When Pigs Fly


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About a month ago, in the quiet upstate town of New Hartford, New York, in a church once begun in earnest, two brothers were attacked by their parents and several other members of the congregation. One of the boys has died, the younger suffered serious injuries. The boys were called into a ‘counseling session’ after church on a Sunday, but that session didn’t end until the next day, on Monday. They were questioned and physically attacked for hours because they wouldn’t confess and ask forgiveness for the things they were accused of.

It’s important to ask how such a horrific thing could happen.

I became a Christian at a youth event at Grace Assembly of God in Syracuse, N.Y.  (I believe it was in 1979, but it could have been 1978, making me about 13 or 14 years old.) Anyway, we went there for a while, but then started going to Nedrow Assembly of God, a small church in the valley because it was closer to home. We were there until I graduated from high school, but by the time we left to go back to Grace Assembly, I was a mess. At the time, ‘deliverance ministry’ was the New Big Thing, fueled largely by people like Bob Larson and Mike Warnke, and books such as Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare (Impact Christian Book Books, 1973) by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond, which is actually still in print. Much has been written on the Deliverance Movement of the 70’s. It spawned a generation of false teaching and led to everything from the Satanic Panic of the 1980’s, to Satanic Ritual Abuse and the False Memory saga, and more recently to the calling out of ‘Jezebels’ in the Church and Neil T. Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker.

Anyway, I don’t know how it all came about, but one evening my parents drove me to the youth leader’s house, for what I believed was supposed to be some kind of prayer meeting. I don’t think I had any real understanding of what was going to happen there, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for it. All I remember about this particular meeting (if I’m remembering correctly) was that there were quite a few people in the youth leader’s living room, including my pastor and his wife from our previous church. I believe I sat in a chair in the middle of the room, which seemed dark to me for some reason. The all-important wastebasket appeared in front of me, as it did many years later, with the same explanation: some people throw up when the demons come out.

Sit tight for a minute, because it’s occurring to me as I write this that an entire church thought I was demon-possessed.


Moving right along:

I came across two different books this week, in two different stores. Both books were written by Charles H. Kraft, a retired seminary professor and former missionary. Both were books on healing and deliverance, and spiritual warfare.

There is so much wrong teaching in these books that I don’t even know where to start.

The first was Two Hours to Freedom; A Simple and Effective Model for Healing and Deliverance (Chosen Books, 2010). In a section on Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) Kraft states that he has prayed for deliverance for “hundreds of people” whose demonization was evidenced by the fact that they had “inners” (separate identities, or personalities on the inside of them) also known as “alters”, or “inner children”. The author describes a process whereby he takes clients back to their experience in the womb, and leads them, month by month, through their experiences in utero, specifically looking for areas where they may have hurtful memories or damaged emotions. From before they were born. Those who are uncomfortable with re-experiencing the ‘re-birthing process’ are deemed to be under the influence of demonic resistance, whom Kraft confronts and tries to elicit information from. (I personally consider the resistance to be a sign that there’s a shred of mental health left in there somewhere – in the client). He then progresses through the client’s elementary years, their adolescent and young adult years, and so on, inviting Jesus into each memory, using a method that can only be described as a type of Christian channeling, and guided imagery to ‘heal’ the memories, whether they are factual or not.


The other book, The Evangelical’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare: Scriptural Insights and Practical Instruction on Facing the Enemy (Chosen Books, 2015) was at Wegman’s. I ran in to pick up some thyroid medicine and a birthday card, and, lo and behold, there it was on the Christian book rack, only a few hours after finding the first book.

The beginning of the book states that it is actually a compilation of all of Kraft’s best work over the years (he has been doing this, I believe, since the 1980’s) but the information on Dissociative Identity Disorder he gives in chapter 11 is taken from the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1980). The majority of the people who pick this book up and toss it into their shopping carts along with their milk and toilet paper are not going to know that we are now on the 5th edition of the DSM (as of October 2013). DID is still included as an actual disorder, although it was vigorously petitioned against by many in the mental health field. The term Multiple Personality Disorder, however, is no longer used. Kraft is apparently unaware of this, as he writes how he leads each ‘alter’ (personality) into right standing with Jesus, and when each one is finally at peace with God, he knows that “his work is done”. He also states that those in deliverance ministry need to learn how to distinguish between demonization and MPD/DID, again, apparently unaware that there is no such thing, and therefore no need to distinguish between the two.

In another section on false memories, Kraft says that he isn’t bothered at all by the fact that the memories conjured up during a prayer session may not be true, or that some people may have been falsely accused of sexually abusing someone, stating that it is far worse to not forgive those who actually did commit sins against you than it is to make things up. Well, try to tell that to the people whose lives are destroyed by being falsely accused of crimes they didn’t commit. And to the clients whose lives are ruined because they now have traumatic ‘memories’ and images in their heads of things that never happened in the first place, and the actual memories they do have of real events, however benign, are now tarnished.

I cannot imagine what the younger brother from the church in New Hartford is thinking and feeling. My heart goes out to him; I wish I could help him somehow. The images and memories of that horrible day will be with him forever. I wasn’t trying to compare my experience with his in any way, but was trying to show how out of hand things can get, and how much serious damage spiritual leaders can do. Even well-meaning people who sincerely believe they are doing the right thing can cause a lifetime of damage. I don’t remember much of the ‘prayer meeting’ in the valley, mostly because it was quite a long time ago and an awful lot has happened since then. But the New Hartford story has had me thinking about it quite a bit lately. What a horrible way to mess with a kid’s mind.

I wish we had never gone to the church in the valley. I worry that I will hurt people I care about by writing that. I wish so many things. That I had never experienced the dark side of what we call ‘church’. I am not writing this to dishonor, or disparage anyone, including Charles Kraft. That is not my intent. But this deliverance thing, the way the church is currently doing it, is false teaching – it has absolutely no scriptural ground to stand on – and it is false teaching that we need to be delivered from. My intent is to help people who are berating themselves for not doing it right, or wondering why their session didn’t work, or why they haven’t been delivered yet, in spite of hours of prayer, and searching for demons, or trying to heal their ‘inner child’. Relax. If you’re reading this, you are in all probability an adult, and you need to find an adult way of dealing with your hurts from the past. Stop looking for Jesus in your memories. He’s right where he’s been ever since he stormed the gates of Hell and took the keys. He’s on his throne at the right hand of God, praying and interceding for you. You don’t have inner children, or an inner child in you. You do have the Holy Spirit, and God did deliver you, on the cross. Now, go put your armor on and walk it out.

That is how Christians are supposed to do spiritual warfare.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.   – Galatians 5:1

Midnight Musings


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We had an event at church tonight, a fall festival in the parking lot.  There were bounce houses, games, cotton candy, and face painting.  Kids and colored wigs everywhere.

And underneath the costumes, and coats, and scarves, there was an awful lot of pain.

I heard stories of loss, and profound disappointment.  Stories for which there are no easy answers, when even offering to pray for someone sounds trite and condescending.  I think sometimes the reason we offer to pray for people is to make an uncomfortable conversation more palatable;  it makes us feel better, as though we’ve done something to help when, in truth, there is nothing that can be done.

This doesn’t fit our culturally sanitized version of Christianity.  I can think of five people right off the top of my head who would be so upset with me for even writing something like that.  We’re supposed to pray with power, and authority, and fix everything and everyone with scriptures, and platitudes, and hollow-sounding affirmations that fall on deaf ears and broken hearts.

Sometimes all you can do is just say how very sorry you are.  And leave it at that.  Sometimes there’s absolutely nothing to say, at all.  I know that when going through the worst of it, people would pray, meaning to help, wanting to do something, and it did nothing for me.  Things that helped?  Something to drink, hot or cold, depending on the day.  Space to be quiet.  Freedom to not talk.  A place to rest.  Sometimes a walk, even if I didn’t feel like talking.  I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t usually listening, either;  I was feeling the warmth of the sun, or the heat of the mug, or the softness of a blanket.  But that’s it.  When you’re grieving, people’s voices seem so far away.  They’re comforting, because it means you’re not alone, but the expectation to hold up your end of a conversation is physically exhausting.  Short, simple questions work best.  Not a lot of them.

My own, constant prayer on a bad day is “Dear God, please hold my heart together.  I can’t do this anymore.  I certainly can’t do this today.”

If we have kids, we do it for them.  I don’t know what people do who don’t have any.  I really don’t know.  I know I wouldn’t be here.

But tonight, dear God, please hold their hearts together.  The people who, for whatever reason, opened their hearts to me tonight.  Help them and hold them.

Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  – Ephesians 6:10

My Odyssey


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  1. 640px-Departure_of_Ulysses_from_the_Land_of_the_PheaciansSo, I turned fifty in June.  I had to walk away from the blog for a bit (except for the post on July 4th) because there were too many other things that required my attention, and while a blog post may read easily, it definitely isn’t quick and easy to write.  A lot has happened in the past couple of months, not the least of which was leaving the church that I’ve been a member of since my divorce in 2003.  I have gone back to the one I belonged to before, the church my daughters grew up in.  It was not an easy decision, but I believe it’s the right one for this time and this season.  I have thought long and hard about it over the last year.  I wanted to be absolutely sure that I’m not just running away.

Because sometimes there is a fine line between leaving and running away.

I am well aware that I am doing a bit of both, but I do believe that this is the assignment God has called me to for this season.  People keep asking if I’m “happier there” but to me, that’s irrelevant.  It’s the wrong question, the right one being: is this where I’m supposed to be?  As Christians, I believe we should go where we’re called, and where we’re needed.  We don’t come and go because we like the worship, or we like the people, or all of the perks and amenities offered as a result of membership.  The church is not a club, and the building is not a clubhouse.  I wasn’t ‘unhappy’ at the other church;  the only problem I ever had wasn’t with the church itself, it was the occasional breach of confidentiality by my pastoral counselor, who also attends that church.  If it weren’t for that I would have been quite happy there.  Time and again, she made it abundantly clear that I was neither welcomed, nor wanted.

Sometimes the giants in the land are the people we would least expect.

I keep forgetting, now that I’m back, that for everyone else, more than ten years have passed.  For me, it’s just been one very long, very bad year.  I find that I have to keep making small mental adjustments as people are talking to me.  They have no idea what I’ve been through since I left, and for the most part, they don’t need to.  But I keep wondering, what in the world happened to my life while I was in therapy?  Where did my life go?

I feel like I just woke up, and have discovered that I’m not who I was when I left.  Time will tell if this is a good thing, or a bad thing.  (Or, more likely, maybe I wasn’t who I really am while I was there.)

I am now in the process of reassembling my life, very carefully and very slowly, one piece, one person at a time.  It’s like sifting and sorting through the remains of a disaster, trying to find what’s worth salvaging, and what needs to be repaired or replaced.  I have long thought that the divorce hit me like a plane hitting one of the towers on 911, but what happened after the divorce, what happened in the end, with my counselor, was like having a tsunami hit in the exact same location, while everything in my life was still destroyed by the first crisis, and the air was still thick with smoke and falling debris.  And now, the waves;  of grief, regret, and shame, from having ever trusted anyone so completely and so stupidly.

I have been reading Homer since early spring, and feel somewhat akin to Odysseus, who, having experienced multitudinous adventures, returned home ten years after the Trojan War, only to find that nothing was as it was when he left.  I also had a Mentor on my journey, but instead of pointing the way home, she directed me away from home, as is common in long-term therapy.  My life became smaller and smaller, until there was almost nothing left.  I lost myself.

Or like Dickens’ Miss Pross, who, after the last fatal scene with the seething Madame Defarge, climbed into Jerry Crunchers’ carriage, having been rendered completely and permanently deaf in the struggle of her life.

“I feel,” said Miss Pross, “as if there had been a flash and a crash, and that crash was the last thing I should ever hear in this life.”

All I’ve had to go by for the last four years is a pillar and a cloud;  the Word of God and the inward leading of the Holy Spirit.  But that’s pretty much it.

“I can hear,” said Miss Pross, seeing that he spoke to her, “nothing. O, my good man, there was first a great crash, and then a great stillness, and that stillness seems to be fixed and unchangeable, never to be broken any more as long as my life lasts.” *

If I let myself think of all that I’ve lost – over twenty thousand dollars to my pastoral counselor, all for nothing, in the end;  time with my daughters, my family, and my friends; my health, home, jobs, graduate school – l get bogged down in sorrow and can’t function.  The memories I don’t have are the ones I didn’t make, because life happened while I was in counseling, and I feel like I missed it all.  Everyone else kept living;  I didn’t.  My life ended the day my counseling did, in a fit of rage and anger.   So, the best thing to do seems to be to try not to think about all of it, and distract myself by working hard and keeping busy.  And yes, leaving my church is part of that.

Let the healing begin.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;  he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid;  do not be discouraged.”         Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

* A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.

It’ll Be Okay


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As I wrote last year, I don’t celebrate the Fourth of July.  It is far too painful;  if I close my eyes, I can still hear the shrieks and squeals of my daughters as they ran through the dark with their sparklers;  can still see the looks on their faces as the fireworks exploded in the night sky.  I can still feel the sweet, sticky little arms gripping my neck, and my hands, as they watched the parade in Manlius, waiting excitedly for their uncle to pass by in the fire truck.  Waiting to run out as the candy was thrown, before running back to our spot on the side of the road.  I tried, a couple of times, to go to the parade and fireworks without them, but it was disastrous, so now I usually just stay home.  It just hurts too much.  I miss them horribly.  I miss all of our traditions.  The family-ness of it all.

Happier times.

Happier times.

And when I do, I feel akin to those parents who have lost their children through some great tragedy.  Except that mine are perfectly fine.  Now young adults, they’re on a beach in Virginia this week, getting sunburned and hot as they wait to go to dinner with their father, and later to watch fireworks by the side of the ocean.  It’s the yearly family vacation……without me.  And it has been this way every year, since the divorce.

Because of a mix-up and a miscommunication, my pastoral counselor could not come to court that day, to be in the courtroom with me as I gave my testimony.  I knew I couldn’t do it without her, so we (or rather, our lawyers) agreed to settle in the hallway outside the courtroom.  She moved into a beautiful new home that day, and I lost mine.  Life happens.

I feel guilty as I grieve, because the reality is that my kids are fine.  It’s me who isn’t.  Not only that, but they will be home tomorrow, so I’m trying to keep busy today, cleaning and getting ready for them, otherwise my head is full of courtroom and counseling sessions.  (In truth, I haven’t done a single, blessed thing all day except cry.)  I am aware that those parents who have lost their children forever would gladly give up every holiday just to have their children alive and well, whether they could be together or not.  So, it feels like illegitimate grief, although that doesn’t make it any less painful.

As I write this, Jeff and Sheri Easter are singing “It’ll be Okay” in the background, on Daystar.

And I believe it will.  I believe that somehow, someway, some day, God will make it all okay in the end.  I have to believe this.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

A Contemplative Night


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1396744041183Lots of thoughts and feelings tonight.  Seemed like every demon in Hell was ready and waiting before I even swung my feet over the edge of the bed this morning.  (Okay, ‘swung’ might not be the most accurate word – there’s not much swinging going on over here.  Crawled is a bit more like it.)  Anyway, I had to distract myself all morning to keep from sinking into sadness.  Some time in the Word, with a cup pot of coffee, and then some time getting group notes and files in order, and eventually I felt better.

And then, in a notebook, in the middle of notes on European history, I found several journal pages from the beginning of the end of my marriage.  (When I say the beginning of the end, I mean long after it actually ended;  it just took a few years for the reality to hit.  Shock does that to a person.)

Notes on how my husband, after having been gone for a couple of years, verbally attacked me in a pet store of all places, in front of the salespeople and our daughters, who were little at the time.  How I began to realize that I had outgrown him while he was gone, not just spiritually, but emotionally, and that there really was no marriage left, and hadn’t been for sometime.  How the manager had come to confront him, and help me.  How completely and utterly humiliating it all was.

More notes.

He had pushed me one day, quite hard, in our bedroom, and then, after staring at me and hesitating for a moment, pushed me again, and I flew all the way across the room and hit the dresser.  (This ended up being a hospital visit, with one of the discs in the center of my back protruding visibly through my t-shirt) and how, somehow, that particular day, it finally occurred to me that he wasn’t ‘out of control’ he was in fact very much in control.  Something about the way he hesitated before pushing me the second time.  That day – that very day, I realized that abusive people are not ‘mentally ill’.  They are masters of not only self-control, but of deception.  That it is easier for them to charm the oil out of a snake than it is for them to tell the truth.  For so many years I had made excuses for him:  I had made him angry, he was mentally ill, he had childhood issues (who doesn’t?) but I never called it what it was.  I never saw it for what it was, until that exact moment, on that exact day.  All because he stopped to think about it. Truly mentally ill people don’t do that.  Abusive people do.  If he hadn’t hesitated, I wouldn’t have seen it.

The nice thing about getting older is that you get (hopefully) more clear-headed.  You become more firm in your convictions, right or wrong, so watch yourself, but you get stronger.  You become free.  I know that I do not want any more abusive people in my life, and certainly not in my heart.  I do not want any more ‘friends’ who get angry if I don’t do what they feel I should do, never mind the fact that I am more than capable of hearing from God for myself, thank you, and I also do not want any more people who wear their psychiatric labels like a suit of armor, protecting and absolving them from any moral responsibility in the wars they wage against other people.  It’s not that they can’t control their anger, it’s that they choose not to.

Why so transparent tonight, about such personal issues?  Because the walls of my heart are all trampled down tonight, and in this brief space of time, before they go up again tomorrow, I need to put all of this somewhere before I go to sleep.  Somewhere where maybe it can help someone, who is tonight where I was all those few years ago.  And all I can tell you is, God Himself delivered me.  That if you trust Him, He will make a way out;  He surrounds us with His legions of angels, He goes both before and behind us, and leads us through, and out the other side.  I am not completely through yet, but can definitely see sunlight somewhere up ahead.

So, I am sad and worn out tonight, but oh, so thankful for all that God has delivered me from.  So very thankful.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28

 If we remain in His love, God will redeem every circumstance for His glory.

Worried Sick


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Coming down with pneumonia was not in my plans for this week.  My immune system has tanked again;  it seems that stress is bad for your health, financial stress in particular.  I had to make a choice between paying the rent and paying my daughter’s spring tuition; they are roughly the same amount of money.  If I don’t pay her tuition, she can’t go online and see her grades, and there is a hold on her account, meaning she can’t register for her fall classes next week.  If I pay the tuition, but not the rent, she won’t have a place to come home to at the end of the month.

Running away is not an option, and appears to be the realm of ex-husbands, ex-fathers and irritated pastoral counselors.  But not mothers.  We don’t bail, jump ship, or disappear.  Mothers get a cup of coffee, a Bible, and get alone with God to see what He has to say about the situation.  About us, in our situation.  And what He has to say is “Persevere … remain steadfast … trust, and see the salvation of your God.”  In other words, don’t jump.

So, I paid the rent.  Not all of it, but at least enough to cover April.  I haven’t said anything to my daughter, because I want her to be able to concentrate on her grades, and studying for final exams.  I don’t have a clue what to do next, or what is going to happen now.  The money is gone, and there’s no getting it back.  I’m not even sure I did the right thing;  paying bills lately is akin to shooting arrows at a target while wearing a blindfold.

Every time the phone rings, or I see that there is a phone message, I think it’s the landlords saying we have to go, or National Grid saying they’re shutting off the utilities, or the school, demanding payment.  I try not to answer phone calls unless I’m sure of who it is.  I have a hard time looking at my bank accounts without feeling sick, nervous, or nauseated.  I have so much apprehension about going to the mailbox that some days I just don’t.  There is rarely anything good in there. Most of it is anxiety-provoking demands for money that I don’t have.

I am the queen of avoidance.

When my daughter came home for Easter last week, her acceptance for nursing school came in the mail, and she was so excited.  I am so proud of her, and didn’t say a word about the fact that I don’t know how we’re going to pay even for this semester that hasn’t ended yet.  She can’t just suddenly stop in the middle of her junior year of college. Those who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of domestic violence say that I should just ‘make’ her father pay for her schooling.  Well, wouldn’t that be lovely.

So here we stand.  I don’t know how it will all work out, I just have to believe that it will.  Pneumonia isn’t fun, but it will clear up.  I have a modicum of faith.

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.  James 1:4

When the Crisis Doesn’t End


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This was a heart-broken day.  It was my youngest daughter’s twentieth birthday, but I didn’t get to spend it with her.  Her father picked her up at school and took her to Ohio, and she won’t be home until tomorrow night.  She went to a basketball game and out to dinner, and will stay at a hotel tonight.  She is having the time of her life, and I wouldn’t take it from her for the world.  He can more than afford it, and I can’t compete with NBA games, and Universal studios, or condos on the beach.  I, however, am having a hard time buying her a card and a gift.  I knew this was going to happen, but I had set my mind to be okay, and I was (kind of) until someone reminded me this afternoon that the girlfriend went along with them.

And, I confess, I think I have hate in my heart tonight, Lord.  A bag of candy and a lot of tears later, I believe there’s some intense dislike and resentment there.

I don’t want to be the kind of person who hates, or dislikes anyone.  I usually don’t, but this one is hard.  Always.  So please, God, guard my heart against bitterness.  And hopelessness.  Hopeless is a horrible feeling, but it can be so hard to fight it, and some days I just don’t feel like fighting.

Sometimes I feel that there is no corner of my life untouched by sadness.

I have not heard from my landlord yet regarding the house;  I owe them money, and am not sure [again] if we’re coming or going.  I am so very tired of moving.  If I had a million dollars, I would buy a place of rest and refuge.  (With roses.)  Somewhere peaceful, private, quiet and safe.  It would be nice to be able to go to sleep for one night and not have to worry about money, or bills, or being homeless, or having the utilities shut off.  It’s not that I’m not grateful for what I have (and I have a lot) but the financial and emotional fallout from divorce and domestic violence is huge.

I had written last time about I book I had found, about False Memory Syndrome.  The book has been enormously helpful, but healing from misguided therapy has taken a backseat to all of the financial worries and health problems.  I will write more about it, because writing helps, but not tonight.

Tonight all I will do is trust God, and pray that tomorrow will be a better day.

(And try to beat my daughter at Trivia Crack.  Or maybe I will let her win, just for tonight.  After all, it is her birthday.)


Buying Grace


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On March 28, 1997, someone in Syracuse, N.Y. went into a Media Play store in Shoppingtown Mall and bought a book.  I know, because a few weeks ago, I went into a thrift store in North Syracuse and picked it up for a dollar.  It is in like-new condition, and inside the front cover is a light blue post-it note filled with hand-written notes and page numbers. Whoever bought it had also left the receipt in it.  I have been trying to picture who this person could be, and what compelled them to buy it in the first place, and then get rid of it?  Client or clinician?  Someone I’ve sat next to in church, or worked with?

The book is Understanding the False Memory Crisis and How It Could Affect You, by Dr. Paul Simpson.  To someone who has lost a large piece of my life to False Memory Syndrome, this book was a God-send. Unless you’ve been through it, it’s impossible to describe, much less explain, leaving virtually no one to talk to who can understand or help.  In fact, until I bought the book, I had felt completely alone with all of this.  I have no idea how many other people in Syracuse have been through anything similar, or who have had a problem after going to counseling, either to the church or to a professional in the community.

What I like about the book is that Dr. Simpson writes with both humility and grace, towards both counselor and client.  He also used to be one of those who not only helped people recover from ‘memories’ that they had ‘repressed’ but trained others how to do it, too. Until, like I did, he noticed things just didn’t seem right, and the stories weren’t lining up with reality.  This is the beginning of the way out.

And, as he states in the book, once he realized that he was unintentionally contributing to the problem, he called his former clients and invited them to come back at no expense to them in order to unravel and clear up the mess, and help them heal.  This, to me, is the epitome of professionalism.  It takes a great deal of humility to do this, not to mention compassion.  It takes grace.

It’s a very well written book, and I’m grateful to have found it.  I truly believe God led me to it, as part of my own healing, which has been a slow and solitary journey, due to the fact that we seem to have quite a few counselors in Onondaga county who still practice some type of ‘recovered memory’ therapy.  Most people don’t know what I’m talking about, and can’t help.  Some of our local Christian therapists and counselors still believe in repressed memories, dissociative disorders, and/or Satanic Ritual Abuse. Quite a few of the churches and para-church ministries in the area practice ‘deliverance’ counseling, or Theophostics, and some still use books and practices found in Neil T. Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker.  (The original book I finally objected to at the Chapel, thus ending my ‘counseling’ with the elder’s wife there.)

I don’t believe anyone intentionally caused harm, including my pastoral counselor.  All she did – unintentionally, and sincerely (I believe) – was to build on a foundation that had already been laid.  My own confusion and exhaustion at the time didn’t help.

So, we’ll see where it leads.  All I know is that on a recent snowy day in Syracuse, I walked into a store and bought grace.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:  the snare is broken, and we are escaped.  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  ~ Psalm 124:7-8

A Grief of Mind


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Heavy-hearted tonight.  This has been a not-so-very-good day.  Opportunities for hurt feelings were multitudinous, for some reason, all the way to the end.  There are days I would rather I had not got out of bed, and this was one of them.

This is the farthest I have ever gone into the month without being able to pay my rent, and it feels surreal.  I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re short.  Inundated with medical bills, out-of-pocket prescription payments and a host of other things, and it is just not going to happen.  We never get to settle anywhere and feel safe.  I feel like I never get to breathe, or have five minutes of relief from the pressure of it all.  It is mind-bending.  And unending.  Like trying to dig your way out of a pit with a dessert spoon.

So, today didn’t help.  I don’t know what I would, or could have done differently,  I only know that it hurts.  Like hell.

One thing I am sure of:  I refuse to be bitter.  If we can’t walk in love, and grace, and mercy and forgiveness, then we have no right claiming the name of Christ for our own, or pretending to be His disciples.

My heart is both heavy, and hopeful.  It’s a whole new year;  anything can happen.  Good can happen.  All I know is, I refuse to quit.

Wait on the Lord:  be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.  Psalm 27:14


Originally posted on Stacey L. Lacik:

Photo of the Book of Isaiah page of the Bible ...

“And there shall be stability in your times, and abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the reverent fear and worship of the Lord is your treasure and His.”              Isaiah 33:6

What is stability?  It is defined as “the strength to stand or endure”.  To be stable is to be “fixed, steadfast, and firmly established, steady in purpose; firm in resolution.”

One of the definitions I like is “designed so as to develop forces that restore the original condition when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion.”  (Webster’s)

No matter what happens in our lives, the Word assures us that we can be restored to a place of stability; that we can have an unshakable peace in the midst of any storm or trial, and that everything will work out for our good.  God is in control.  It helps if we have already developed a habit of reading, studying…

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