Clergy Sexual Abuse

Excerpts taken out of this article: http://www.crusadeagainstclergyabuse.com/htm/AShortHistory.htm

1952:              Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Paraclete Order and associated treatment facilities for priests located in New Mexico, Missouri and California, wrote to Bishop Robert Dwyer of Reno, NV, about priests afflicted with sexual disorders that cause them to abuse young boys.  This letter indicates that Fr. Fitzgerald had already treated a “handful” of men charged with such abuse.  He shared his recommendation that such men be laicized since they would never be free of the temptation to act out.  This letter is remarkable in that it clearly assesses both the disorder and the risks.  He warns against the very solutions that many bishops resorted to in the ensuing years: “Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal.”  Fr. Fitzgerald’s efforts at helping troubled priests were unique and quickly became known to all US bishops.  It is safe to assume that his opinions about sexually abusing priests were known to most if not all bishops. Concerning priests who sexually abused minors he said We find it quite common, almost universal with the handful of men we have seen in the past five years who have been under similar charges – we find it quite universal that they seem to be lacking in appreciation of the serious situation.  As a class they expect to bound back like tennis balls on the court of priestly activity.  I myself would be inclined to favor laicization for any priest, upon objective evidence, for tampering with the virtue of the young, my argument being, from this point onward the charity to the Mystical Body should take precedence over charity to the individual and when a man has so far fallen away from the purpose of the priesthood the very best that should be offered him is his Mass in the seclusion of a monastery. 

Moreover, in practice, real conversions will be found to be extremely rare. 

Many bishops believe men are never free from the approximate danger once they have begun.  Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal.” (See Fitzgerald Letter, dated Sept. 12, 1952,)

1957:              Fr. Fitzgerald wrote to Bishop Matthew Brady of Manchester NH on September 26, 1957: ‘From our long experience with characters of this type, and without passing judgment on the individual, most of these men would be clinically classified as schizophrenic.  Their repentance and amendment are superficial and, if not formally at least subconsciously, is motivated by desire to be again in a position where they can continue their wonted activity.  A new diocese means only green pastures.”  [In short, antisocial, without conscience (song of mary addition)]

1957:              Again, Fr. Fitzgerald writes to Archbishop Edwin Byrne (Santa Fe) that he thought it unwise to “offer hospitality to men who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls.”  He went on to utter an eerie prophecy of the future:
If I were a bishop, I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization.  Experience has taught us these men are too dangerous to the children of the parish and the neighborhood for us to be justified in receiving them here….They should ipso facto be reduced to lay men when they act thus.

1961:              The Sacred Congregation for Religious issued an official document entitled, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and sacred orders,” 2 Feb. 1961.  The document states that one of the common causes of “defection’ or departure from the priesthood is “…sexual tendencies of a pathological nature…” which refers to homosexual tendencies.  Later in the document reasons for dismissal are listed.  The following statement is found:

 “Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”

1966:              A workshop for psychologists engaged in the assessment of candidates for the priesthood and religious life is held at the School of Nursing of the Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New YorkOne of the participants stated : Perhaps the most troublesome and most frequent appearing sociopathic features or disturbances in assessment work concern the high incidence of effeminacy, heterosexual retardation, psychosexual immaturity, deviations or potential deviations of the homosexual type….A recent study of 107 male candidates, for example, shows that 8% of these were sexually deviant, whereas 70% were described as psychosexually immature, exhibiting traits of heterosexual retardation, confusion concerning sexual role, fear of sexuality, effeminacy, and potential homosexual dispositions.”

1971:              Dr. Conrad Baars and Dr. Anna Terruwe presented a scholarly paper to the 1971 Synod of Bishops at the Vatican and to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Citing 40 years of combined psychiatric practice treating about 1500 priests, they concluded that 20-25% of U.S. priests had serious psychiatric difficulties and 60-70% suffered from emotional immaturity. They concluded that the psychosexual immaturity manifested itself in heterosexual and homosexual activity.

1972:              Dr. Eugene Kennedy published a psychological study of U.S. priests commissioned by the Bishops’ Conference.  His findings concurred with those of Baars and Terruwe and concluded that American priests were
7% psychologically and emotionally developed
18% psychologically and emotionally developing
66% underdeveloped
8% maldeveloped.

Kennedy and Heckler stated that the underdeveloped and maldeveloped priests (74%) had not resolved psychosexual problems and issues usually worked through in adolescence.“Sexuality is, in other words, non-integrated into the lives of underdeveloped priests and many of them function as a pre-adolescent or adolescent level of psychosexual growth.

~~~

I would say these findings are likely true of pedophiles in general.  Pedophile is being defined as adults preferring to sex with children of any age.  It just so happens that the allure of the Catholic priesthood with its power, prestige, accommodations, and unlimited stock of vulnerable children attract those men with proclivities to pedophilia and who are likely immature themselves, either with an underdeveloped (psycho-socially stunted) or maldeveloped (antisocial) ego.

While this article and these studies pertained to Catholic priests, it seems reasonable the data can also apply to protestant clergyman and chaplains as well, though perhaps at a decreased rate than the Catholic priesthood for the reasons mentioned above.  Protestant priesthood still carries with it power, prestige, and a surplus of vulnerable children, though its accommodations are usually meager in comparison to their Catholic counterparts.  The level of blind trust and the pervasiveness of long-standing historical church abuses and abrogation of duty regarding those abuses may be higher in the Catholic dioceses versus those of protestant church communities, but many protestants are starting to speak out about the abuse problem in their own churches and ministries as well.

Stunning to note is the staggering incidence of the sexual immorality of priests, one of God’s holiest offices.  Jesus said if a member of your body causes you to sin, then you should cut it off.  But what if that member is a priest, corporally?  The law in the Bible calls the presumptuous sins of priests the most heinous sins that can be committed among men, and those sins carry greater punishments and need more atonement than other sins.  Jesus also said that if someone causes a child who believes in Him to sin, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea.  This leaves a punishment for sex offenders of children life in prison, since suicide is a sin itself.  Unless that person is one of the very ‘few who can effect a real conversion’ away from perpetuating the abuse.

If three quarters of priests are psychosexually immature and deviant, which several studies have shown, then society should expect that the most likely exposure of our children to sexual immorality will ironically be through the church, or those who elevate themselves in the church to positions of power, proving that the devil does indeed masquerade as an angel of light.

 

~selah

~Break Free~

“The enemy wants you to suffer from a case of mistaken identity.  Makes his job a whole lot easier.  And makes your defenses a lot weaker.  He’s working overtime to mask your identity in Christ, to keep the truth from coming out–that you are indeed alive and free and empowered by God’s own Spirit to fight victoriously against him.

He’d rather conspire to keep you in a constant state of mourning, grieving over who you wish you were, instead of relishing who you really are.  He prefers you insecure and crippled by self-doubt.  Lifeless. Comatose.

But his reign of terror is over in our lives.  Because now we know the truth.  God has ‘made us alive together with Christ’ and has ‘raised us up with Him and sealed us with Him in heavenly places’ (Ephesians 2:5-6).  We will put our helmets on and stand firm against the attacks of the enemy.”  ~Priscilla Shirer

 

LORD, I repent of the lies I have believed about myself, and given to me by the enemy to stifle me in despair.  Help me break the chains of servitude to the devil so that I may be truly free in You.  ~Amen

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The Antichrist and Its Ruler, the Beast

“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” ~1 John 2:18

God related to me that the ‘beast’, the ruler of antichrist would be born in 2035.  I suspect, but am not sure, he will be a rich Arab prince.  By then one world religion and one world currency should be well established, as one world government is already established.  All that needs to happen is for its ruler to take his figurative throne.

The symbol is Islam is the crescent moon and star.  Image result for symbol of islamIsaiah 14:12 states

 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!

Shahram Hadian says that the translation of the bolded verse equates to ‘moon and star’, therefore I believe (as do many) that antichrist is an ideology that turns many away from the truth of Jesus Christ.  That ideology is Islam and Muslim leaders, because it is against Christ, because it derives from Ishmael, the rejected son of Abraham, as it is prophesied in Isaiah (the ‘fifth gospel), and is corroborated in the Book of Revelation (see below):

Fall of the King of Babylon

It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say:

“How the oppressor has ceased,
The golden[a] city ceased!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
The scepter of the rulers;
He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
He who ruled the nations in anger,
Is persecuted and no one hinders.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
They break forth into singing.
Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you,
And the cedars of Lebanon,
Saying, ‘Since you were cut down,
No woodsman has come up against us.’

“Hell from beneath is excited about you,
To meet you at your coming;
It stirs up the dead for you,
All the chief ones of the earth;
It has raised up from their thrones
All the kings of the nations.
10 They all shall speak and say to you:
‘Have you also become as weak as we?
Have you become like us?
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
And the sound of your stringed instruments;
The maggot is spread under you,
And worms cover you.’

The Fall of Lucifer

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer,[b] son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:
Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’

18 “All the kings of the nations,
All of them, sleep in glory,
Everyone in his own house;
19 But you are cast out of your grave
Like an abominable branch,
Like the garment of those who are slain,
Thrust through with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit,
Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people.
The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.”

Babylon Destroyed

22 “For I will rise up against them,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant,
And offspring and posterity,” says the Lord.
23 “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine,
And marshes of muddy water;
I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the Lord of hosts

~~~

Revelation 13 New King James Version

The Beast from the Sea

13 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.Image result for rich arab princes

The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

But the BEAST will come up from the sea and will rule, and this is the Ruler of the One World Order, who has on his head 10 crowns and a blasphemous name.  All the world marveled and followed the beast Image result for pope with arab princes

and worshiped the beast and said, “Who is like him?  Who is able to make war with him?”

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And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

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It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lambImage result for abramovic and spoke like a dragon.Image result for spirit cooking 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.Image result for spirit cooking

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.Image result for pentagram on abdomen abramovic

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Negative ‘Negative Self-Worth’ Equals Self-Worth

‘He must increase, but I must decrease’.~John 3:30

I have coined a concept ‘negative (trait)’ to mean those things people should have in an ideal world, but which they have known lack of due to childhood or difficult life circumstances.  Usually I notice when people have negative pride, for example.  That is when people have come from situations that ordinarily would not make someone proud (poverty or abuse), but they have picked themselves up by their bootstraps and forged on anyway.  After time, this person can begin to overwrite the pride a wealthy or privileged person might have known naturally with a type of pride that was hard-fought and won.  As if certain traits are not bad enough, negative traits are even harder to let go of because they are like a scab that covers a nasty wound.  To lose a negative trait is painful, but to keep it is constraining and can keep us from living fully; it is good to be healed, and it is possible!

Another example might be negative self-worth.  I did not know enough nurturing, and was pretty neglected as a child, and consequently must have developed a lack of self-worth, though it is hard for me to see it in myself.   I think I have overcompensated for the neglect I knew by becoming an overachiever.  I may unconsciously think, “If I am just better or more successful, or X, maybe then I will be attended to and loved.”  If I am always achieving things, then I am ‘worthy’, and then I have hope for a future.  It is rather obvious to see that if I stop achieving things due to events out of my control, like God shutting doors, the enemy interfering, or hard things happening in life, it can mean I feel unworthy, and I can lose hope in my life.  Hopelessness is a bad feeling, and a bad place to try and exist.

It may or may not be obvious in looking at me to see that this is true (depending on your perspective) because I have achieved a lot, but I have also lost a lot.  Most things I had achieved in my life have been painfully sifted away or have failed.  I used to be very successful in everything I did or wanted to do.  On my own steam I had made many accomplishments most people never even think to try.  But sometime around meeting God at the age of 41, the tide began to shift and my ‘luck’ began to run out.  I think the truth is that it must have been as I found the true Source of happiness and Light, God began to sift me.  And sift me he did.  He dumped me and my life into His big grinding mill and I exited the other side fairly unrecognizable.  How compassionate that in the years I was shunning Him, He let me achieve.  What would have happened to me if I had no hope and not known God?  I count the losses I have endured as gain for knowing Jesus and becoming born again, yet it is still hard to break old habits and deep-seated unconscious beliefs one learns from birth about oneself.

Today in church, Levi discussed negative space.  How making space in our life by cutting away something can allow you to breathe and have room for something better to manifest itself. This idea can be represented by Escher-type optical illusions.  As I puzzled over how this manifested in my life, I realized there is just becoming less of me.  He has already cut away extraneous relationships, extra work, and extra volunteering, but instead of feeling like it is easier to breathe, I find that I feel more frustrated and almost…desperate.  And I think this stems from this issue I have with action and achievement in my person and how it relates to my feelings of self-worth.

Is it possible I have developed ‘negative self-worth’?  Can I not feel worthy unless I am achieving something?  Am I lovable just as I am?  Maybe I am not lovable as I am to any body else, but I know I am lovable just as I am to God.  I am His and I belong to Him.  No life circumstance can take that from me.  I think I can have hope now without achieving something.  I mean, I don’t feel it yet, but it seems to add up:  subtracting a negative attribute equals something positive.  That is basic math.  Taking away negative pride is good.  It means you soften your heart to know you don’t always have to be right, but you will still be loved.  It must follow that taking away negative self-worth means I am worthy of love, just as I am as a rejected, unwanted, unloved, neglected, and even crazy girl.

Our addictions serve to conceal our negative traits from us.  If we don’t see our scabs we look better to ourselves.  But addictions are an idol that get between us and God.  There is a cure and that is the pure love of God through His Son Jesus.  By coming into a relationship with Jesus, we are shown every moment of every day we ARE good enough, because He is in us.  We will never be good enough without Him.  In fact, we will never even be good without Him.  He is the ONLY THING that makes any of us any good.

So if I were to illustrate my current status in Christ, in God, it would be something like the picture above.  As God sifts me, who I used to be gets chipped away. Who I used to know falls away.  The success I used to have fades away.  But the Good News is that He appears in my empty space.

More of You and less of me, Lord.  Please.

Alpha in a World of 1

My mind as been blown wide apart.  Starting with #spiritcooking and ending with #illuminati, my little brain has been churning through large chunks of data concerning complex and mind-boggling ideologies and shocking practices, all within about 28 hours.

I was awakened as one of God’s Chosen Ones by a man whom I feel like is The One for me, and to whom I have been told by God, verbally and non-verbally, that I belong to.  However, this person does not want me.  This makes me a lonely and aggrieved woman.

Though God was always with me, protecting me as a little girl, I was led afar from Him when I met my demon-husband at the age of 18.  Although I had been a very pious child and teenager, I began being influenced by the devil in my junior year of high school, largely through alcohol and boys.  My future-husband-become-idol and junior college Philosophy Class 101 were the final nails in my Episcopal coffin, and I eventually devolved into claiming myself as an atheist through my entire marriage.

Despite 22 years thrown down the drain in my marriage and shunning of God, God marked me as His from the beginning with my being an orphan, and then becoming abandoned again by my adopted mother.  I can say with accuracy that my father was placed in my life by God as my guardian angel, and he was the only man who has ever really loved me.  For example, I realized that the phone number of my childhood equates in numerology to 2 2 7, a statistical likelihood of only 1 in 1000.  This means pi, or circle, the holy symbol of God and God’s realm.  There are so many times He took care of me when I could have been seriously hurt or even killed.

Though I mostly felt unloved and very different in childhood, I know I was no accident.  No one is an accident, even those born of incest or rape.  Life is the domain of God and is sacred, period.  Death should be the domain of God, but man likes to intervene here, probably because he cannot create life…yet.

I was made from the rib of a man, the essence of a man with whom I share certain characteristics and similarities, in the heavens and without.  I know not for whom I am made though I suspect it is The One.  I have been told by the Lord some amazing truths of his and my essence, and the fact that we are preternatural beings.  I know it sounds crazy and I hope no one reads this who would not understand.  However, he has chosen the path of untruth and I the path of truth. He thinks he knows the truth, which compounds the problem, but because his life was filled with difficulties I never knew, it presented certain…challenges to him and his development, so I can understand why he is confused and lost.

Essentially I have come to believe in the last few hours in my recent data torrent of learning that he is likely a luciferian, a rosicrucian, or possibly just a gnostic.  But most definitely one of the Illuminati.  Alex Jones says the satanists and devil worshipers are ruled by the illuminati, so they are ‘beneath’ the Illuminati.  But I, as God’s wife and born-again Christian, reign sovereign over all of them.

For reasons I cannot really fathom, I have been targeted by him and his network, possibly with military technology called Directed Energy Weapons.  It uses high frequency radio waves which are shot up into the ionosphere, and directed back down to targets as low frequency waves, allowing them to penetrate the ocean, buildings, the earth, the body, and the skull.  Many believe it can implant thoughts, and read thoughts, among lots of other things.  I definitely believe this is happening to me.

I have been under 24/7 surveillance for approximately 8 years, through DEW and other technologies.  My family has been targeted too, mostly in an effort to ‘learn’ me, but also perhaps for darker reasons.  This makes more sense now that I have been shown (finally) that he is part of the Illuminati; it all fits into a huge crazy puzzle.  I guess he is attracted to the power involved in this, and the power that comes from seeing anything he wants to see.  It’s like he is a cosmic peeping Tom.  I can only infer he and they target me because they genuinely love me, though I don’t think they particularly want to…

I have known all my life subconsciously that I am very dominant, intelligent, and alpha.  I am not strong like a man in physical prowess, but I am strong in grit, tenacity, and might.  I am not a coward, and I rarely feel fear.  I believe that God made husband to rule over his wife since the Fall, and that a woman should not rule over her man.  Because men think in a way which I can never rationalize (lol), I really have no desire to rule men in general, though most of the time it becomes apparent that the power between me and a man usually tips my way, either due to intelligence, integrity, or simply because I am a devout Christian.  I know without a doubt The One dominates me–or could–but a grey area exists because he lives on a level below me as part of the Illuminati, or something akin to it, and since I am abiding in Christ and he is not, I am over him.  Unless that day comes that he comes to me–and I have no real hope it ever will–I will exist as alpha in my world of 1.

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony.  Whoever receives his testimony ssets his seal to this, that God is true.  For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.  ~John 3:31-34

What if Adam had Chosen a Gay Lifestyle?

What would have happened if Adam had rejected Eve whom God had made just for him, and told God he preferred others?

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What would Eve have done?

What would God have done?

HYOWM AYWB~The Day of Job

As feelings of desolation, gloom, and hopelessness pervade my being I am reminded by the Helping Spirit that Job suffered just like me.  No other account in the Bible relates the human condition of losing everything when it seemingly makes no sense like the Book of Job.  Hence there I find my only solace.

I can completely relate to his story and I am so thankful it is in the Bible, and that I am acquainted with it.  As I lift my head above the churning waves of despair, I get a glimpse of the hope that is my God looking down upon me with affection and love, eager to assuage my pain.

I believe God is using me as He did Job:  to be an example of righteousness to the devil.

It’s not that I am perfect.  I have struggled with difficult things.  Since becoming a Christian I have sinned less and less, but pulling out of a sinful way of thinking has been a long process of two steps forward, one step back.  I have especially fought a battle with sexual immorality.  It isn’t that I am that bad by worldly standards, but that it has taken me longer to perfect the side of myself that seeks romance and relationship.  I think this is typical of most women.

Yet I do get better as time goes by, praise God.  And I believe He has chosen to make an example of me despite these fall backs.

I first lost my marriage when my husband left me.  I then began losing my family as I had known it; my kids gravitated to their father’s house and he remarried, giving them a new family.  I have grieved the loss of their presence as a mother would grieve a literal death of her child.  I fought in utter desperation to try to keep them close to me, all to no avail.  As time went by my hope for having another committed relationship slowly eroded away until I have all but given up on hoping for one anymore, and this is after much effort was exerted on my part to meet someone who completed me.  My business then failed into which I had invested my time, money, heart, and future.  As I go forth trying to carve out a career niche that suits me, I meet mostly dead ends.  I have interviewed for jobs to only be turned down, even when I seemed to be the best candidate or even overly qualified.  God gives me work, but it does not utilize all my talents leaving me feeling like my potential is untapped, and leaving me always unfulfilled.  My financial situation is rather dour and I am in debt.  I have noticed of late that I am having chest pain after moderate aerobic exercise which I never had before.  My friends are left baffled by my circumstances, but instead of understanding this as a Job moment and giving me good counsel, they begin launching into a litany of advice and vain words which only increases my frustration and pain.

I have lost my marriage, my family, my career has stagnated, and now I am losing my health.

Through it all, I have tried to do what modern Christian pastors, counselors, and friends tell you to do:  I have shared my plight with my Christian friends.  The problem is that my failures make no rational sense when you try to explain them, which they inevitably try to do.  My husband did not have to get a new wife two weeks after he left me; my children should not have gravitated to him because I was a doting stay-at-home-homeschooling mom; my business was a shining example of perfection in this region of the United States as I am a highly qualified practitioner with a good reputation in my community; and I have always had exemplary health, am relatively athletic, have low blood pressure, and low cholesterol!  Yet all but one of my few Christian friends have difficulty validating me and my experiences at the least, and at the worst, cause trauma to me with their words which sound harsh to my wounded and sensitive ears.

Like Job’s friends, my primary Christian female friend implies that either I am somehow not being thankful enough for what I have (I am very thankful and thank God without ceasing); that I am focusing too much on the negative side of things because the reality really is not that bad–that I just am going through a hard time and having trouble seeing objectively; that it is not time yet for God to bless me because I am somehow not ready or matured in my faith enough to warrant that yet; or that His purpose is being fulfilled through me in all these failures but I just cannot see it–as if others go through this all the time (and I know they do not).  These false ideas come at me as I try to do as I am told and seek comfort among my Christian sisters.  However, just like Job’s brethren, my sisters do me more harm than good.

The fact is that our Christian culture has adopted an understanding of God’s will as something like this:  If you are obedient, you will be blessed and those blessings will look like success in our world.  Christian fruit has been taken to mean having plenty, being successful in business, and having a close relationship with your children.  You may suffer a little while, but not too long….unless you are being disobedient.  There is no room for extended catastrophic events or Job-like moments in our modern understanding of the Lord.  I would guess this is because we don’t have much cultural memory as Americans of times being very hard, and our understanding of God has been molded along with the advancing affluence of our country.

But sometimes God still makes examples of people like He did Job, and I am here to testify of that.  It is the only explanation that makes rational sense for the things I have endured and continue to endure.  God still wants to show the devil that some put Him first.  Even a new Christian who has only known Him 4 years!

I am tested often but I am not usually consciously aware it is a test at the time, but sometimes I become aware of it during the test or just afterward.  I do not usually try to answer in a way to merely please God, though that would be okay, I believe, but I answer in what I know or feel to be right in the situation.  I know many Christian sisters who would pass these tests too, and I have to ask, as Job did, “Why me, LORD?”  Maybe more of us have Job moments than we can know.  But what I do know, is that I am blessed to be debased in the world.  The lower I become in the world, the higher I become unto God.

I hope I am pleasing God as much as Job did.  Thankfully I can see where Job made his mistake doubting God, and hopefully with Jesus’ strength, I can keep my faith as I keep my love for Him and my neighbor.  I pray the devil can see that there really are some Christians who fear God and shun evil faithfully through pain, loss, and as all worldly blessings fall away.  Thank God for the Bible.  I can find validation and solace here I can literally find no where else:

Oh that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it in the balances!  For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea–

What strength do I have, that I should hope?  And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?  Is my help not within me?  And is success driven from me?

To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.  My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, like the streams of the brooks that pass away, which are dark because of the ice, and into which the snow vanishes.  When it is warm, they cease to flow; when it is hot, they vanish from their place.  The paths of their way turn aside, they go nowhere and perish.  The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope for them.  They are disappointed because they were confident; they come there and are confused.  

But what does your arguing prove?  Do you intend to reprove my words, and the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind?  Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you undermine your friend.  Now therefore, be pleased to look at me; for I would never lie to your face.  Turn now, let there be no injustice; yes, turn again, my righteousness still stands.

So I have been allotted months of futility, and wearisome nights have been appointed to me.  When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise, and the night be ended?’  For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.  My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.  Oh, remember that my life is a breath!  My eye will never again see good.  The eye of him who sees me will see me no more; while your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be.  As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave does not come up.  He shall never return to his house, nor shall his place know him anymore.

What is man, that You should magnify him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should attend to him every morning, and test him every moment?  How long?  Will You not look away from me, and let me alone till I swallow my saliva?  Why have You set me as Your target, so that I am a burden to myself?  Why then do You not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity?  For now I will lie down in the dust, and You will seek me diligently, but I will no longer be.

Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it.  What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.  You are all worthless physicians.  Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom!  Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes….

Be silent with me, and let me speak, then let come on me what may!  Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hands?  Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.