I reveal a deep, dark, sinful past in this post—trusting God and others with who I really am.
We all wear masks, not only to make ourselves look good, but we are often motivated by a sincere desire to make God look good.
The authors of a book entitled TrueFaced (Bill Thrall, John Lynch, and Bruce McNicol) explain Christians wear masks because of sin—either sins committed by us or sins committed against us. If the sin is ours, the response is guilt. If the sin is against us, the response is guilt, hurt, shame, blame, fear, denial and anger.
I wore a mask for both reasons.
Most of my life I have run on a performance treadmill, attempting to earn love and acceptance from God and others. The result has been a mess.
“We will never please God through our efforts to become godly.
Rather, we will only please God—and become godly—when we trust God.”— TrueFaced
My childhood was difficult. Due to family illness I was often left alone, and as a result I was sexually abused (by a nonfamily member) for over a decade, from the age of five to my teen years.
The shaggy hairstyles, bell-bottoms, rock and roll, make-love-not-war Seventies welcomed my rebellious spirit, and my life became even more broken and littered with hurts, failures, and mistakes. I smoked pot and experimented with other drugs.
Each summer I spent time with my sweet godly grandmother who faithfully planted spiritual seeds in me. I saw Jesus in her love, and as a result I longed for my own relationship with God and talked to Him often.
Seeking Acceptance in Religion
After a few years of teenage rebellion, due to my grandmother’s influence I became a Christian and got involved in the Salvation Army and Young Life. I deeply wanted to follow Christ but continued to battle shame and guilt.
Married at 17
I married at 17. I had three adorable little girls in five years. I love babies and toddlers. We didn’t have much materially but my hands and heart were full. I was either breast feeding or pregnant during our seven-year marriage. I was determined to raise my children in a Christian home.
In my zeal I went from the life of a sinner to a religiholic (a workaholic is preoccupied with work; I was preoccupied with legalistic religion). We moved to North Carolina to be near my grandmother.
Steeped in Legalism
We joined a small legalistic, independent fundamentalist Baptist church (IFB) and went every time the door was open. (“We,” meaning the children and me; my husband did not attend.)
I kept the nursery during church and taught Sunday school. It was one of those churches where if you missed Wednesday prayer meeting you’d better be really sick or you got nasty condemning looks and attitudes. I wasn’t fed much spiritually because I was busy earning love and approval.
Church attendance and Bible studies were duties. I tried to control our family with my lists of Christian rules, and I sincerely thought I was on the right path, but my artificial rules and regulations sucked the love of God out of our family.
My husband was rejected by the church members. On one of the rare occasions when he came to church with us, he went forward for the altar call but was told he could not join the church until he proved himself. He was so embarrassed he never came back to church.
After that he had several affairs, and finally abandoned us when I was pregnant with our fourth child. I filed for divorce a year later, and we didn’t see him for the next fifteen years. His children never had any relationship with their father (except one daughter who got to know him a few years before he died in 2012).
I was completely rejected by the church I had served for five years. I was told I had not been submissive enough to my husband. It was a small church and I think they were afraid to have a single pregnant mother with three children and no income.
After the divorce, the churches we visited over the next few years were either afraid of us or were too legalistic for a divorced mother. After several rejections, I stopped trying to find a church. (For more see IFB Flowchart and IFB Common Practices).
Single Mother with Four Children and No Support
I was left to raise four children without child support for the next six years. I was desperate to feed my children and did the best I could. I empathize with the millions of single mothers in America who struggle to feed their children every day. I supported our family with waitress jobs and selling Tupperware.
I met a man who knew my grandmother from church. We dated briefly and then married. He had custody of his three teenage children and I had a newborn and three children under five. It was a disaster, and the marriage ended after seven months when I found out he was having an affair. Two failed marriages by the age of 25 meant more guilt and shame.
I moved back to Florida from North Carolina and struggled to make ends meet. I worked several waitress jobs at the same time, and even got a job in a nightclub for a while.
We slept on mattresses on the floor, ate our meals off a cardboard box, skipped many meals, and collected soda bottles from ditches to buy medicine. We lived in a two-bedroom duplex (we did not qualify for welfare because I had boys and girls, and we needed at least three bedrooms.) The church ever helped me.
We usually had no electricity and often had no water because I didn’t make enough to pay our basic bills (we pretended we were camping with candles). We never had any furniture and could barely afford clothes and shoes from the Goodwill store. I used an ice chest to keep food cold, and filled up empty milk jugs with water from nearby church spigots in the middle of the night so we could flush the toilets. My rent was always late.
A few weeks of the children having the flu cost me two weeks’ work. Two weeks without pay resulted in an eviction notice. As I was preparing our old, rusted-out car to be our new home, packing our few belongings and making beds in the seats, my neighbor saw me crying in the driveway and asked questions. She told me about a nearby Christian children’s home that could help us. She wasn’t a Christian but she offered help.
I was devastated. I had never been away from my children overnight (except in the hospital having a baby). My neighbor took me to meet the directors of the children’s home, the Blues, who were loving, caring people. I had to choose between living in a car or leaving my children until I could find a safe home for us.
In October 1980 I reluctantly left my children at Central Florida Children’s home. The Blues were wonderfully sympathetic Christians and charged me an incredibly low rate to feed and house my children each week, but it was still the worst day of my life.
After I had placed my children into the children’s home. I drove to a park and screamed at God, “You said you would provide for my needs, and now you’ve taken my babies!” I cried hysterically for hours…but the next day I realized He had answered my daily prayer, “God, give my children a Christian home.”
It was hard to understand at the time, but it was a blessing that godly people were caring for my children, and they were attending a Christian school while I had a chance to get back on my feet.
My generous, caring friend JoAnn let me move in with her and her mom. I joined the Orlando Police Academy. I was a scrawny 100 lbs, but I made it through the academy.
Once I became a police officer, I had the opportunity to work off-duty jobs for extra income. I could only visit my children on the weekends.
I worked 80–120 hours a week as a police officer, sometimes not sleeping for two or three days, but I was able to save enough money to rent a house with JoAnn and get my children back home before the end of the year, after being separated from them for eleven months.
Once I got the children back in 1981, I still had to work at least eighty hours a week to pay for childcare for the four of them. I was exhausted for years, going from one job to another, and back and forth to different babysitters. We struggled for the next five years, but we did okay.
I saved enough money to buy a small home in Pine Hills, Florida. We had a bit of normalcy—at least for a family of four children and a single mother with several jobs. I took every extra job I could find, but there was still never quite enough money to live on. One trip to the dentist or car repair shop put us behind again.
In the sixth year of being single I was faced with foreclosure on our home. Childcare for four was more than my salary. I could only get ahead with help. I called Louise Blue at the children’s home and she arranged for my children to stay a few months again.
In 1985 they returned to the children’s home for a few months. I’ll never forget the day I told the children they would have to go back to the home for a while. The look in their eyes haunts me to this day.
I met an older man who knew I was desperate to get my children back and he offered to marry me. I married him due to my exhaustion and desperation, not out of love. I told him I did not love him, but he said it was okay, I would grow to love him. He promised to take us to church and put the children in a Christian school, so I agreed to marry him in April 1985.
I was grateful to have my children back and for the security of knowing I could feed and house them. Instead of trusting God, however, I trusted a man to solve my problems, and my sin had a domino effect on many people’s lives.
We started attending a mid-size, balanced Southern Baptist church in Florida. Our pastor led my husband in the prayer of salvation. I believe my husband was sincere, and he was baptized that week.
A year later, due to my husband’s business, we moved to Tennessee. We placed the children in a private Independent Baptist Fundamental Christian school in 1986. Many of the other children were in the school because they had been kicked out of public schools. Because the socialization was so negative and my six-year-old son was struggling to learn to read, we made the decision to homeschool.
Eventually people from our church in Tennessee asked me to speak about raising children and homeschooling. Here is a photo after I spoke on Mother’s Day (with my girls and my sweet grandmother). Our Homeschool Story is here.
Homeschooling was very rare in 1987 but growing. I started traveling to give workshops to help people start homeschooling in various churches in the surrounding areas.
I had three more children and worked hard toward my goal of becoming like the Proverbs 31 woman (a wife of noble character). I taught my children at home, sewed all their clothes, baked bread, and taught the girls to sew, smock, quilt, cook and clean. I was grateful for my children, a home, and food.
We joined a balanced Assembly of God church. I have fond memories of the close fellowship we experienced for over five years. We made many friends there that I still have today. The only negative was our experience with a liberal youth group that planted seeds of rebellion in our teenage girls.
This is a photo of my first seven children (see family photos from the 80s here). We were happy in our church. All of us were very active and involved, and life was good—at least I thought so—for a while.
I wanted to teach my children about running a business, so they started selling books in the back of the room when I spoke about homeschooling.
Our little homeschool business grew rapidly. The children helped me send out newsletters and catalogs. My husband had a roadside real estate office, so I asked if we could sell books there. The little store did well. After a few years my husband started helping with our homeschool business, and we moved from Knoxville to Nashville.
In the state of Tennessee you must register with the state or a Christian school in order to homeschool legally, so we began Family Christian Academy (a homeschool umbrella school). In five years, the business grew to six homeschool stores in three states, a catalog business, and the school had six thousand students. I was determined to work hard and protect my children from the evil influences of the world.
We were in a patriarchal community (patricentric movement) in its infancy, which has since grown to have a huge presence in homeschool conferences, online forums, and catalogs.
Homeschooling in the patriarchal way brought in man-made rules and regulations (females always wearing dresses, men having “full quivers,” baking our own bread instead of buying ready-made, the right number of school hours, submissive daughters doing anything to please their father, etc.). I had new rules to follow too—and I thought that maybe this time I could get it right, and I was willing to work hard to do it.
(Please understand, I am a firm believer in allowing God to control the size of my family. I gave Him my uterus in 1977, but I don’t believe anyone has the right to tell others how many children they should have.)
At this point I thought our marriage had normal ups and downs but I felt I never could please my husband. I read all the books on marriage and parenting in hopes of fixing all the problems that resulted from our involvement in the patriarchy movement. Ninety-five percent of their goals are good, but there is also a very extreme and dangerous emphasis on submission, and a “work harder” mentality that is a breeding ground for legalism and abuse.
I truly believed I was on the right path, but the “fruit” I produced proved otherwise. I lost my temper a lot, among other things, and when my children hit their teen-age years they rebelled.
Joining a Cult
My husband was an Italian from Rochester NY. He met an out of work Italian fundamentalist Baptist pastor from his home town. They had much in common—mainly they were both control freaks. Family Christian Academy needed a pastor in order to be legal, so my husband joined forces with the Italian pastor. My husband supplied the building and administrative management while the pastor preached. I was completely against the association and made it clear that I felt he was a cult leader, but I was overruled. This is when our family really went downhill.
Together they created a King James Only church. The teachings there were insane. They actually believed any Bible other than the KJV version was from Satan. When another version such as NIV was mentioned from the pulpit, men in the church would scream “burn it!” My husband didn’t even believe in KJV-only teachings but he loved the doctrines of female submission and women being quiet in the church. The pastor was as controlling as my husband. We weren’t even allowed to go to the bathroom during services.
On the surface it appeared the church was run by the pastor, but my husband called the shots. He supplied the church building, often told the pastor what to preach. and made the church schedules, For example, he didn’t like getting up early on Sunday, so Sunday morning church was changed to start in the afternoon with women making meals to be served afterward.
Our family relationships spiraled downhill rapidly. Looking good from the outside became much more important than loving one another.
“It is a grave disservice to the heart, soul, body and spirit of a woman when she is given the subtle message that the truth of her own pain is not as important as the reputation of the ones who inflict it.” —Quivering Daughters
I tolerated the rejection, belittling, and constant name-calling by my husband because I was a submissive wife. He used the Bible to justify the abuse.
After my seventh child was born, my husband became furious because I had gained a lot of weight, and he told me he did not love me.
All his focus went to my three young daughters, promoted and encouraged by the patriarchal movement. The women-stay-at-home movement encourages young girls to forgo college and outside employment in favor of training as “keepers at home” until they marry. In our family most people thought my eldest daughter was married to my husband. See Emotional Incest Syndrome It was sick and it was wrong.
My husband discouraged marriage completely because he needed my daughters to work in our business. (Eventually some of my daughters rebelled and ran off to get married.) Teaching that young women cannot leave their father’s home unless they are marrying is going beyond Scripture and focusing on man-made rules.
I was in deep denial. My closest friend once told me, “If being in denial was an Olympic sport, you would be a gold medalist!”
My formula for coping with the dysfunctional mess went something like this:
- Step 1: Denial (Pretend there is no problem or pretend I don’t feel the way I feel)
- Step 2: See some of the problem, blame myself, wallow in shame.
- Step 3: Work harder, try harder
- Step 4: Fail.
- Step 5: Blame myself, wallow in shame.
- Step 6: Lose it.
- Step 7: Blame myself for losing it, wallow in shame.
- Step 8: Emotional collapse.
In trying to fix our family, I ignored the cult influence because I couldn’t change it and just kept trying harder. I passed down to my children unhealthy habits of performing to earn love and acceptance.
Instead of teaching the love of God, I taught them (more by my actions, not my words) how to run on the performance treadmill and jump through behavioral hoops taught by patriarchal man-made rules instead of God’s Word.
I was extremely critical of myself and others. While I was running on the treadmill I had a judgmental attitude toward anyone who wasn’t on the same treadmill I was on. I worked on the outside instead of the inside, and externally we appeared to be a godly family, but internally each of us was unraveling.
We lived like two separate families. My husband took my older children to work with him at eight in the morning and didn’t return home until after eleven each night, working them for fifteen hours a day. They spent the day either in the Family Christian Academy Bookstore or in the shipping department, while I stayed home with the youngest children, homeschooling and writing—ironically—the Far Above Rubies curriculum. My husband and I argued daily. I was so frustrated; our entire lives were so focused on making money that we no longer had a family, just a work crew.
I was very distraught that my husband treated my oldest daughter more like a wife than a daughter. They went out to restaurants almost nightly while I stayed home. He often took her on trips and bought her jewelry. He never bought me birthday gifts but bought her a diamond bracelet for her birthday. I called our pastor for counseling.
Counseling was really strange. My oldest daughter (in her twenties), my husband and I went together because the pastor was also concerned about my husband’s relationship with her. My husband cunningly turned every accusation of his inappropriate relationship with my daughter into an accusation about my anger. It was not productive. Eventually even the pastor suggested that my husband choose me or my daughter. My husband told me to pack my bags.
The marriage ended in a messy divorce in 1998. I can never fully describe the impact the divorce had on our family. Divorce causes deep emotional pain and everyone involved wants to blame someone.
Any military man will tell you that the way to pull a divided group together is to give them a common enemy. This is what Hitler did—and that’s what my ex-husband did. He insidiously turned each of my children against me by making me out to be the enemy—and I gave him the ammunition.
Almost twenty years after my first four children had been in a children’s home, my ex used that event in our divorce papers to try to get custody of our three young children. It didn’t work, but it tore me apart—he knew my hot button and used it. He never spent more than ten minutes a day with our youngest children, yet when we divorced he fought for custody—and I was shocked.
He wanted custody of the youngest children to ensure that the oldest ones would stay with him to run the business. We settled on joint custody. My ex-husband convinced my oldest daughter—his step-daughter—that it was her biblical duty to live with him and care for the youngest children three and a half days a week. He used her for the next fifteen years to cook, clean, care for his children, and run the homeschool business. She never dated until she was 39 years old.
My children were very young when they were in the children’s home and didn’t remember much about it, so he gave them new, distorted memories of a mother who had abandoned them. They bought his lies. He never adopted any of them, but they were loyal to him because of the spin he put on things. They were told they had been in the children’s home for years—not months—and they grew bitter. He was very skillful at his deception, and over the years their bitterness toward me grew. The children who had been involved in the cult took their step-father’s side, and those who remained in the cult became furious toward me when I told them they were in a cult.
I didn’t know they had been told lies for over fifteen years or I would have given them proof of the truth long ago. I only found out much of this information after my ex died in 2013.
Years of toting children back and forth between families, re-opening wounds with every trip, was horrible. I was angry and bitter and fought weekly with my ex. I poured myself into work—I schooled the children and then wrote curriculum for sometimes up to ten hours a day.
In the separation agreement I agreed to sign that my ex got everything—the house, land and Family Christian Academy—and I got my books—except that he told me there were no books left. I would have to come up with thousands of dollars to reprint them. Later I found cases of my books hidden in a warehouse and learned that my own children had joined with him lying to me about the inventory. That was the worst. Almost ten years after the divorce one of.my daughters admitted that he had thrown thousands of my books into trash dumpsters.
I repeatedly forgave my ex-husband and prayed regularly for him for many years. He had also grown up in a very dysfunctional family. Hurt people hurt people.
Re-Marriage, More Children
In 1999, I married a man who had two adult daughters, and together we had two more children, so together we have eleven children and fourteen grandchildren.
My husband treats me and all of our children with love and respect. Our marriage is not perfect, of course, but it is like the difference between night and day from the abuse I suffered previously.
Despite my desire and efforts to obey God and forgive my ex-husband, the bitterness and anger I carried toward him resulted in heart disease and other health problems. I had open heart surgery at the age of 51 and three more heart surgeries in the next five years. Sin has consequences, but God uses His grace through sin’s consequences to draw us closer to Him!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Sin Summary, i.e., Unmasked
What gives me the right to write about God, me a three-time divorcee? My past includes rebellious teenage years, failed marriages, and judgmental legalism. I am a sinner. I have asked for forgiveness from God and my family. God has mercifully forgiven me, and some of my family has forgiven me, for which I am grateful.
Should Christians who have been forgiven have to endure the results of their sin? Yes, sometimes. Forgiveness and consequences are not opposite ends of a spectrum. Together they establish an essential part of the Lord’s plan for believers. Consequences are circumstantial.
My wrecked relationship with several of my children—the most painful thing I have ever experienced—is a direct consequence of my sinful choices. I’ve repented and apologized repeatedly for those many years that I was wrapped up in spiritual self-reliance and cheated them of the joy of life in union with Christ. Most of my children have forgiven me. Most of us have a good relationship but we are still in a healing process.
My consequence is watching my adult children struggle with the aftermath of our broken family.
If you have known the pain of a divorce, you have felt a small portion of the pain you feel when you are rejected by a child.
If I wrote a book about our lives I would title it “Separate Realities” because we all have such drastically different views of what happened.
To the right is a photo from a family get-together my husband and oldest daughter planned as a surprise for me in 2011. I wish I could say we were all on good terms but we are not. I am dealing with consequences.
Until his death in 2013 my ex had an extremely unhealthy controlling relationship with my oldest girls that damaged them deeply. He knew I felt guilt (false guilt) becasue the children spent time in the Children’s home. A loving husband would have helped me over come false guilt. He used it against me and tried to turn my children against me with it.
My oldest has received Christian counseling and is now healing. (Everyone in our family needs counseling.) Guilt, if not properly dealt with, turns into a stronghold called shame.
My second daughter publishes a homeschool magazine and has used it to hurt me, she viciously wrote lies about me in an attempt tried to ruin me, at the same time promoting articles on forgiveness and God’s love. It’s heartbreaking, literally. Hurt people, hurt people.
Many have encouraged me to sue for libel to protect my name ( it would be easy prove the lies and tempting to do so for my grandchildren). How could possibly sue my daughter? My daughter who is in pain because of my choices (She remained in the cult for ten years after the rest of the family left.) What love is that? How can I encourage others to forgive and while holding bitterness. I am learning to accept that the truth may never be understood this side of heaven.
Moving from Religion to Relationship
The devastation over broken relationships with some of my children has torn me apart. I cry a lot. I pine daily.
I made a lot of mistakes but I can say, as God as my witness, I have never met anyone that has sacrificed more for their children…but everything I have been through has brought me into a deeper walk with Him.
“the change which the writing wrought in me was only a beginning—only to prepare me for the gods’ surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound.” C.S. Lewis
My pain has led me to God. I go to Him with my hurts, cries, frustrations, and anger.
“I cry out to You, God in my pain, because You, alone, know me and understand all that is going on around me and in You alone do I look for help. I give You my hurt, confusion, and all the mix of emotions I feel now, and ask for Your mercy and grace. I cry out to you for my children who are grieving as well and claim the power of Your Holy Spirit to minister to them. I thank You, O God, that You are our refuge and strength, our help and our God.”
The Christian life is dwelling in union with Him. I love the way Mike Yaconelli explains this:
Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection.
The way of spiritual life begins where we are now, in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws, but because we let go of seeking perfection and instead seek God, the One who is present in the tangledness of our lives.
We need to simply enter His rest and watch the freedom from our mess begin to unfold. As we dwell in union with Him we become transformed into His image, being changed by His glory. Without the Vine to bring nourishing sap to the branch there can be no fruit.
Freedom comes from knowing truth—and the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Freedom does not mean lawlessness.
Freedom in union with Him is freedom from shame and not from responsibility. We have a responsibility to submit. God’s Spirit can do His work only as we yield to Him. Jesus came to show us the love of God; when we yield, that love flows through us.
Getting off the performance treadmill was a long, complicated, and messy process. I had a lot of shame and misperceptions to overcome.
“God’s ultimate goal is maturing us into who he says we are, and then releasing us into the dreams he designed for us before the world began.”~TrueFaced
The Rest of the Story
I continue dealing with the consequences of my life of sin. It’s a journey, and we have come far, and we have far to go. It’s easy to lose focus and rely on working overtime to please God through our good works and righteous behavior. But we can never do it in our own strength.
At the very root of all Christian life lies the thought that God is to do all—that our work is to give and leave ourselves in His hands, in the confession of utter helplessness and dependence, in the assured confidence that He gives all we need.
“The great lack of the Christian life is that, even where we trust Christ, we leave God out of the count. Christ came to bring us to God. Christ lived the life of a man exactly as we have to live it. Christ the Vine points to God the Husbandman. As He trusted God, let us trust God, that everything we ought to be and have, as those who belong to the Vine, will be given us from above.” —Andrew Murray, The Secret of God’s Love
Due to the divorce and the many lies my children were told, I’m on very shaky ground with several of them. It’s very, very sad. I grieve daily, but I am thankful that most of my children have overcome the trauma.
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5
I still struggle daily, but God reminds me how much He loves me and that I can rest in His strength. He reminds me that He used David, the woman at the well, and even a stubborn donkey—and He can even use me.
Why Am I Being So Transparent?
- God can redeem all the empty, pointless pursuits of my past, which means He can redeem anyone.
- When we are open and honest about our messy spirituality, it encourages others who may be feeling that everyone else has it all together.
- I trust God is doing something good for all of us. Romans 8:28
- I don’t want to wear a mask. I want to be TrueFaced. I want to trust God and others with who I really am. Healthy relationships can exist when you feel free to peel away the mask and become who God created you to be.
- Submission does not mean you have to be a doormat. A controlling, abusive marriage in the name of God is an excuse for abuse.
“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
Are you trying to please God? Instead, trust God—then He will enable you to please Him.
Those Who Helped me Learn the Love of God
My Bible studies led me to the Hebrew roots of Christianity (which can also turn into legalism if one is out of balance). I got to know God by dropping preconceived ideas and assumptions conveyed through Greek and Hebrew worldviews. I learned of God’s grace through the wonderful stories in both Testaments.
Studying the Hebrew view of women has been my answered prayer.
Women have been the most consistently and universally abused people group on planet earth, as men have systematically, unrelentingly, and often violently dominated women in virtually every human culture. Unfortunately women of faith have also been virtually bound in chains of submission and gagged by demands for silence since the end of the apostolic era. God and Women brings serious biblical and historical scholarship to bear on the role of women in an analysis of God’s original intentions for women and for men. (Dr. John Garr addresses the church on this issue in his books on women.)
I spend a dozen years studied the Jewish roots of Christianity through various sources including Dr. John Garr, Dr. Dwight Pryor, Dr. Marvin Wilson, FFOZ, Tim Hegg, Center for Judaic-Christian Studies for American Institute for Holy Land Studies, and books listed here.
The book The Shack by William Paul Young led me to Wayne Jacobsen, (his blog The God Journey). and Baxter Kruger, which led me to Karl Barth, Thomas F Torrance, and Athanasius. These teachings introduced me to Trinitarian theology, showed me the love of God and freed me from bondage!
Not everyone goes this particular route. But no one experiences real spiritual fruit until they have accepted God’s love.
You will trust God only as much as you love him. And you will love him not because you have studied him; you will love him because you have touched him—in response to his touch…Only if you love will you make that final leap into darkness. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” ―Brennan Manning in Lion and Lamb
- Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
- The Pressure’s Off: There’s a New Way to Live
- God and Women and Feminine By Design by Dr. John D. Garr
- Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners
- Emotional Incest Syndrome
- Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
- Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home
- Wisdom Hunter by Randal Arthur (a novel, but so good you will need a highlighter)
- Quivering Daughters
- The Great Dance
- He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen (read excerpt here)
- Breaking the Bondage of Legalism
- Hebrew Roots Resources
- ThatMom Podcast (Karen Campbell & Patriarchal movement)
- Freedom from IFB Abuse
- Quivering Daughters/ Authoritarian Parenting
- Transition eight and half hour teaching series designed to help people embrace the work of Christ and thus trade the bondage of religious thinking for the freedom of relational living- Wayne Jacobsen
- The God Journey Podcast
- Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play -Excerpt by John Eldredge (also author of Truefaced)