This week there has been continued emotional growth and healing from Satanic ritual abuse (w/o the programing). As I’ve mentioned previously, I can hardly get enough contact with my Abba and my Bridegroom. They are so loving and kind and I cling to them. Their kisses are truly sweeter than wine. One morning I reached out to draw Abba’s face to mine and to my surprise He reached out His beautiful hands to draw my face to His. As our mouths touched electricity flowed powerfully through me for some extended time. My whole body, spiritually, emotionally, and physically buzzed with His presence. Sometimes the precious Holy Spirit is described as breath or wind. I breathed in Abba’s breath and felt the comforting warmth of His sweet Spirit wrapped around me. It was like drinking the water of Life, and I drank deeply. I want to be saturated with Him inside and out, with pools of water spilling around me on the dry and thirsty ground.

In the past I knelt at the feet of whoever I wanted to give my life to – as in, I didn’t want my life; I wanted to give it away. This was how a spirit of death worked in me – passively. Codependency. People looking on misinterpret what they see but do not understand. They think they see homosexuality or other twisted relationships, but they fail to realize that the emotionally wounded one is seeking Love. Even Christians don’t realize that the only way to fill the God-vacuum within, is with God!

After the gentle Father came to cast out Death and heal the baby, (my first post) I fell at His feet in amazement and wonder. And that’s how I greet Him now – by first kissing His dusty feet with reverence and surrender. He is my God. He is the completion I have longed for all my life.

Each morning I seek this Life-giving contact but each morning it becomes more difficult, so I’m having to reach farther into my spirit for the contact my heart hungers for. It’s like following the carrot at the end of a stick held in front of the donkey. Abba gave His only Son who suffered horribly in the flesh for me. Now, He wants all I am as fair return for His blood sacrifice. I want all He is so I give all I am……

You Will Know What to Do

In 1978 I moved to Iowa where I eventually filled another teacher’s unexpired contract then stayed on the following year.

Storm in the Night

I lay in bed watching a summer storm approach. The huge centuries-old trees in the front yard were twisting violently in the wind and I hoped they would survive.  Lightning flashed and window-rattling thunder crashed. Eventually the storm was directly over the farmhouse where my two housemates and I were sleeping – that is, they were sleeping.

The fury of the storm was an apt expression of my roiling emotions. I and the two other ladies had moved to this farmhouse a year and a half ago, but the first year we couldn’t find work so the payments on the house lapsed as had the utility bills. We were barely able to buy food and gas for our vehicles. People in the community who guessed our situation had been generous in bringing meat from their lockers and fresh vegetables or we might have been hungry, too.

Then in January, a year to the day from when I had signed the mortgage papers, I found a teaching position nearly 200 miles away.  Eagerly, hopefully, I took the job but found that it wasn’t possible to make the money go far enough to save my real estate investment. Now it was summer and I needed to pack and move to the small community where I would continue to teach during the coming school year. I was losing the house so I didn’t care if it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

As I lay bitterly thinking over the events leading up to this week, it occurred to me that lightning was going to strike the lead pipe just outside my window used as an antenna for the TV. Movement caught my eye and a tall figure with curly hair and a long night-shirt like Jen wore silently entered the room. “She’s going to get a surprise when lightning strikes that pipe.”                                                                                                                                                                 The tall figure paused at the foot of the bed and looked down at me so I pretended to be asleep, squinting to watch her move noiselessly to the window. Sure enough, there was a deafening explosion and a blinding ball of fire traveled down the pipe. My sight cleared and I watched the figure calmly turn, walk again to the foot of my bed where she paused and looked down at me as before, then silently left the room.

After several minutes Bea awoke screaming that we should get up and unplug the TV and other electrical appliances.

“Be quiet and go back to bed,” I snapped. “The storm is over.”

“Be quiet, yourself,” Bea admonished in a stage whisper, “You’ll wake Jen.”

“Jen is already awake. She was just in here looking at the storm.”

“If Jen were awake she would be in bed with you! You know she’s scared of storms.” Bea went to see if Jen was awake and reported that she was still sleeping through all the commotion.

The next morning when I came downstairs, Bea and Jen had been talking about the storm and who I must have seen when the lightning struck the house. They tried to convince me that I had seen an angel but I would have none of that. I thought in concrete terms and angels didn’t fit. They tried to find solid evidence that I would accept, and after awhile they invited me into the front yard to look up at the lead pipe just outside my bedroom windows. There were squiggly burn marks running down its length, but those marks could have been there before the storm.

Another lapse of time, and they called me to the basement to look at the breaker box. If lightning had struck the house then there should be some electrical damage, they reasoned. At least some breakers should have flipped off. Well, only one breaker was off and the light bulb on that line was burned out. What convinced me, however, were the burn rays extending outward from the breaker box in all directions.

I did indeed lose the house and property; and I struggled financially after that.

The Move

Bea was gracious enough to drive the U-Haul while I drove my station wagon loaded with horse gear and towed the trailer with my half-Arabian mare and her foal. That same day we unloaded the household stuff and got the horses settled in their new pasture. Bea spent the night and left at dawn the next morning, but not before warning me that the house was occupied with dark entities. I noticed my black cat cocking his head, watching the shadows move, so I knew I would have to do a spiritual housecleaning before going to bed that second night. I had never done such a thing, so I was unsure about what to do exactly, but determined not to share my house with unwanted guests.

Anointing oil was necessary, I thought, but what kind? I didn’t have any. Then it occurred to me that vegetable oil was OK. There was corn oil in a box somewhere.  At last I found it and started upstairs, moving to the main floor, then the basement, marking the windows and doors with a small swipe of oil in Jesus’ name, commanding any unholy occupants to leave the premises. Then I invited the Holy Spirit in with His angels to guard and keep me safe. There was no more trouble with moving shadows. Within the week I had a horrible dream, however.

All my life I had been subject to nightmares and would cry out in my sleep.  But now there was nobody to help me extricate myself from the horrible dreams. When I first came to teach at A. I asked the Lord to take away the nightmares, and He did. So simply. Now, unexpectedly, within the first week in this lovely little house, I had a nightmare.

When the Time Comes….                                            

l wakened myself in mid-dream. It was horrifying to me because of the senseless suffering of an innocent animal, so I got up and walked around to break it’s continuity before finally returning to bed. However, the dream continued from where it left off.

Perhaps a dozen of us were on a trail ride. The trees and trails were so beautiful and peaceful. But the daughter of the trail boss was incredibly cruel to her gentle mare, screaming angrily and beating the horse mercilessly. It was extremely difficult for me to restrain myself. As the trail ride ended at the leader’s house, the young woman dismounted and began to beat the horse with a renewed vengeance. I had to ride away to keep from interfering. But even from a distance I could still hear her savage shouts and imagined I could hear the mare’s groans. Finally, resolutely, I turned around and rode back. 

Adrenaline flowing, I lifted the girl by her collar to face me and explained to her that the horse was a trusting, gentle animal that only wanted to please her rider. She had no idea why she was being beaten so mercilessly.

“Now get down there and take her head in your lap and comfort her,” I shouted. And I waited for her to do it. Next I turned to the young woman’s father and ordered him to call the best veterinarian in the area. He protested feebly but I accepted no argument and he went inside the house reluctantly to make the phone call. Shortly he returned to say he couldn’t locate anyone who would come. Sharply I gave him my veterinarian’s name and number and sent him back inside. When I knew help was on the way the dream ended.

The dream was disturbing, but it seemed logical, so I began to seek its meaning. When the time comes you will know what to do….

Two years previously I had decided to breed my half-Arabian mare to a national top ten champion Arabian stallion. About six weeks after her breeding she was terribly injured. A sudden spring storm had come up and we took shelter in a Morton building on the farm where she was pastured. Without my noticing, she stepped into a block and tackle and it tightened around her near hind leg as she kicked to free herself. (A block and tackle is a system of ropes threaded through a couple of pulleys that is used to lift heavy equipment.)

The best veterinarian we knew of from this part of the state referred her to the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine.  Because she had a quiet, trusting disposition, they were able to not only save her but the unborn foal.

When the time comes you will know what to do. The analogy of the dream to my experience with my mare  was clear, and the explanation of my behavior in the dream satisfied me. But I could understand no more, so I put the dream aside.

Continued Journey toward Emotional Healing

My journey to emotional healing has been long and relatively unfruitful until recently. But with the advent of on-line Christian blogs, and Christian ministries putting their materials on-line, I have eagerly taken advantage of these rich opportunities to kneel before the Father and Creator of all things for deep healing that only He can do. Only He knows a person’s life from before conception to the present moment – and loves that person as they were created to be loved, for He is Love.

On the Mat Evans blog site I found a reference to Restoration in Christ Ministries. Their articles are offered free and I found one entitled Prenatal Healing Process (updated 04-24-2016). Recall that on my first post I mentioned memories of being in Heaven before conception and my memories before birth, in my mother’s womb. This article was shocking to me. I had no idea that others might have similar memories and experiences.

The severity of my wounding is comparable to Satanic Ritual Abuse, the primary difference being that the abuse and wounding of those not in Satanic rituals do not have the programming of SRA. Thank goodness for that! It was painful to read about the hostile environment of my mother’s womb. I tended to focus on that and had to ask Abba Father to help me cancel my mother’s debt and move on past that into His taking my griefs and sorrows. I could feel increasing lightness as I prayed through the material. Presently I am praying through renunciations and am experiencing definite deliverances from things I had no idea were in my ancestry. What a revelation! The garment of praise is not just a phrase in Isaiah 61, it is a reality, and I am enjoying what I could never have imagined – a need for Love being met in Love Himself. Overflowing Love. Love that saturates my being and pools on the ground around me. A relationship of intimacy that defies description.

There are bloggers who are willing to pray for you if you will contact them. Most are not professionals but they have been through the process and know how to help. I, also, am willing to help with counsel and prayer. It’s possible to work through emotional healing with the materials mentioned here and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, depending on your maturity and confidence in the heavenly Father. It’s well worth the effort. The Praying Medic has podcasts and books that are helpful. Both the Praying Medic and Matt Evans encourage addressing painful emotions rather than the long drawn-out process of reliving memories. They provide Scriptures to keep you from getting into error. Remember: forgiveness is the key.  How to pray for/minister to fragmented persons.  Prenatal Healing Process  All articles on this site are free for download.

I Dip into Real Estate

In1973 a real estate broker and I bought a rental house already leased for the coming year to the previous owner’s friends from Chicago.  Before we moved in a good friend helped us to rip up the urine and rain soaked carpeting in the living and dining rooms on the first floor.  Then she used a commercial sander to refinish the beautiful oak floors.  We replaced the drapes at the three double windows as well.  During this very noisy and dusty work the renters, Korean War veterans, shouted at us to cut the noise and made terrible threats.  We were afraid of them and called a contractor friend to see if our apartment could be adequately secured.  The contractor put rods in the floor behind the French doors at the entry which could be locked in place to secure the doors at night.  During the day they could be pushed down into the floor to open the doors for guests.  Our friends were horrified that we would take such a risk of sleeping there at night to claim the house as our own, and perhaps they were right, but we were kept safe.  In fact the risk was indeed high.  One of the young men in the basement repeatedly urged his companions to break down our door and evict us because the house was theirs. 

Eventually the men moved out, taking all our rental furniture with them.  My realtor friend went to the state’s attorney to ask what could be done to get our furniture back, but she was told that the process would be a long drawn out one.  Angrily my friend suggested that it might be quicker and more efficient if she drove around town until she found where they had moved, and knock on their door with a ball bat in hand.  Of course, the state’s attorney was appalled and tried to dissuade her.

My friend was serious about having the furniture returned, however.  There were four bedrooms and a kitchen upstairs so replacing beds, dressers, kitchen table and chairs, dishes and tableware would be expensive.  The men even took our brooms and ironing boards.  One evening my friend came home from work tired but pleased that she found where the men had moved and noted that our broom was propped outside their front door.  With bravado she knocked on the door the next morning and demanded that all the furnishings be returned by Friday evening.  To our delight and relief they brought it all back.

Meantime, I cleaned the house thoroughly.  The young men used drugs and smoked marihuana on the weekends, so I found leaves and stems over the doors and on the furnace pipes in the basement to dry.  My cat got high when the vets hung blankets over the windows to hold the smoke inside and ran through the house yowling aggressively.  He was not declawed so I shut him in the bathroom but he rattled the doorknob and begged earnestly to be let out.  Monday mornings were a relief from the mayhem of yowling, rattling doorknobs, and boisterous threats alternating with quiet periods of stoned sleep – the vets’, not mine.

When I finished cleaning I had collected a shoebox full of marihuana plus some little white pills which I threw away before realizing I should have saved those, too.  I was substitute teaching at the high school so I mentioned to the students that I had called the police for help when the vets were especially loud and abusive but apparently the police were afraid of the situation and wouldn’t come.  I told them I had a shoebox of marihuana that I didn’t know what to do with so one of the boys suggested that I take it to the State Police to get it out of the house.  It was foolish for me to tell the class I had the stuff because some of them might like to get a hold of it by breaking into our house.

At lunchtime I took the stuff to the State Police and explained the situation to them.  Briefly they showed me how to judge the quality of the weed and commented that what these student-veterans were smoking wasn’t high quality.  Back at school after lunch I let the boys know what I had done.  I think their concern was as much that their fathers were the city policemen in question as much as they cared about my friend’s and my safety.

In another odd happening, several weeks after the vets had moved out of our house a city policeman knocked on my door and showed me a post card with one of the men’s name with our address.  The card was blowing in the wind on the street and the officer wondered if the addressee was a threat to us.  It just happened that the man in question was actually one of the saner individuals so I defended him.  That chapter of the house’s history seemed to be closed for we heard nothing further from the young men.  My realtor friend checked their police records and all were listed for one thing or another.  However, when I met the men on campus they all seemed to respect me and greeted me in a friendly manner.

The Lighthouse

We decided to name our place The Lighthouse so people would know it had changed hands.  When girl students stopped to inquire about renting a bedroom we questioned them closely to try to select Christians.  We asked them to sign a statement that they knew what the house rules were and were willing to abide by them.  I loved being available to the girls for advice, to play with the cat, or just hang out.

University students celebrated weekends by getting stoned and roaring drunk.  Sometimes a girl would not be able to walk home and ended up in our yard moaning and vomiting.  One night we went out and brought in a girl who begged us to take her to the hospital.  Having grown up on the streets, my friend knew that we needed to take her to the university clinic instead.  The local hospital would give the girl a mild narcotic shot to quiet her, but the university clinic would have her records and know not to do that.  The clinic nurse on duty that night asked us questions we couldn’t answer until we got impatient and walked out.  This girl eventually came to rent a room in our house.  She was a freshman and we asked if she had permission to rent from us because only upper classmen were permitted to live off campus at that time.  Sure enough she had permission.

Later in that first semester another freshman girl asked to rent from us, with university permission.  Shelly was more up front with us, telling us that she had a drug problem and apparently the university officials trusted us to be tough but kind.  Shelly was skilled at deceit but she had a nice way about her, so we tolerated her lies and foolishness, laughing and holding our ground against her sneaky strategies.

Shelly Rides My Horse

Shelly begged aggressively to go horseback riding with me when she found out I had a horse.  She could ride very well, she lied.  At last I asked my sister if she was willing to take the risk of letting Shelly come out to their farm to ride my horse.  Skipper was old, gentle, but far from decrepit, so I took Shelly out and handed her the bridle with no explanation of how to use it.

“Here is Skipper’s bridle.  He’s the horse with brown and black and white.  Go get him and bring him back to the house and we’ll ride together. I can ride one of the other horses.”

Then my sis and I followed Shelly at a distance so she wouldn’t see us because we didn’t want something to happen to her without us being nearby.  At last we couldn’t see her so we walked out into the open pasture in time to see Shelly’s arms and legs snapping and pumping in the wind as Skipper galloped along.  Just a little whoopee in the rear and he dumped her like a ton of bricks.  Swallowing laughter I went to bring Skipper back while my sister went to see if Shelly was hurt.

Shelly had no bruises, not even to her pride, and was eager to get back on Skipper.  My horse was laughing with unbridled mirth when I caught up with him.  Shelly had put both the bit and chin strap in his mouth.  I adjusted the bridle and took him back so Shelly could try again and this time Skipper settled down to give her a better ride.  To this day I enjoy that memory.

Man in the House

One weekend I decided to visit friends out of town.  When I returned Pat showed me a note written by the African renter asking the other girls to come out of their rooms properly dressed because her boyfriend was staying overnight.  I immediately met Jessie to ask how things went in the house over the weekend for her.  She was noncommittal so I showed her the note and told her that the other students had also received one.  Her voice rose as she denied it.  We were just trying to force her to move because of racial prejudice.  She called one of her African professors who agreed to help her present a case against us and set up an informal meeting to which all of the renters and my realtor friend and I were summoned.

When I showed the professor the agreement all our renters had to sign he was deeply embarrassed.  When he asked what our church background was he became very apologetic and told the girl in front of all of us that he held our church in deep respect and would not support her in any way.  We all breathed a sigh of relief, and thanked the professor for his integrity.


I Get Restless

                                                  I Relocate

In1970 I moved out of state to train as a medical technologist.  Although I loved the work, my favorite part of the day was early morning when the lab techs made rounds of the wards to draw blood.  Finally, I became so lonely for the interactions with people that I had enjoyed in teaching that I dropped out of the program.  A science position deep in the Ozark Mountains appealed to me and the village was charming with old-style houses available for rent, so I applied and got the job.

I leased a house with French doors leading from the living room to the back yard which was pleasantly overgrown with large bushes and trees providing some privacy from curious neighbors and passersby on the main blacktop entering the village from the south.  Shopping in the only general store was less enjoyable, however.  The clerk covertly followed me, creeping around the ends of the isles to peer cautiously at the interloper.

I enjoyed cutting the grass and trimming the bushes and decorating the house after classes every afternoon.  In late September I had the large heating oil tank in the back yard filled since the weather was getting chilly at night.

Not too long after the tank was filled the owner knocked on my door.

“You’re going to have to move, Miss.  My wife thinks you have fixed up the house and yard so cute, she wants to move in.”

“I have a lease for this year.  Then your wife can move in.”

“You don’t understand.  I’m evicting you.”

“Then see a lawyer,” I snapped and closed the door.

Perhaps this Missouri mule thought he could bully me.  But when that didn’t work he tried to wear me down by knocking on my door or calling me several times a week to tell me I had to move.

“You have to move by the first of October, Miss.  The law is on my side.  I get to keep the deposit and the heating oil, too.”

“I’m not moving, Mr. Johns.  A lease not only protects the landlord from a dishonest renter, it protects the renter from a dishonest landlord. I’m willing to move but I expect you to refund my deposit and pay me for the heating oil.  Here is the receipt to show what I paid.”

He then tried to negotiate a lower price on the oil but I steadfastly refused anything but a full refund on my money.  At last, to my surprise, he coughed up the deposit and full price of the oil, so I agreed to move.

Considering that the store clerk thought I was from another planet and the owner of the house had little concept of how laws work, I decided to move to a nearby larger town.  There would be an hour commute but hopefully the people there would be more involved in this century.

The two bedroom house I found  was in excellent condition and I hired movers since I was teaching full time and didn’t have time to pack.  Nor did I have any acquaintances to help with moving the stove, refrigerator and heavy furniture.  Only later did I discover that my new landlords, who lived just across the driveway from my little house, were leaders in the local Jehovah’s Witnesses church.

In 1970 Missouri had no minimum wage laws to protect public school teachers, so I bargained for my yearly salary.  Being a woman with a broad science background and being highly recommended, I succeeded in getting the second highest wage in the school district.  Other teachers, some with Masters Degrees, eventually found out what my salary was and complained bitterly.  Nevertheless, my broad educational background made me unusually versatile, so I was unperturbed.

Classes began with a bang that first week.  One afternoon during Biology class two male students began to quarrel and moved to the back of the room into the lab to throw punches.  They pushed each other violently and shouted angrily.  Afraid they would crash into the glass cupboard doors or break the gas connections, I hurried back to demand that they stop fighting immediately.  They glared at me uncertainly so I took advantage of the situation to dismiss the class to get the students out of the room.  Then I told the two combatants they had a choice of dropping the class or one of them could move to the morning section.  They assured me that neither choice was acceptable to them.  Then they hurriedly left the building to catch their buses.

Early the next morning I was called into the principal’s office.  The boys were there, having told the principal of my highhanded tactics of the afternoon before.

“Miss, you don’t have any authority to tell students they must drop a class or move to another section.  That is my prerogative, not yours.  These boys will be back in the afternoon class today.”

“No they won’t,” I stated boldly.  “If these students are allowed to over-ride the teacher’s discipline and I am not allowed to have control of my own classroom, you may look for another science teacher.”  Then I turned to the students.

“Alvin, you may come to the morning class.  Shawn, you may stay in the afternoon class.”  Then I wheeled and left the principal’s office.

The elderly principal appealed to the superintendent who upheld me, I was to learn later.  It seems that no one was willing to cross swords with the ageing administrator who was ready to retire.  Possibly he wanted the good will of the parents and students more than he wanted to support a staff with high turnover and strange ways.

At the beginning of every class period the principal came into my room the collect absence slips.  He just walked in and stood impatiently at my lecture desk.  If I hadn’t taken attendance yet, he jogged my memory.  If I was slow in determining who was absent, he helped me get it right.  At last, to gain a little autonomy, I shut the door to the room, but he walked in without knocking.  Not being very long-suffering, I asked him to wait at least ten minutes before coming to my door for the absence slips.  Nothing changed, so I paid a visit to the superintendent and mentioned this contest of wills.  The super had a talk with the man and he didn’t come back to my room to ask for anything but sent an office helper who did give the teachers enough time for record keeping duties.

I found a door hanger that showed a cave man with a huge club and proclaimed, “Knock at your own risk”.  Then I told the students, “Heaven help the person who knocks on my door during a lesson.”  They took me seriously, and a week later, when my brother and his wife were passing through the area, they stopped at the school to say hello to me.  They stopped a student in the hallway to ask directions to my room and were amused when the student explained that I was having a class and “heaven help the person who interrupted her lessons.”  Of course, my brother wasn’t afraid to interrupt and I was so delighted to see him that I allowed the class to go outside before the end of the period.  Score one for the teacher.

Early in the first semester there was an all-school assembly for students to hear the dress code read.  Among the rules were stipulations for the girls’ hemlines and boys’ hair length.  I dressed extremely conservatively so the students asked what I thought of the dress code when they returned to class, and were quite surprised that I thought the rules were a little tight for them.

“For example,” I commented, “look at Lee’s hair.  It’s over his ears, but it the Asian style and his hair is always shiny clean.”  Students looked carefully at Lee who was smiling at my approval, then back at me in surprise.  Score another point for the teacher.

Across the hall from the science room was the English classroom with a first year teacher whose parents were university professors.  F. was a refined young lady who loved her subject but her students did not.  Several months after I met her she began to tell me about coming to school to find papers strewn around her classroom, desks turned over, and even her own heavy oak desk turned on its side at times.  She confided that she had rented a little one-room shack with no telephone and at night there were voices and thumping noises around the building.  I urged her to move in with me since I had an extra bedroom.

“Oh no,” she exclaimed.  “That would put you in danger of harassment, too.”

“No it wouldn’t.  No student would dare to trash my classroom.  They wouldn’t torment you or me by phone, either.  Think about it as long as you need to.” F. did move in with me the last two months of school, and all the monkey business stopped.

In the classroom I am all business until the lesson is given.  Alexander sat nearest the door and kept up a running monologue from the time he entered until I shushed him to begin the class.  His monologue was so funny I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.  One day I just couldn’t hold it in any longer and bent over the lecture desk wailing with laughter and nearly in tears.  Students sat tense, waiting for the axe to fall, but instead I explained that Alexander had a wonderful sense of humor, always clean and truly funny.  They could hardly believe their ears, and Alexander’s chest swelled with the compliment.  Score another one for the teacher.

When lessons were finished early we talked, and I often told stories of other schools and my early life.  Although I grew up on a farm, our parents could not afford a horse, and I had always wanted one.

“Can you ride?” they asked.

“Yes, but not well.”

“Janie has a pony and she lives on a farm.  Would you like to ride her pony?”

Janie was eager for me to visit her, so I went home with her after school one Friday to ride her pony.  The rascal was small and rough riding, but he seemed to like me.  After I’d made a couple of passes around the pasture Janie confessed that the pony was mean and bucked everybody off.  I had been set up, but Janie’s plans were foiled when I managed to stay on the bone-bruising critter.  By this time the kids were beginning to like me in spite of the tight classroom.  One person even said when they first met me they knew they wouldn’t like me because I dressed so conservatively and was so strict.  But I kept surprising them with my tolerance of them and their ways.

Second semester I could see that we wouldn’t be able to finish the Biology text so I asked the students to help me prioritize the units.  It was my intention to omit the human sexuality unit because Missouri law forbade the teaching of sex.  Of course, both classes begged to have this unit included so I explained that I didn’t want to lose my credentials by violating the law.

“But you are qualified,” they begged.  “You taught human sexuality in Illinois.”

“I’m willing, but how can I be sure you won’t betray me to your superintendent?  You know David is his son and he is in my morning class.”

“I promise not to tell,” David urged.

Still I hesitated and they tried to think of some risk they could take to show good faith.  At last they had an idea.

“Remember the fight that broke out that first week of school?  We could tell that you didn’t know the older student was high on drugs and we were afraid he would hurt you because he has been arrested for assault.  Would you like to learn something about drugs?  We will teach you and even take you to places the police would like to know about.  Is that a fair exchange?”

“OK,” I agreed weakly.  They were risking themselves, but I was expected by state law to report them if I knew anything.  So our trust had to go both ways.  I still remember the dingy basement bars they took me to, and needle strewn parking lots.  Drugs were not a part of my life, so I hadn’t given it a thought that the larger town I moved to  might be a magnet for drugs.  On the other hand, they asked questions about sex that had never entered my head.  I handled that by calling the public health nurse and she threatened to turn me in.

“Because I am asking questions about sex,” I asked?  “Is that proof that I am teaching sex ed?  If you can’t or don’t wish to answer me, I will find someone who can answer my questions.  You are not the only source of information.”

Throughout the school year my Jehovah’s Witness neighbors brought trainees to my door.  Although I wouldn’t let them in, I would stand at the door and discuss evolution versus creation with them.  They seemed surprised that I could be a public school teacher of science and still believe in God and creation as described in the Bible.  Finally they asked if they could come and talk in more detail about this issue.  Not being a beginner, I was willing but didn’t want to use a whole evening merely to bat the breeze.

From time to time I noticed that the landlord came into my house without telling me in advance he would be entering while I was gone.  I couldn’t understand why they would do that, so at last I bought a paperback copy of Once a Watchtower Slave and left it prominently on the kitchen table.  That seemed to eliminate most of the clandestine snooping.

In the course of a weekend visit they mentioned that one of their horses in the pasture just at the back of my house had been shot recently.

“Why!” I exclaimed.

“Well, its deer hunting season and I suppose the hunter thought he saw a deer.”

“Don’t hunters get permission to hunt on someone else’s property?

“No, people aren’t concerned about trespassing around here.  Even if you caught them and pressed charges, they wouldn’t be punished and maybe not even fined.”

Attitudes were certainly different in neighboring Illinois.  As I thought about the vast difference between the two states, I decided that probably I should return to the present century at the end of the school year.  When I turned in my letter of resignation the superintendent called to ask if I would come to his office.  Our conversations had all been collegial but I wondered if anyone had told him about the agreement between me and my students concerning the drugs and sex exchange.  It turned out that he wanted to persuade me to stay on in his small school district, so I told him about agreeing to teach my students about sex ed in trade for their teaching me about drugs.  I briefly mentioned my local landlord and F.’s terror at night and dismay when she came to school nearly every morning.  Then I asked him if his son had told him about our lessons at the end of the term, but he had not.  Of course I was flattered that this man trusted me so much he would want me to return, but at that time Illinois was third in the nation in educational laws and standards so I moved back home.  That year is still clear in my mind and I enjoy thinking of the people who made it so memorable.

When I returned to my home town, because of the national recession, I worked for a year as an upholsterer’s apprentice and then opened my own shop for five years.

With experiences like this, I don’t need to write fiction!

Forgiveness and Emotional Healing Follow-up

Last week as I was working on the Forgiveness and Emotional Healing post I had some distraction by inappropriate thoughts. Sunday morning two light-beings came and because they seemed light, I accepted them. But they were two demons who caused me injury both physically and spiritually with the goal of getting me off focus on Jesus. I followed them a short ways until I realized what they were doing and I was devastated. Initially I was completely silent in shock. Then I thought of how hurt my Bridegroom must be and I was overcome with grief and shame. By afternoon I knew I must command the demons to flee and to my surprise the Towering Inferno, Holy Spirit, drove them away in fury. He quickly covered me with His cloak and comforted me. Abba had come, too, and my precious Jesus. They cared for me compassionately and stayed within reach (for I care much for touch).

I have known what it is to be comforted after making a bad choice in the past but this time the attack was far more vicious. And the comfort was far more immediate and supportive. Nevertheless, I was so grieved with my poor discernment that I wept until there were no more tears, then wept some more. At last I knew I needed to open my heart to receive the love and comfort and healing Abba was offering. At no time did He offer even a hint of blame. Just love and comfort. By Monday afternoon I had taken into myself the oil of joy for mourning and had slipped on the garment of praise for my spirit of heaviness.

In these days, the spiritual battle is far more savage than in the past. I am not one to shy away from a battle with the spiritual enemy but I don’t remember ever being physically attacked before, although I’ve heard stories. My grandfather told of being attacked in the night and all he could do was cry out, “Jesus”. At the name of Jesus the attackers fled.

My relationship with my heavenly Father, His Son and the gentle Holy Spirit is the most precious relationship of my life. He saturates my being and pools  around me. In His passion for me, He gave everything He had, with intense suffering. In return, He wants everything I am and everything I have as a fair exchange. From the earliest time I can remember, at five years of age, I embraced God as my Father and understood that He was not the same as my earthly father. My life’s hunger and thirst for God has been all-consuming as in Matthew 11:12 “The violent take the Kingdom by force.” That is Joyce. While there are others who have suffered more in life than I have, my desire for Father God has been overwhelming. (Please see my About and first post) The spirit of Death that drove me, drove me right into my Father’s arms and that’s where I will go to Heaven from.

When the Angel of the Lord greeted Gideon with, “Hail, O mighty man of valor,” Gideon took the time to explain that he was the least of his father’s tribe and his father’s tribe was the least in Manasseh. But the Angel didn’t smile. He was serious. So, when you hear Abba say, “I greet you, O mighty woman/man of courage,” He is not smiling. He is serious.

I Corinthians 1:27-28 For God selected – deliberately chose – what in the world is foolish to put to the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame, And God also selected – deliberately chose –  what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are…..

Forgiveness and Emotional Healing

This is a long post that I put on another person’s blog that I should have put on my own with a link. Please excuse me while I am still learning.

Many people need emotional healing. Even believers who have forgiven others still have not experienced healing. There are several Bible passages that I would like to point out as markers on a path to healing. Having lived long enough to experience several deep wounds, I realize that healing can be a long drawn-out process. Sometimes it can take years, but God’s desire for us is healing. Not once did Jesus refuse to heal anyone.

First is the Lord’s Prayer at Matthew 6:9-15 (AKJV)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

People have a hard time forgiving because they think forgiveness is a feeling, but it’s not. Here are a couple of references, among many, about forgiving that are helpful. One is the parable of the king who forgave a man his considerable debt (Mat. 18:23-35). But the man forgiven of his debt then went out and found a very poor man who owed him a very small debt and had him put in prison until he paid the small debt. Forgiveness is God’s heart. He forgives us all we owe and He wants us to forgive others just as freely as we have been forgiven.

            1 Peter 3:9 (AMP)

9 and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one anothers’ well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].

Romans 12:19 (AMP)

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

After forgiving someone, you still have the wound, and it will last as long as you live if you don’t know to ask the Lord to heal it. Let’s look at Isaiah 53:3-6.

Isaiah 53:3-6 (AMP)

3 He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. 4 But [in fact] He has borne our griefs, And He has carried our sorrows and pains; Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, We have turned, each one, to his own way; But the LORD has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] To fall on Him [instead of us].

According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance “deliver, save” is Feminine of a derivative of soter as (properly, abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally) — deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.

Phonetic Spelling: sode’-zo

Parts of Speech: Verb

Definition: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

to save one (from injury or peril)

            to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health

to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

to save in the technical biblical sense

negatively 1b: to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment

to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance

I’ve taken the trouble to be as clear as possible with documentation so that your faith can be in God’s Word rather than my words.

We hear about “by His stripes we are healed” but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a teaching about emotional healing based on Isaiah 53 where Isaiah says He took our griefs and sorrows. If one is true, so is the other. So when I was begging the Father to heal my emotional wounds, this phrase came to mind and I snatched it quickly. Because it is an aspect of salvation it depends only on one’s obedience to the conditions of confessing and forsaking one’s sins and iniquities – then forgiving others as we are so freely forgiven.

For example, I have forgiven the person who said malicious things about me, but I still feel the wound of being devalued and betrayed. So I come before the Father and tell Him how that person is forgiven but I want Him to heal the sense of being devalued and betrayed. He willingly takes that hurt. If the hurt doesn’t go away, then check your heart for complete forgiveness – it’s not about that other person, it’s about you. Then go back to Father and ask again for the hurt to be healed. There is no shame in repetition. Repeat this request as many times as necessary, until you are free of the associated pain. Do this for each painful memory and be patient with yourself in gaining the emotional healing Father God has promised through the suffering of His Son.

There is another aspect of healing from sexual sins and/or violation that is overlooked very often. That is the breaking of soul ties with the individual you were involved with. Again it is done simply. Ask Father God to forgive you for your part in the sin and then ask Him to break the soul tie. Ask Him to cauterize both ends of the broken bond with His precious blood, and the bondage is broken.



My Memories From 12 to 22

Posted on February 7, 2017

A Christmas to Remember                                                                       

During the winters our curtains billowed out into the bedrooms when the cold wind blew.  Mom boiled water to pour into quart Mason jars, and wrapped them in a towel for each of us to take to bed for a little warmth.  In the morning there would be snow on the window sills and frost smeared on the windows.  We danced across the freezing floors as lightly as possible to avoid contact with the cold linoleum.  Only the huge old coal-fed kitchen cook stove heated the drafty five-room house.  To conserve coal, we allowed the fire to burn down during the night and only when we dressed in the icy morning cold to go get more fuel did we get heat.  I hated the cold, but perhaps I hated having to make a quick trip to the outhouse before bed even more.

After crops were harvested in the late fall, our dad found work where ever he could to help supplement income for the family.  One winter I remember thinking that he had abandoned us because we didn’t see him for days.  At last I asked Mom where he was and she declared he was in their bedroom sleeping.  When I expressed doubt, she must have asked him to show himself because he occasionally came into the living room to see us.  Later I discovered that he was working to fire the kilns at a brickyard and listened as he told Mom how awful the heat was and how heavy the work.

The winter when I was twelve there was no money for Christmas.  If we children would allow them, our parents would buy us a small gift after the first of March when the landlord paid Dad for the coming spring planting.  We could ask for whatever we would like, so I asked for a doll that opened and closed its eyes.  Although I was getting too old for dolls, perhaps I felt the need to be comforted.  My dad loved Christmas, so this situation was probably harder on him than on us children.  Mom saw that we each got an orange on Christmas morning, which was a treat, and I don’t remember feeling disappointed.

It’s funny what kids remember and how they respond to difficulties.  My sisters valued stylish clothes as adults, but to this day I remember hating the cold while not caring about the latest styles.

Town School

When our rural school closed all the students were bused into a town ten miles from our house. The town kids were different and often a girl with a French name would bully and tease me. Finally one day during P.E. I’d had enough of her and grabbed her to pound a little sense into her thick head. “Here comes the teacher,” the girls whispered urgently, so the two of us raced up the stairs to the girls’ bathroom to finish our business.  There wasn’t time for either girl to “win” but a townie against a farm kid wasn’t an even fight. I lost a button off my shirt but Frenchy looked pretty mussed up. To my relief, after that incident my classmates were respectful of me.


When I was about twelve years old my father and mother beat me severely for being disrespectful. I was reading the daily newspaper and my dad wanted it. When I said I wanted to finish reading it and would then give it to him, he was incensed.  Mom and Dad both took turns using a belt to strike my legs and I screamed in pain and anger.  More than my own pain, though, I remember the screams of my terrified little brothers and sisters who thought our parents were killing me.  When Mom and Dad were finished they had to drag me into my bedroom and throw me on the bed because I couldn’t walk. When I showed Grandma B. the bruises and welts on my legs above my hemline where they could not be seen she laughed!  “What did you do to deserve that?”

Another time, I remember Dad getting so angry with my brother that he jumped down off his tractor to beat him.  My brother was possibly 16 years old, tall and gangly as a teenager, but it was fight or be brutally beaten, so he fought.  They wrestled and rolled on the ground for what seemed like an hour, and my brother never once struck our Dad.  At last youth won over age, and Brother pinned our father to the ground.  Dad must have been shocked that he took on more than he could handle and was man enough to concede defeat.  After that there was a fragile respect between them.

My First Crush

I had a fierce towering anger against Mom in addition to the above.  When I was around 12 years old I began to enjoy male popular singers heard on the radio and TV.  One of my favorites was Jan Arden to whom I wrote asking for his picture.  When it came in the mail Mom quizzed me about it and cried as she verbalized her fear that I would go wrong.  I was so disgusted with her that I buried the photo in the soil of the drive between the corn-cribs rather than burn it as she insisted.  As a result of this incident I determined to never say or do or write anything that could be questioned until I was able to do it on my own, away from parental control.  Mom even read my personal mail that came to her house when I was in China if she is curious enough.  Nor has she ever felt the need to apologize or explain.


By the time I was fourteen I had shut down emotionally and betrayed no feelings at all.  My own stony heart concerned me so I made a deal with the Lord. (Yes, God makes deals, but you had better keep your end of the bargain.)  At that time we lived far from the county seat and our parents went grocery shopping every Friday while we stayed home.  Our church was having a revival and I asked the Lord to move on my parents’ hearts to give me permission to stay in town with one set of grandparents so I could attend the meetings.  If He would arrange that, I would go forward at the invitation.  Well, He did, so I did.  The pastor’s wife was puzzled, though.  Why didn’t I show any joy, she wondered?  How did I know I was saved?  Believe me, I knew, but by this time the walls were so high that expression wasn’t natural to me.

When my two sisters were old enough to be interested in boys they instructed the boys to meet them across a field because they knew they would not be permitted to date until they left home.  Fortunately, they realized the need to tell somebody where they were going, with whom, and about when to expect them home – their elder sister being the person they told.  I remember one night when our parents missed them and asked me where they were.  I wouldn’t tell because I had promised I wouldn’t.  When I have told this incident as an adult, people have said I deserved the beating I got as an eighteen year old for shielding my sisters and preempting our parents’ authority.

We Move to Town

When my father’s aunt died she left enough money for him to buy a house in town. He retired from farming and found a job working as the local school unit’s head grounds-man. While living in that house Mom had gall bladder surgery which threw her into menopause and even more emotional turmoil. During those years her father, my dear Grandpa P. died, and temporarily Grandma P. came to live with us. I felt so sorry for Grandma; she was so lost without her lifetime companion. She cut flowers from the lilac bush just outside the back door for bouquets at our meals but Mom was very unhappy that the flowers just on that side of the bush were cut.

During this period of time, Mom became angry with  my youngest brother about something and hit him, knocking him across the kitchen into a counter and cutting his face. Blood flew everywhere but she had no remorse. Since my youngest sister had already married, she and her husband invited our little brother to live with them. Although my sister’s husband wasn’t much older than little brother, he was like a father to him, and a bond was forged that still exists to this day.

As mentioned previously, we weren’t allowed to attend school functions except band concerts, which Mom sacrificed to help us with.    I remember Mom taking me to a summer parade to march in the band, but after the parade I had to walk home in the scorching heat – maybe six miles.  I was in the school plays but I wasn’t allowed to drive because my parents refused to sign for me to get a driver’s license. They didn’t want to take me, but I could ride with another parent or a teacher after they were carefully vetted.

College Student

At that time the State of Illinois made a certain number of college scholarships available to high school seniors and I prayed for one because Mom and Dad expected me to make my own way after graduation.  Unfortunately, my name was too far down on the list of graduating high school seniors so all the scholarships were taken.  But, one by one, eligible students forfeited their right to a scholarship in a state school in order to enroll in a more prestigious college.  When my name came up I was thrilled. The state scholarship paid for everything but my books, if I lived at home.  I chose to study chemistry because being a woman in the sciences would be advantageous – and my choice proved to be a good one.  The classes were hard but Grandpa P. was awesome in calculus and chemistry, and he was pleased to help me.  Then, my senior year in college Grandpa dropped over dead the week before Thanksgiving and my world came crashing down.  I couldn’t think of anything but Grandpa and failed an exam in my major, thus I failed the course and failed to graduate.  This was all the more disturbing because I was far too shy and withdrawn to get a job.  For a year I grieved, sleeping all day and reading by night.

One day I took the car keys without permission and drove the family car out to an area, south of town, intending to smash it into a tree.  As I negotiated the first curve and accelerated I heard a voice saying gently, “Joyce, don’t do that.”  The road was gravel, so I put the car into a skid to avoid the telephone pole I was approaching and drove on home.  In all that time no one ever spoke to me about my grief and depression, but my high walls didn’t keep out God’s tender voice – He knew the weeping child within who needed comfort.

After a year of withdrawal I felt stronger and decided to take a state test to get a provisional teacher’s certificate.  I passed easily and taught chemistry, biology, general science, algebra, geometry and solid geometry as well as trigonometry my first year in 1962-63.  My first year of teaching was difficult but I loved it.  While teaching I made application to our church Mission Board as a missionary.  Meanwhile, I carefully saved my money to pay my way for a year of college in Oklahoma – the best small premed college in the United States at that time – I wanted to be a doctor.

Back in College

A professor in beginning chemistry allowed me to grade papers since I had teaching experience.  As a graduate assistant I marked papers and assigned grades. I didn’t accept excuses for poor or missing work so the girls told the college president that I was a lesbian.  I went to see the man and asked him how anyone who didn’t know me could be so sure of my character.  Then I suggested that he ask the Lord about me since I had nothing to hide.  The next day he said he had prayed and I was indeed guilty.  I was shocked. Up until then I had thought that those in spiritual leadership always knew the mind of God, but this man missed the Lord. Badly!

Several of the Mission Board members were located near the college and they declined to even interview me.  They warned me in an antiseptic letter that when I was thirty-two I had better reapply because no missionaries were accepted after that.  After thirty-two, one was too old and inflexible to learn a foreign language.  Since I was just climbing out of the deep emotional hole I fell into at Grandpa’s death, I decided this wasn’t worth another breakdown.  By God’s grace and compassion I met another missionary candidate in the girls’ dorm just returning from her interview.

“Have you been interviewed?” she asked.  “I heard that you were turned down. I want to give you some encouragement by telling you what happened at my interview.”

Then she proceeded to tell me she had worked two years in Haiti as a registered nurse with another mission.  She had come back to the States to update her knowledge of diseases in Haiti and planned to return.  The Mission Board said they didn’t need more nurses in Haiti, however, and insisted on assigning her elsewhere.  This slightly built but spunky little lady assured those august men that they didn’t speak for God!  She was called to Haiti and which mission she went with mattered less than her obedience to God.  I was impressed with her singleness of purpose and the memory of our conversation has steadied me many times in my adult life!

Some Background to My Family and My Early Life

Imagine that the spirits of unborn babies are in heaven until they are assigned parents on earth.  Imagine that you are playing with some of your friends in heaven and Jesus comes over to your group and asks if anyone would volunteer to go to earth to a young married couple.  No one speaks so Jesus points at you and asks you to go.  To refuse is unthinkable so you go, but very reluctantly.  I was that child.

From the moment of conception I was deeply troubled, for my earthly father and mother didn’t seem to get along. At times they quarreled violently although my father never did strike my mother. She cried a lot and I became anxious. Even after I was born they continued to be unfriendly with each other and I wished to die. By the time I was nine months old I could walk and was learning to talk, but that winter I became seriously ill with double pneumonia. The house we lived in was drafty and cold so Mom kept me in a basket on the open oven door of their heavy iron cook stove to keep me warm. Slowly I began to recover but then took a turn for the worse and once again I hovered between life and death. Spring came and I began to gain strength but I had to learn to talk and walk all over again.

Feelings of abandonment seemed to dominate my childhood.  I remember when Mom went to the hospital to have she third child; I was around two years old. I cried for her until someone took me to stand outside her window and she came to wave and call to me.

I don’t ever remember being held or loved by my father.  Mom held me till a brother or sister wanted her lap; then I was put down.  I remember once in particular sitting on Mom’s lap in the yard at Grandma B.’s house on a Sunday afternoon.  One of my siblings wanted on her lap so she put me down, explaining that it was only fair for me to share.  I cried bitterly, wounded to the bone.

When I was 5 years old I can remember hiding under the covers when Mom was making the beds and jumping out at her as an invitation to play.  She would play with me briefly but never for long because she had so much work to do. I smiled a lot to make people like me when I was 5 and 6 years old and they would comment on my sunny disposition.  But it didn’t win me any love.

Both sets of my grandparents were Wesleyan believers and I loved them dearly, especially my mother’s father, Grandpa P.  My Grandpa B. died when I was about two years old but I remember standing beside him on the front seat of his old car as he drove down the brick-paved street in our town.  The first prayer I remember praying was that God would bring Grandpa B. back to me.  The second prayer I remember praying was that God would help me find my lost doll – and He did.  All this was before I was five years old.

Great Grandfather was sold as a white slave by his step-mother in 1865 when his father died in the Civil War.  The politically correct term is “indentured servant”.  It is no wonder his heart was broken and subsequent generations, both men and women, have inherited a searing rage.  When I discovered his early life and understood his broken heart I wept off and on throughout the coming days and still have a profound compassion for him.  I understand the feelings of worthlessness that could never be expunged, the sense of never belonging or being accepted.  Now I understand where these feelings were born and have identified with them intensely.  But Father God is my Abba and I am adopted into His family.  The anger and rejection that ruled my early life have been absorbed by Abba’s love.  He will never leave me nor forsake me, for He is not a man that He should fail!

According to family ancestry research, Great Grandfather emigrated from Germany to Ohio and with his wife and had three children.  The children’s mother died or ran away and Great Grandfather married a second time.  He enlisted in the Civil War and died in a southern prison.  The step-mother sold his son to a Scottish emigrant, a farmer in Ohio who then moved to Illinois.  The children must have felt disconsolate at being abandoned by their mother, first, and then their father in his death only to then lose their elder brother. My mother told us that our father’s father had a violent temper and was known to beat his horses. That temper was passed down to our father. Diabetes afflicted our great grandfather and grandfather, but was stopped in its tracks at our father and has come no further. These two men also had heart trouble and high blood pressure which has come no further.


My parents were work-oriented and harsh with their children.  Children were to be seen and not heard so I slowly became a solemn child who did a lot of thinking.  Eventually I came to earnestly hate both my parents for their physical violence and verbal abuse.  In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing my father use my name when addressing me, nor my mother ever hugging me or any of my brothers and sisters. Most of the time my dad called me “Fish Face” because I puckered up to cry when he shouted at me. No one ever said, “I love you.”

We were dirt poor because my father had a raging temper and became incensed when anyone tried to cheat him as a tenant farmer. Or dared to disagree with him for whatever reason.  That meant we lived in as many as six drafty, two-bedroom tenant houses in a year.  Mom said she finally stopped unpacking when we moved; she just lived out of boxes.  She put her three little girls in one bedroom, the boys in the living room, and she and Dad took a bedroom.  This was our living arrangement until I was a senior in high school.

Because we lived in rural areas, my mother’s parents agreed to keep me while I was in the first grade so I could attend the town public school.  That was a year of blossoming for me.  I started taking piano lessons but only had eleven when the teacher complained that all I wanted to do was play the piano.  I don’t remember there being a piano in the first grade classroom, but Mom discontinued the music lessons.   Grandpa and Grandma P. both played the piano and they had one in their house, so Grandpa continued my piano lessons while he sang or played his trombone.  We walked to the Union National Bank every afternoon where he was the janitor. While he cleaned and locked up I had the full attention of a loving adult to listen to my childish chatter and answer my childish questions.  Wonder of wonders, I was allowed to stay with my Grandma B. my second year in school and she also was kind to me.

I remember telling Grandma B. about God calling me to be a missionary but asked her not to tell my parents because I would have to answer a lot of questions and didn’t have answers.  Grandma B.  thought it was so cute that I wanted to be a missionary so she told Mom and Dad.  I felt betrayed and determined that I wouldn’t invest my precious confidences ever again.

During the second grade one of my classmates lived a couple of houses down the street from Grandma B.’s house so we played together.  She had a birthday party and invited all the girls in her class but me.  I found out by chance when I knocked on her door to see if she could play with me, and there were my classmates with a decorated birthday cake on the table.  When my friend’s mother realized what had happened she apologized to me but I didn’t think it was her mistake. I believed my friend wasn’t truly my friend after all.  By this time rejection was taking strong root in my personality. The peaceful years with Grandma and Grandpa P. and Grandma B. came to an end when I started third grade.

During my fourth grade year in the one-room schoolhouse in our community our teacher was Mrs. H. Until then I had loved school and everything about it, but Mrs. H. railed on us day after day: we could never do anything right.  I wasn’t the only child to go home crying, begging our parents to replace her.  Parents felt sorry for our teacher because she was recovering from a divorce and needed a job to support herself and a young daughter.  Nevertheless, this verbal barrage at school in addition to the emotional and physical abuse at home nearly destroyed me.  I no longer believed in myself and my grades, formerly A’s and B’s fell to C’s and D’s.

I was nine when Mom sent us to live with one of her sisters and husband while she waited for her fifth child to be born.  Aunt and Uncle couldn’t have children so they were glad to have us and tried to make our time enjoyable until at last we became homesick.  The younger children were allowed to return home when they got homesick, but I had to stay with Aunt and Uncle.  To help fill the time I drew and colored a picture every day and Aunt promised to give them to Mom with my love.  Later I found all my love-filled pictures in Aunt’s waste basket – Mom didn’t even get to see them.  The hurt and devaluing pierced my heart deeply.

Living at home, when I returned home for the third grade, was to take responsibility for my younger brothers and sisters who didn’t see me as someone to obey.  When they got into trouble I got the beating.  One time one of my brother’s cut into a newly baked pie while our parents had gone to town for the weekly shopping.  When they got home they interrogated each of us closely but we wouldn’t tell who did it, so we all got a heavy beating.

Another time Dad became so frustrated with our old car that he ripped the wires out of the motor and drove back to the field on his tractor to plow in the field. The car was not a luxury so Mom went out and reconnected all the wires hoping that she got them all in the right places. That evening when Dad went out to start the car, it started and ran like it should. He didn’t make a comment and didn’t ask any questions.

Dad traded cars often. When I was about twelve he bought an old coupe like those that had a rumble seat in the rear instead of a trunk. With a family of seven, it wasn’t practical but he thought it was sharp. He and Mom sat in front with the youngest child in Mom’s arms and the other four of us lay down in the trunk like sausages. I was so ashamed of arriving at church in my good clothes and climbing out of the car’s trunk in public.

Dad didn’t go to church but he let Mom and us children go. After church on the way home he grilled Mom about who she spoke to and what she said to each person.  If she forgot something or if Dad accused her of saying or doing something she didn’t say or do, we older three children would defend her in great disgust. Why was he so jealous of such a private woman?

Years later Dad’s brother’s wife told one of us that both our dad and his brother had seduced their wives and got them pregnant to force them into marriage. Dad’s brother’s wife was a notorious gossip so we dismissed that story as a whopper, but Dad’s brother confirmed  her story. In fact, Uncle and Aunt’s first child was born only a few months after their marriage. None of us accepted her story. Now in my 70s, that possibility has became much more likely as I considered how our parents’ treated us and each other.

Mom and Dad were married in May while Mom was a senior in high school and after her graduation they moved to a farm two counties away. Mom’s parents moved to be near although I never heard a reason for that move. Perhaps they believed their youngest needed their help – and I’m confident that she did.

Many times when children are severely mistreated they turn against each other, but instead, we stuck together and cried over each other’s hurts. I remember one time on the school bus that the driver thought our older brother had done something to one of the girls. He hadn’t, and we three sisters defended him vigorously. The driver required our brother to stay on the bus after everyone else got off but we three girls stayed with him. That made the bus driver nervous so he let us go and called our parents that evening to defend himself. As you can imagine, nothing like that ever happened again to any of us because we were a family to be dealt with.

Our parents didn’t permit us to take part in any school activities because we lived so far from school. Neither were we permitted to play with our rural neighbors. This probably came from Mom’s upbringing by her first-generation German immigrant mother. Not being permitted to socialize until I was out of high school created a serious social handicap for me. Both my sisters were determined to mix with their classmates but I was passive, so I have struggled to make friends all my life.

Some helpful references:                                                                                                                                                                      The Shining Man with Hurt Hands free download in PDF