This is such a time of introspection for me. Going out as an author and speaker, working as an advocate against abuse and domestic violence opens so many doors to extend hope, encouragement and faith to those who are in unbearable pain that it has become a ministry, but more importantly, it has evolved into the calling I was designed to answer, bringing me a sense of purpose and enriching my life. Finally, I feel I am giving out a bit more than perhaps I am taking in.

Recently, as I was meeting with the executive director of an abuse shelter, she gave me a statistic that shocked me, when she shared that 45% of the women who make it to their shelter have first sought counseling with a pastor. She further went on to say that many of those victims were given the same message I was given in the 80s─”You made your bed, now lie in it. You are not allowed to leave.” These women were being told it was God’s will for them to remain in an abusive relationship, and some of them eventually died as a result of staying. Ironically, at my website I have personally received e-mail from a young wife and mother in Kenya who is battling these same tenets and seeking help to get out without breaking doctrinal, and in her case, societal dictates.

Life has reached the best place ever for me. Unfortunately, I am dealing with a great deal of discouragement and dismay, as I am now in the place of re-evaluation. I know what my faith is, I know what and Who I believe in and from the very innermost part of my being I know I want relationship with my Creator, and one so enriched that I can’t not share the love, compassion and mercy He gives me with others. I want people to observe me and realize there is a difference between religion and God.

  1. I was told in the 70’s and the 80’s that it wasn’t a bad thing for a man to beat his wife. By a Priest, it sort of turned me away from that Church. Then as also told by a very close relative of mine that ‘maybe I deserved it’. I have now found out that I have a cyst in my head between my skull and brain that was caused by that abuse I suffered, being kicked in the head nurmberous times. I do not think I deserved it, nor do I agree with the Priest’s statement either. !

  2. Joe Midzalkowski says:

    While I am active in my church, I reserve the right as a thinking, rational being to come to my own conclusions as to what God wants me to do and be.

    I do not try to understand God. That would be like one of my Dalmatians presuming to understand me. What I do is try to understand how he wants me to behave.

    Anyone hurting, by physical or verbal violence, another child of God should be at the very least, avoided. If that means a separation/divorce, so be it.

    I can’t imagine a member of the clergy telling someone to continue to absorb abuse.

  3. Jane, NOBODY deserves such treatment, NOBODY. Unfortunately, our concept of self worth is sometimes depleted based on “religious” dogma. David states in Psalms, “I am fearfully and wonderfully created.” One of the things that got me through all those years of abuse was “GOD DON’T MAKE JUNK”

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