Restoring What the Locust Has Eaten: Two Years of Blogging Milestone Today and Gratefulness

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Two years of blogging, two years of growth, hope for those hurt by church abuse

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photo credit: renzfelipe via photopin cc

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In Joel, God talks about restoring what the locusts had eaten.  Today marks exactly two years since I began blogging.

Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Chuck O'Neal, Spiritual Sounding Board Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.51.09 AM

As I reflect on the 2-year anniversary date of my initial blog and begin my 3rd year of blogging, I am reminded how much of my yucky locust-eaten life God has been able to use to restore me and also give hope to others.  Seeing positive fruit from pain brings me a sense of resolve.  I am thankful for that yucky past.

When I originally started blogging, the focus was on that particular church experience.  Later, I began to see that God allowed my experience in the Homeschool Movement, connections with family integrated churches, Vision Forum, Bill Gothard, etc, to be beneficial in understanding the abusive systems we’ve seen in Christian Patriarchy.  Being in these environments has given me a better understanding of how these groups function.  I am thankful for these experiences.

Some of you are familiar with my original story – – that after noticing my negative Google reviews about my former church were being removed, I decided to move to a different venue so I could speak freely about my experience.  While my former pastor was successful in silencing me on the Google review forum, he was not successful at his attempts to make me stop blogging despite the $500,000 defamation lawsuit he filed and lost (requiring him to pay close to $60K in attorney fees for the defendants, not including his own attorney fees).

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Thanks, Chuck O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church, for suing me.  I now see good fruit.

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Two years ago when I started the blog, I probably would have defended the Homeschool Movement.  I might have defended Patriarchy.  I had no idea what egalitarianism was – never heard of it before.  Feminism was treated like the F word in my circles.  Courtship was normal. Dating was evil.  I had “concerns” about singles. Divorce was for people who were lazy in their marriage and who don’t want to put effort into it and it should only be for infidelity and abandonment, if that.  Now I have learned, through your stories, that not everything fits so neatly in these rigid rules.  Thank you for sharing your stories with me and helping me to see your reality.

Two years ago, I thought I knew what a godly man looked like.  Some of the men here have shown what real godly manhood looks like as you have defended me from other men who have come to the blog challenging me and speaking condescending to me because I am a woman.  I missed this many times, but several of you saw it and stepped up to the plate to deal with it.  I did not realize that in my Christian culture, I had allowed men to talk down to me, to rule over me.  Thank you, men, for modeling that for me.

Not only has God used my pain to help others, I have seen God has done that for some of you as well.  Last year I posted a comment from the former wife of a pedophile into an article in the hopes that other wives of pedophiles would find hope in their difficult journey.  That particular post continues to help women who are desperate to talk to another person who has gone through similar circumstances.  The first two wives that I facilitated in connecting behind the scenes are now friends and they avail themselves to help others wives who need help.

I believe this was a God-orchestrated meeting and God is using it to help women heal.  Oh my, this brings tears to my eyes.  You can’t just find a support group for wives of pedophiles – – this is a very unique and sensitive issue and now we have this help available.  This is real church here – compassion in action.  Thank you for modeling to us all how you have used your pain, ladies.  You are an encouragement to me.

While some have attempt to discredit the articles here, media sources (Huffington Post, Charisma, The Christian Post, Christianity Today, Religion Dispatches, etc) have positively named or linked my name or Spiritual Sounding Board (SSB)  in articles they have covered.  I’ve been interviewed a number of times (details currently being worked on a new interview with radio station in Seattle) and SSB has established street credibility for covering stories fairly and accurately.   This is important because so much of what we came from in spiritual abuse was not based in truth and sometimes it’s difficult to sift through the rubble of confusion.  I’m thankful for this “street credibility” that has occurred in the last year couple of years, but especially last year as the blog has ventured out into bigger stories of abuse (SGM, Doug Phillips, Homeschool Movement).

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes it feels like SSB acts as spiritual/emotional triage resource.  One of my favorite benefits of having street credibility is the resources I’ve been “collecting” along the way:  attorneys, pastors, mental health professionals, etc. Sometimes, I am able to connect someone in a crisis with a key person who can help them in just minutes.  To be able to direct people into the care of trusted and respected professionals is such a wonderful thing.  I’ve lost track of the numbers of spiritual abuse/sex abuse victims I’ve referred to attorneys.  This very week I was able to make such a referral for a sex abuse victim.  I am very confident that this young lady is now in safe hands.  Thank you to my friends and resource people who provide such practical help to people in crises.

There were a lot of “I” pronouns in the above paragraph, but the “I” could not have been there without YOUR backing.  Your interaction on the blog gives me credibility so that trust is established quickly when people contact me privately.  Thank YOU for your trust in me.

Doug Phillips and Vision Forum continues to be one of the more recent common search topics which lead people to the blog. SSB was the first blog to cover the story after one of YOU notified me.  The teachings of Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and Christian Patriarchy are important to discuss.  These Patriarchal leaders have led thousands of families into extra-Biblical teachings.  These teachings have made homes fertile ground for potential abuse. Many are searching for answers and I hope they will get them answered here and elsewhere.  (Side note:  I am in the process of working on a Doug Phillips article to straighten up misinformation that has been reported elsewhere.)  Thank YOU for trusting me to expose bad teachings.

SOURCE

photo credit: jypsygen via photopin cc

Mostly, I am thankful for YOU, the life of the blog.  Thanks for your encouragement along the way these past two years, your vulnerability in sharing your stories, your presence here.  I love this community.  I love the restoration work being done.  I love the real ministry work, the donated money to people in need behind the scenes, the prayers and interactions.  Thanks, all.  I don’t think you will ever know how much you have helped others.

If you have favorite memories over the last 2 years, I’d love to hear them.  ~JA

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UPDATE:  Please read in the comments for further clarification on thanking God.  I am not thankful for the abuse itself, but for what happened as a result of the abuse, i.e., that others have been helped as a result of my experience, etc.  ~ja

70 comments on “Restoring What the Locust Has Eaten: Two Years of Blogging Milestone Today and Gratefulness

  1. Julie Anne

    Congratulations on Two Years of Blogging…
    And I’m thankful for this safe place to vent and to rant. 😉

    And this to me is a wonderful, powerful, statement…
    “I am thankful for that yucky past.”

    1Co 3:21
    Therefore let no man glory in men. For ALLThings are yours;

    2 Cor 4:15
    For ALLThings are for your sakes, that the abundant grace
    might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

    Eph 5:20
    Giving thanks always for ALLThings unto God
    and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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  2. I praise God for your voice, Julie Anne. Your scars have become your ministry. Thanks for exercising courage to speak up on behalf of the voiceless, to question the power structures of a church which makes it easy for leaders to abuse and difficult for sheep to defend themselves. Thanks for providing a safe place for people to question, dialogue, and challenge. Press on!

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  3. JA, I am extremely glad for the ministry you have here. Thanks for continuing to write and to give space for people to gather with their thoughts and stories.

    And you know what I say about those who attempt to discredit you? Illegitimi non carborundum, kiddo!

    Cheers,
    Tim

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  4. What I like about Spiritual Sounding Board (and blogs like it) is that it reverses the trend in media today of giving us irrelevant information upon which we cannot act and about which we do not care. Neil Postman talks about the problem of information overload and context-free news in his book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death”:

    “You may get a sense of what is meant by context-free information by asking yourself the following question: How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper [or on Facebook or in your Twitter feed], causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve? …Most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action… In both oral and typographic cultures, information derives its importance from the possibilities of action.”

    On the contrary, Julie Anne, your posts invite deep thinking and altered behavior. And that, I think, is how Christians are meant to live.

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  5. Wow…two years already? Time has gone by so fast. You whip out story after story after story, and each one is just as important as the previous ones. I have learned a tremendous amount from this blog, a much needed blog. You’ve touched a tremendous amount of people since your beginnings, and it’s wonderful that people can come here freely to say, “Me, too!”, sharing their similar experiences, so that no one has to feel alone or in the dark. This is awesome! Many blessings, Julie Anne!

    Ed

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  6. Julie Anne,

    I guess, what I find the most challenging is how Christians are suppose to interact with each other. Spiritual Abuse as we now know, is complex and more widespread, than some of us could have ever imagined.

    Whether abuse happens in the Home School movement or in Reformed (and other) Theologies, we Christians have to start Loving each other before we can be effective in our own ministries.

    When Love isn’t believable, if the Abuser retaliates against those that don’t embrace their Methodology or the bag of goods they are trying to force feed you, whether they choose to disclose their Doctrine or not.

    As for the term “Patriarch” I struggle with it because the way it’s being described in threads like these is more Chauvinistic and Individualistic rather than Godly. (I would simply call it Sin)
    I also struggle tying the term “Feminism” with Christianity. Feminism and Chauvinism are more individualistic in my view. Man vs. Women is wrong.

    Just because a woman stands up against abuse or against Chauvinism doesn’t make her a feminist.
    Feminism to me is a secular movement associated with pro-abortion or even at times anti-man.
    Chauvinism to me is a secular movement that belittles a woman’s relevance while practicing gender mental and physical dominance..

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  7. Mark,

    You had said: “Feminism to me is a secular movement associated with pro-abortion or even at times anti-man.”

    My response: Reform to me is a religious movement associated with pro-abuse, or even anti-woman.

    I applaud the womens lib movement.

    ________________________________

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  8. The dictionary definition of feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. I am a feminist.

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  9. Wow, Steve, thanks for that encouragement. I hope that the info is thought-provoking. I think what some of us went through was spoon fed and we didn’t question it.

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  10. I am so grateful for all we have been together, that you and your family attended ‘that’ place, accepted me even though I didn’t homeschool (hehe) and for the truth you bring to light with this blog! Who would’ve ever imagined I would have been added to the lawsuit by posting on this blog, what a blessing and wild ride! May God continue to bless you while you expose the darkness and give hope to those who are caught up in ‘movements’ and abusive systems.I pray for you and your family often. I am eternally blessed by your obedience to our Lord and Savior.

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  11. Julie Anne~

    Thank you for what you do here. I have been helped, as have many others, and have learned a lot from the many commenters here. 🙂

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  12. Meaghan, I remember my heart rate elevated when I read your first comment on my blog using your real name. Whoa! And he used you to say, “this is what happens to anyone who dares to speak publicly against me.” Hugs to you, friend!

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  13. JA, who would have known when we met under different circumstances years ago that we would still be cheering one another on through all that has transpired. Who knew that we would remain connected through what God is using us for today. I want to thank you for providing a forum for those of us who have had silenced voices and have labored
    In secret to salve our own healing hearts. I especially want to say thanks for those behind the scenes connections you facilitate that are life-altering and for outrageously long late night phone calls
    I am blessed by you, friend.

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  14. I was sent a comment to post anonymously for this thread:

    “Hello Julie Anne,

    I am bothered by your entry today. I’ll try to set out my reasons so that you might be able to understand why.

    First of all, there’s no question in my mind that your Blog is and has been a good thing. You have given a voice to many people who had none and, as I’ve said before, (to you privately and on-line) I think you deserve many accolades for doing what you do. So please do not take my comments as anything but a ringing endorsement for your wonderful, caring personality and the fact that you have definitely done a great service for many people – believe me, what drew me in initially was that I could see – and continue to see – that you are empowering (mostly) women and I fully support any person who does that.

    My problem, I guess, is that you are crediting God for sending you misery. When I read a statement (and you aren’t the only one who does this) that says, “God used my pain to help others” my first reaction is to think, “So why can’t he – if he’s ‘omni-max’ – find another way??? Why does he need to crap on you to help someone else? I just have a real problem with this whole concept of an omnipotent spirit who somehow teaches people important lessons by doing something negative. You speak of a ‘God-orchestrated meeting and God using it to help women heal’ (I think this was in reference to the woman who was married to the pedophile) – really? Don’t you think he could have done better than THAT?? Maybe like NOT make a pedophile to begin with?

    You see, when I read that you are thankful for your yucky past I automatically recoil. You know that I have been on a path OUT of religion in the last year or two and that’s one of the reasons. I just could not give a supernatural being credit without also assigning blame. If we’re supposed to be made in God’s image, and humans know this to be a solid fact – that we have to take credit for our accomplishments but ALSO blame for our mistakes – then it seems to me we are going around with blinders on. And to give God all the credit for good things and humans all the blame for bad things is just warped thinking, as far as I’m concerned.

    I know this will upset you and I’m sorry but I just can’t accept that “God has a good reason for every SHITTY thing he does to us!”

    Again, please do not think that I have anything but good thoughts about you as a person. I think the same good things about your work as all the other commenters on the Blog – you do great things!!”

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  15. JA, your anonymous commenter might benefit from C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain in which he deals with the questions of how there can be pain if God is good and omnipotent. It’s not as simple as trying to use the logic “If I were a good and omnipotent God I’d never allow pain.” that type of logic leads to this: “I’d do things differently. In fact, if God made me God I’d show him how it’s supposed to be done.”

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  16. Did you just swear Julie Anne? gasp……

    Anyway thank you JA for this wonderful blog- I have learn things on here that I did not learn in the churches pew. So, yes all the wrong and terrible things that have been going on in the church only give fuel to the fire that is burning here. JA, keep the flames kindled and the light shinin’!!

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  17. And yet, Tim, there is the responsibility and accountability of the person that caused the pain, and that does not lay at the feet of Jesus (God), but with the devil himself.  I completely understand anonymous.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  18. I first found out about your blog when you left a comment on teampyro seeking Phil Johnson’s contact information. Good thing I caught it before it was deleted :). Congrats and here is to many more years of blogging.

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  19. JA,

    How much does it cost you to keep this blog going? I know it costs you sleep, tears, time writing & researching, stress, and on & on. I am a dinosaur when it comes to technology, so I don’t know this for a fact, but, I have read on other blogs that it costs $ to run their blogs efficiently.

    MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU PUT UP A DONATE BUTTON SO THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO SUPPORT YOU MONETARILY MAY DO SO.

    Maybe some of us can only give a dollar a month, and others more. Your work has changed my life, the writers here have blessed me over the moon. May we, who can, bless you? I know you are not after a buck, like Tony. I also bet that you value prayer more than $ support. But, I didn’t think it would hurt to make the suggestion.

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  20. “I first found out about your blog when you left a comment on teampyro seeking Phil Johnson’s contact information.”

    Ah yes – I was wondering why in the world he felt obligated to talk to Dee of Wartburg Blog about my case without talking to me first. Now I know that was all about damage control. My blog was nothing compared to theirs and he wanted to clean up as much as possible there because Dee was going after them. Isn’t that the Christian way? Go and clean up your reputation first before helping a battered sheep? Good grief!

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  21. Comment the anonymous friend, God doesn’t do the shitty things to us, people do…usually out of their own fears. So they must try to control, often turning into abuse. God gives us (me) hope to be courageous and speak the truth of Christ and the healing power of the Holy Spirit into the darkness. Whenever I have been obedient to the call, healing and hope comes into that place of fear and Faith is strengthened. I was raised in a very abusive home, churched in several controlling/abusive communities and for a time bought into the familiar chaos. But God, who is rich in mercy never leaves me, nor forsakes me because I am His daughter, cherished and loved. Hope this helps.

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  22. Julie Anne – I remember first reading about your case in the Oregonian and being infuriated about what was happening to you. I made sure that I read every single article that I could and was thrilled about the outcome (and for the precedent set for others who will follow.). Now, I have the pleasure of calling you a friend.

    Thank you for all of your tireless work you do. I know you pour your heart into each story. As you move into year three (plus, if you consider your previous blog), may your super-sleuthing powers increase!

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  23. Thanks, Kathi. I’m still really bummed that we were probably about 2 miles away from each other, homeschooling moms, and never met. Well, we finally changed that on one of my recent trips to Portland. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.

    If I had known you, I probably wouldn’t have been at BGBC – – they isolate there. So, once again, thanks Chuck, for all the new friends you gave me in aftermath of the cult fallout.

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  24. So, nobody’s creeped out by that top picture? I thought surely I’d hear something about that. 🙂

    BTW, I was on my phone and must have skipped over the “sh*tty” word from Anonymous when I copied and pasted it. But leave it to my dear friend, Meaghan to respond beautifully, also using that word. I tell you what – – that’s what I love about Meaghan (btw, Meaghan is the other Woman of Mass Destruction in the lawsuit). She knows how to meet people exactly where they are – colorful language and all. Meaghan was the one who shows up to help a new mama after having a baby. She’s the one who shows up to paint a room that needs to be painted. She’s the ONLY one from BGBC who reached out to my daughter, Hannah, after she moved out abruptly. She sent cards in the snail mail, threw in a Starbucks card and loved on my daughter. This woman knows love in action. It’s absurd that CON went after her. Love you, Meaghan.

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  25. I agree with most of the anonymous comment. Why should the abusers/bad trees be thanked for their sins/abuse? Since when is sin/abuse good? Or is it that they should be thanked only when the “good guys” win in the end, and/or choose to go on to do good and help other people?

    And, not sure if you are doing this or not, but why thank God for sin and abuse, when God is against both? Yes, God is with us and is in the business of overcoming evil with good and restoring us, but was God behind the yucky past, in control of the events, as the director of all things? Powerless to teach you truth any other way? You know I believe something very different.

    But…I am very glad that you are in a good place right now and that you are helping so many people.

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  26. In response to the post by Anonymous. Sometimes pain is the only thing that will motivate us and move us out of our comfort zone. In the 90’s one of our kids got heavily into drugs and alcohol. We did everything we could , pastoral counseling,secular counseling, The Tough Love Organization. Nothing worked. The straw that broke the camel ‘s back came in the church parking lot one Sunday. Someone said to me “well if you had raised him right this would not have happened”. No mention at all of our other 5 kids. My hubs and I decided at that moment we would start a Christian support group for parents with troubled teens. It ran for 18 years. We had hundreds of parents join us over the years. Missionaries, elders, deacons and just normal folks like us. So many people said if we hadn’t come out of that closet they would not have any one to share with. So much pain and shame. God mightily used our pain to facilitate helping so many others. Would we have done this if we were not hurting. Probably not. I do thank and praise God for bringing beauty from ashes and the oil of joy from mourning.

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  27. Oasis – – I’m glad you chimed in. I just reread my article and I definitely could have been more clear on that aspect. Let’s see if I can do better now.

    And, not sure if you are doing this or not, but why thank God for sin and abuse, when God is against both? Yes, God is with us and is in the business of overcoming evil with good and restoring us, but was God behind the yucky past, in control of the events, as the director of all things? Powerless to teach you truth any other way? You know I believe something very different.

    I do not believe that God was behind the yucky past and controlling all of those events. No, that would make God into angry/abusive God. I would never thank God for the abuse. I am, however, thankful for what has happened after the abuse that might not have happened otherwise. I never would have had this blog, never would have met so many wonderful people, never would have been able to refer people to key resource people for help had I not gone through this experience. I hope that makes better sense.

    I do not believe the John Piper way of things on tragic events. No way.

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  28. JA- Since back at work full time- I don’t have the time to read through your blog- but I remember” meeting” you on CCA, 2 yrs. ago and remember your pain and anger. No one wants to hear Romans *:28, but it really is true though hard to believe until the trial is over (and sometimes it is going on for many, many years—I know firsthand.

    Thanking your Pastor for suing you! My you have come a long way B-A-B-Y!

    You have a great group here that helps one another. The refining fire is scorching at times, but a necessary part of His will for us all.
    Blessings on the next year. May He continue to use you for His eternal purposes!

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  29. Romans 8:28 though I’m sure everyone knew! It’s the dreaded verse we don’t want to hear when we are “going through”.

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  30. chapmaned24,

    I agree with Reformed being connected to pro-abuse,

    As for those of us who endured Spiritual Abuse, I have discovered abuse doesn’t discriminate with gender. One doesn’t have to be a secular Chauvinist or a secular Feminist to combat abuse. But these movements are connected to being combative with each other.

    What is women’s lib?

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  31. There are many things I could say about your situation and about the absolute idiocy of CON in filing suit against you, as well as the absolute idiocy of those remaining at BGBC paying off his legal bills and debt. Suffice it to say the following:

    Some might call him a piece of s***; but s*** has potential value as fertilizer, so that is an overestimate of his value. Like something else from the same orifice, CON just stinks and pollutes the air and leaves no solid residue that when composted makes fertilizer; he has no value except to warn you away.

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  32. Lana – I just added the word “positively” to the sentence with Huffington Post to make it more clear. The media sources I named have all positively referred to SSB in that they have used or quoted information from my articles.

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  33. This was the one post where you could have spelled it out, Anon by Choice. I felt like bestowing a bunch of grace on colorful language today 🙂

    I’m glad your description did not also come with a smell file attached. 🙂

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  34. Julie Anne, sorry if I interrupted the happy celebration, but I was surprised at a few things you said and really wanted to understand your views and whether or not they had changed. Yes, what you say now does make better sense, because it lines up with other things you have said in the past.

    You are the only person I have ever met on a blog or off, who has understood from experience the gut-wrenching pain and destruction that certain false teachings about God can cause in the life of someone abused at a young age. I had been searching at that time for someone, anyone, to hear me, to really listen and take me seriously. Someone, anyone, who could relate and cry with me and/or curse the darkness/madness with me. Thank you for sharing your story back in August, for being honest and candid. For showing me that I am not alone!

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  35. Julie Anne…proud of you girl!! You have bigger balls than Mark Driscoll. Keep exposing roaches to the light. My biggest prayer is that one day this blog and others are no longer needed. Wouldn’t that be beautiful!!

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  36. Oasis – I’m glad you brought this to my attention because this is something that I don’t want people to get confused on – – you know how much it affected me when we were talking bout this before.

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  37. It is always good to look back–and see how we got to where we are now. 🙂 In all of these things, we can see where God intervened and clarified and made things much clearer for us. How neat is that?! With greater clarity and fewer cobwebs, we can offer help to others. We can look toward the future with greater hope and purpose! Go JA Go!!

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  38. Julie Anne: Well, it’s better late than never when it comes to meeting and befriending great people.

    Anon by Choice: you are hilarious!

    Eagle: Swanson and Vaughn seemed to get a kick out of calling people cockroaches. Seems liked they were only talking about themselves.

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  39. Congratulations, Julie Anne! I don’t know many people who are genuinely willing to change when reality comes up looking different than believed, but you did/do AND with humor and grace. I am delighted to be an occasional part of your peanut gallery.

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  40. JA,

    I am simply astounded at your courage. And that started with the google review warning you were sued for writing. You have been a heroine to me as you have maintained your stance while being pummeled by the so called “great men of God” who we all know are cowards making bank off Jesus for fame and income.

    I am blessed to call you a sister in Christ who seriuosly cares for those abused by the ‘great men of God’. .

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  41. My congratulations to you, too, Julie Anne! It’s an awesome milestone, you’re a woman of awesome strength, and God has done awesome things for you, and through you.

    I have to confess, I was a bit taken aback (like anonymous and Oasis) at some of your expressions of gratitude in the OP. I doubt that I could ever thank anyone for abusing or bullying me, or thank God that it had happened. (And I’ve been through some mild abuse in the past year.) However, I still try to rejoice in Him even in the midst of my chaos, and trust Him to be with me, see me through it, and bring some kind of good out of it. Including my vindication at the end of it all.

    More courage and strength to you, dear sister, for whatever the days ahead have in store!

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  42. Congratulations Julie Anne! I’m relatively new here and still trying to figure a lot of things out, and I greatly appreciate the forum you have created here to discuss these issues.

    “And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” (Romans 3:8)

    Those who do evil are indeed justly condemned, but as you say, praise God for the good that has come of it. You have helped many others who have suffered abuse and over time will help prevent abuse from taking place by exposing the wicked deeds of darkness.

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  43. Congrats again!
    Meaghan’s comments reminded me of the “*true*” survivors blog (mostly devoted to “*warning*” da widdle flock about Meghan). So I went to check whether my comment is out of moderation yet (posted it over a year ago). And I got 403 Forbidden “You don’t have permission to access /the-suing-pastor-really/ on this server.” Is the site extinct, restricted to flock-members only, or just forbidden to ME, because I tried to comment? Sorry if you already talked about this….

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  44. DAVE!!!!!!! Sorry, don’t mean to yell, but that’s the first I have heard of that. It was only a week or so ago that he was linking to it on Twitter, trying to convince people how evil I am. I wonder if he forgot to pay the renewal fee.

    I don’t know that people are aware, but shortly after I started the original BGBCsurvivors blog, he or his minions purchased domain names similar to my blog but with “.net” and “.org” We had no idea until he unleashed the blog many months later. It’s funny, he talks about me as cyber bullying. What he did – – purchasing domain names in an effort to lure people over to his site is cyber bullying.

    Wow – this is interesting. Let’s see if he pays up. I can’t imagine him wanting to waste all of that precious time and effort exposing the Women of Mass Destruction and have it go into Cyber Neverland.

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  45. Happy Blog-iversary!!!

    Blogs like SSB have been a game changer for victims of abuse. The internet has brought us together to share our experiences and support one another. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to deal with this all on my own.

    I know what Julie Anne meant by thanking God. Who on Earth could be thankful for abuse? Thank God He can give beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning.

    Thanks to Julie Anne and the SSB community for your love and support. I hope many more will find healing here in the years to come.

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  46. JA, A big congratulations for surviving this wild world called the Internet! I never could understand how you had the patience and determination to do this. Then I saw where you have a million kids(which to me, anymore than one child counts as a million!) What a great role model you are to them. If it is not too personal, can you tell us their ages and sex? Also what do they think about having a rock star mom? Ann

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  47. If it is not too personal, can you tell us their ages and sex? Also what do they think about having a rock star mom? Ann

    I have 7 kids – Hannah is the eldest, she’s 27 and was also in the lawsuit. I have 2 more adults kids in college and then 4 minors down to the age of 8. 2 girls and 5 boys.

    When they saw me interviewed on tv, searched my name on the internet and saw my name pop up everywhere, they thought it was cool. Not so much anymore. It’s a heavy subject, so I try not to mention it a lot in front of them. They do not like discussing BGBC or the former pastor at all.

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  48. Julie Ann, If I had only known 2 years ago that I’d be standing on solid ground again…
    Dr. Barb Orlawsky pointed me to this site and I couldn’t be more grateful. Must have been one of those divine appointments! Thanks, friend. (And friends)

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  49. I found this blog only last month, and have learned so much, yet feel “stupider” than ever. I count my lucky stars for not getting sucked into Gothard’s cult, since I and my husband attended his seminars back in the early 90s as new-born believers at the prompting of his very sweet, Christian aunt (whom I long since considered my “spiritual mother”…until the last couple of years due to my problems with teachings/teachers/books coming from her). We were “living in sin” back then, and hearing Gothard’s teachings which said I ought to be beneath my father’s authority (who is himself a toxic being), well, that crap didn’t settle with me at all. Still, his hardcover books continue to collect dust on one of our forgotten bookshelves. I’d love to burn them, though my ignorant but well-meaning husband would surely protest (he’s clueless about these abuses, and I’ve been reading all this in “silence”). In order to clean up house – so to speak – I’d have to have some solid, doctrinal proof of Gothard being a wolf.

    Anyway, I’m profoundly touched by the (regular) commenters here; so many have such incredible discernment and wisdom, I look forward to their input. Don’t think I’ve ever visited a blog where there was such diversity on pet issues (which, up until a month ago, I thought were so important) yet exhibited more grace, respect and common sense (latest example in the rapture debate, esp between Ed and Sheila).

    Just wanted to toss in my 2 cents. (Btw, ever since I’ve been commenting on blogs, going on just 4 years, I’ve used the name “Pearl”, but had a slap-to-the-forehead moment when I realized that might make a lot of people here cringe, thanks to the other blight known as Michael Pearl). Knowing I’ve got much more to learn, “square1” is sufficient.

    Godspeed to you, JA, your blog and ministry, as well as to you, dear commenters. Praying the next two years will see the great fall of these many wicked men.

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  50. So glad you’re here, square1. I love that name. I think a lot of us have had to go back to Square 1 spiritually and get back to basics, removing the nonsense. Pull up a chair and make yourself at home 🙂

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  51. I have learned so much from all the posts and commenters on this blog! I’ve found much encouragement to speak up and so appreciate all you do. Don’t know how you keep up with it all! Congratulations on this milestone 🙂

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  52. Mark,

    I agree to a point, and I disagree to a point.  I don’t separate religions vs. secular in either case.  What is women’s lib?  Are you serious?  I was in grade school when this was prominent, and I was in the military for many years. 

    If you have one female E-5, and one male E-5, they both are equal in all aspects…all aspects.  Many of my bosses were female, and ruled over me…ruled over me.  Did I mind?  NO.  Is it wrong for a woman to rule over a man?  NO.  All enlisted folks salute officers, and those officers are women as well.  Is saluting an female officer wrong?  NO.  My daughter is in the military.  Is that wrong?  NO. 

    Those against womens lib would change all of my NO’s to YES’s, both religious and secular.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  53. Hey JA and all of you who have so quickly become my frends. I’d felt really bereft when you abandoned the ‘woman’ thread!

    Blogging her and on Linked-In has become a combine harvester of reaping the fruit of my silent walk with the Lord for three decades.

    Thank you for receiving me ‘loud and clear’ with all the warmth, humour and humanity in the healing of your love.

    Shalom

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