lust via “immodest dress”.

Nowadays, I think that a Christ-like man should be able to see a woman in the most provocative dress and seductive expression or even in erotic nude porn and not feel lust, but feel sad for her captivity and pain.

And nowadays, I think that girls and women should be able towear a tank top and¬†shorts, or a lovely little evening gown guilt free.¬† For more on enjoying God’s creation without crossing the line see http://mychainsaregone.org/

Some of my daughters went with me to a “Purity’s Power” seminar by Lisa Bevere on dvd.¬† She spoke of the “packaging” and had a liberating message against the legalism of hard and fast “clothing rules”.

As I was contemplating this update about how my views have changed since 2004, I also thought of one of my daughters’ favorite books “Redeeming Love”, and how Angel was dressed up like a harlot and paraded in front of a leering crowd, but her modest spirit rose above it and shone with a heavenly glow to that lost crowd.

In “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers, Jonathan escorts Angel and two captive children out of the brothel where the chief pimp had forced her onstage:

“I really must ask, Jonathan.¬† What were you doing in a place like that?”

He laughed softly and kissed her forehead.¬† “I don’t really know, my love. . .¬† It was a strange day, Priss.¬† Something gnawed at me from noon on.¬† I couldn’t put my finger on it. . . I simply felt the need to walk. . . I was passing by that place and heard that devil making a speech.¬† The place was such a ruckus, I went in to hear what he was saying.”

“But why?¬† You loathe him.”

“I don’t know why.¬† I just felt compelled.¬† He was introducing Angel.¬† It was obscene.¬† It wasn’t his exact words.¬† It was his manner, the insinuation.¬† I can’t explain.¬† I felt like I was standing in a pagan temple and he was the priest introducing a new temple prostitute.”

“Why didn’t you leave?”

“I thought of it, but every time I did, something told me to wait. Then Angel came out.”

“She is very beautiful,” Priscilla said quietly.

“It wasn’t her beauty that held me, my love.¬† She was so young, and she walked to the center of that stage with such quiet dignity.¬† You can’t even imagine it, Priss.¬† Those men, they were like all the hounds of hell baying at her.¬† And then she sang.¬† She was so quiet at first, no one could hear her.¬† Then the noise died down until the place was silent except for her.”

He felt his throat constrict and tears burned.¬† “She was singing ‘Rock of Ages'”

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Some formerly QF Mom’s have compiled their apologies to QF Daughters. I am not sure that any of my daughters or sons would identify with those apologies or not? But it reminded me that I wanted to post this here for you? I don’t know if you will remember when I gave this to you or not, but I post it here for you with much love. I do not consider myself among the “formerly QF”. I remained QF in the sense that I had as many children as my body could bear and I have no regrets for that. Each one of you are priceless. (Just pray for Daddy and I to get a second wind so we can be good parents to the younger ones!)

Summer 2004

Dear H, D, J, and K (teens at the time of this writing)

I need to tell you about something that my counseling has turned up because it has affected you too.

I knew my mother was pretty non-functional. She spent the year, just before her pregnancy with me, institutionalized for psychosis. She recovered enough to be back in reality to some extent, but wasn’t nurturing. She is attached to things, not people. Last time we visited, I spent a portion of our “vacation” cleaning her house because the social worker said she can’t get around the clutter with the walker. I snuck 10 garbage bags full of mildewed old clothes, some from when I was a teenager, out the window. She was mad at me cause she knew some things were missing..

As a child, my mom didn’t have friends and I was her best friend and confidante, her emotional crutch. She often cried and it was my responsibility to comfort her. She even shared details of her and my dad’s intimacy problems which were beyond my innocent comprehension.

My mother is so profoundly mentally ill that I could be compassionate.

At S* [missionary candidate interview], the psychologist kept pressing me about whether I had been sexually abused and I said no. Now I know that something in my testing was telling him differently. A week or two later, I was talking to my sister on the phone and she told me that in processing through her own recovery, she was troubled about something. She said she used to feel so sorry for me because Mom was so jealous and hostile when Dad would dress me up and take me out as if I was his date.

I developed early and was often taken for 16 when I was 12. My dad bought me a new, immodest wardrobe, dressed me up with makeup and hairdo and took me on dates. He used to go to his condo in Puerto Rico alone for awhile every year. When I was 13, he took only me (and my wardrobe). I was supposed to be there alone with him for a month. He took me to an R-rated movie with full frontal nudity. I was very uncomfortable because I had never seen any woman except my mother. He had pop fiction novels with sexually explicit passages. As an avid reader, naturally I picked up what was there. I was not very happy or cooperative and somehow I made my dad mad and he sent me home after a week.

When I was 14 my dad shipped me to an all girl’s Catholic boarding school.

When I was 18, he married a 22 year old.

During my teenage years, I dressed immodestly and was molested on dozens of occasions by boys and men groping at my private parts.

I told Sandy about my Dad’s treatment and said, “But he never DID anything”. She said, looking a bit angry, “He DID do something.” What my mother and father each did to me is a form of emotional abuse which profoundly affected me.

I immediately realized how it has influenced me with my teens. I wounded all of you by expressing hatred for teenagers. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I love all of you and regret wounding you. It was my own teenage experience for which I was expressing hatred.

Because my boundaries were violated by others, I felt an overwhelming burden to protect you and was exceedingly harsh and controlling when it came to boundary issues.

I have been so intense and harsh about modesty (right standards but bad delivery). I have ranted and raved about R-rated movies. If it had been up to me, we never would have had them in the house. I am still very uncomfortable about it so I struggle, fight, and yell when R-movies are present. I think my behavior may have affected Joanne the most because she is considered ‚Äúhot‚ÄĚ and took an interest in boys so early. I am NOT sorry for setting boundaries which protect you, it would be a failure on my part not to set boundaries. But I have done so in a harsh, angry way and I am so sorry. Because I was so hurt by boys and men as a teen, I think I have subconsciously viewed any boy who approaches Joanne as a threat. For this reason I have failed to embrace Rob and make him feel welcome.

For all of this and whatever other negative impact this may have had on you, I am sorry. And I pray that you will be able to forgive me and not carry hurt in your spirits. May the chains of the sins of the parents be broken!

Much Love,

Mom

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I read a moving post yesterday on Molly’s blog. She links to a place with post after post of Christian women accepting as a matter of fact that their very femaleness renders them less capable (

‚Äúthese women‚Ķ share that their femaleness makes them more emotional, more inclined toward error, etc.‚ÄĚ

I used to be right there with those women agreeing with the lies. Underlying my self-rejection and self-deprecation -deep down inside- I really believed that God loves His sons more than His daughters, that He prefers sons‚Ķ There were even some scriptures which I thought ‚Äúconfirmed‚ÄĚ that. Really, that is a LIE right from the pit of hell. And I honesty wonder how many women AND men -deep down inside- (behind the denial and the protestation) believe that to be a woman is inferior and less desirable than to be a man.

1 Peter 3 refers to woman as ‚Äúthe weaker vessel‚ÄĚ.
This is not a defect,
but by God’s design and intentional on God’s part.
Self rejection and self hatred is sin.
God made me female and God loves me female!
HE rejoices over me with singing D
I am HIS beloved )
Zephaniah 3:17 ‚ÄúThe LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.‚ÄĚ

(see also Is God punishing women for what He Himself made them‚ÄĒbecause they are women, not men?

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1 Tim 2:12–And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
1 Tim 2:13–For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
1 Tim 2:14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, into transgression came,

“Adam was not deceived”

“not deceived” does not translate into “innocent”:

Job 31:33 (NASB)
“Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,”

Hosea 6:7 (NASB)
But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

Gen 3:22-24 describes who was expelled from the garden. Only Adam was expelled. Eve fulfilled the prophetic utterance of God in Gen 3:16 when she chose to follow him out of the Garden ūüė¶

Now what?
Are all women doomed to fulfill the pain of Genesis 3:16 without mercy, redemption, or restoration? I don’t think so, and I think Paul is preaching HOPE and RESTORATION in 1 Tim 2:11-15

1 Timothy 2:15 and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety. (YLT)

She can be restored through ‚Äúthe child-bearing‚ÄĚ!

–>restored to her position beside Adam in dominion over creation per Genesis 1:26-28
–>restored to her inheritance as a joint heir with Christ
–>restored to intimacy with the LORD which was severed by Eve when she left the Garden.

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If I want the “renewed mind” of Rom 12:1-2; if I want to really be able to love God with ALL heart, soul, mind, strength, then I believe I must submit to circumcision of the heart. I must invite GOD to remove the band of flesh, all the bitter roots, to tear them out. Only then can the Holy Spirit flow freely.

I must cleanse the clay vessel that is me, if I am to be used for anything noble: 2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

It is extremely painful, but constructive pain.

CS Lewis wrote a great word picture. Book 3 in the Chronicles of Narnia “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” tells of Eustace a tiresome, unpleasant boy, “perfectly beastly”. He turned into a dragon and was stuck in that condition for some time. Then he met Aslan and followed him to a well. The lion said he must undress to enter. Eustace peeled off three dragon skins but found himself yet a dragon.

Quote from the book:

quote:


“Then the lion said- but I don’t know if it spoke- You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat on my back to let him do it.The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt… Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off- just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt- and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been.”



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