Monday, October 21, 2013

Wake up!

I know that the tone of the last few posts has been pretty harsh. There is a reason I'm as passionate as I am about abuse and how it is handled. I love Jesus and am really tired of seeing people misuse His name and misrepresent who He is!! When we do this it makes people run from church and God altogether! It truly is heartbreaking! When we use Jesus to manipulate people and excuse crimes while telling victims to forgive I believe it grieves the heart of God. THIS is why so many people want nothing to do with God or with the church.

My dear friend Jen recently had the courage to speak up about her abuse and prosecute her abuser. This article gives some of the really good reasons why I'm as passionate as I am. Wake up Church! Wake up Christians! Get your head out of the sand and realize that this is FAR more prevalent that any of us would like to admit. This issue MUST be dealt with!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Forgiveness does NOT equal reconciliation!

I know I posted about forgiveness last week, but there is one aspect that I believe needs to be understood better. There are many people who for one reason or another believe and try to force the belief on others that forgiveness = trust and reconciliation.

Here's how it often goes. Typically a victim will come forward about abuse and will even cut off contact with their abuser for a while. Then the victim is told If you have truly forgiven you would forget what happened and put it behind you and allow the relationship to start over again. Often verses from the Bible are used to aid in the manipulation. Whether that is "Judge not that ye be not judged" found in Matthew (you can't judge whether or not they have changed), or even "God has not given us a spirit of fear" II Timothy 1:7. (you need to trust God to protect you and your family and stop worrying that this person will hurt you again). These are just 2 of the many passages that I have seen used to justify allowing an abuser back into your life.

Listen, we are called to be wise! Would you take someone who is a recovering alcoholic and ask them to go to a bar (for any reason)? If you wouldn't do that why on earth you would you allow a child abuser (or sex offender) or ANY abuser for that matter around you or your children? This has nothing do do with fear (although a good healthy fear isn't necessarily a bad thing), but everything to do with wisdom and protection.

FORGIVENESS DOES NOT EQUAL TRUST!!! When trust is broken is has to be a long, slow process to earn it back. A sign of true repentance is when an abuser not only seeks forgiveness and admits their wrong doing, but makes NO excuses and is willing to face the consequences of their actions. This includes understanding that their victims (even if they are family members) may NEED to distance themselves because as an abuser they can't be trusted. (see this page for stats).

If you are a victim please don't allow yourself to be manipulated into believing that the only way you are doing what is right is if you allow your abuser back into your life. Sometimes the wisest choice you can make is to protect yourself and your family by separating yourself and your family from an abuser.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Post Surgery Update on our Sweet Girl

Last Tuesday our precious girl underwent yet another surgery. She had to have a Nissen Fundoplication. Thankfully, she was able to have it via laproscopic surgery, so there are 4 small incisions instead of a very large one. She however will still have a long recovery process.

After surgery she proved once again how incredibly tough she really is. Her heart rate started to go out of control and we couldn't figure out why. She kept telling us that she wasn't in pain, but we decided to give her pain meds anyway so that we can stay on top of the pain. As soon as the pain meds kicked in her heart rate stabilized! Poor girl didn't even realize how much pain she was really in!

We are now home, and overall she is doing amazingly well! She tends to think she in invincible and so she will get too active, and then start hurting, but other than that she is doing well. She is really only allowed to eat a liquid diet for 6 weeks, so that will be tough. Her diet will consist of things like yogurt, pudding, jello, simple soups (chicken noodle, tomato), and lots of home made applesauce and pear sauce.

Unfortunately, she will be having to have another major surgery before the end of the year. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers for our precious girl! She still has a long road ahead of her!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Forgiveness is one of those things that is often very misunderstood. Quite often people try to use it to tell a victim that they shouldn't prosecute their abuser, or to tell them that they need to allow their abuser to have the same place in their life that they once did. Forgiveness can be a beautiful thing, but it has unfortunately been used as a tool to manipulate far too many victims. There is one very important fact to remember: FORGIVENESS DOES NOT EQUAL TRUST!!!!  

This website gives a really good definition of forgiveness. It defines forgiveness as: a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

There are a lot of things that forgiveness is, and things that forgiveness is not. The list below is in no way an exhaustive list, but it is a good start.

                                              i.      Forgiveness is:
1.       Choosing to forgive is tough and not a one time decision, but it is the best thing that can be done.
2.       Forgiveness benefits the victim not necessarily the abuser, while un-forgiveness hurts the victim, not the abuser.
3.       Forgiveness is a mental decision. We choose to forgive and then eventually our emotions will follow. We decide in our mind not to hold on the resentment and healing will follow.
4.       Forgiveness is a process, not a one time event. We have to choose to forgive again and again when the offense comes back into our minds and the fear, guilt, shame, etc. threaten to overwhelm us.
5.       Forgiveness is based on our attitude, not on other’s actions. We choose to either stay stuck and angry, or focus on God’s goodness to us and forgive. We can choose to forgive even if they never ask for forgiveness.
6.    Forgiveness helps to bring peace of mind and release anger. 
                                            ii.      Forgiveness is NOT:
1.       Forgiveness is NOT letting the offender of the hook! They are still accountable for their actions!
2.       Forgiveness is NOT letting the offense occur again. We do NOT have to tolerate abuse and continue to expose ourselves or our families to it!
3.       Forgiveness is NOT to be equated with reconciliation. We can forgive while still cutting ourselves off from an abusive relationship.

4.       Forgiveness is NOT forgetting! We can choose not to think or dwell on the bad things, but the memories will always be there even if they are tucked into a “back corner” in your mind. We should choose to focus on God’s goodness to us through our trials, and not on the pain we experienced.