Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday I shared my story on The Wartburg Watch.  I am grateful to Deb and Dee for helping me find the courage to speak out and tell my story.  Today, I am very discouraged.  I guess I had the expectation that the telling of our story would be met with outrage. Battle cries.  Compassion.  A massive outpouring of support. The people at TWW have been amazing and supportive.  Beyond that, the silence has been deafening.

I spent the last several months asking God what I was supposed to do with this experience. What was the purpose? Why did it happen?  How can believers do this to other believers?

Is anyone listening? I am wondering where I go from here?  Do I keep shouting it from the rooftops? Do place it on the altar?

 Do I ask the hard questions of the people who have harmed me? Do I even bother when I know that doing so is risking further abuse?  Am I willing to risk them diverging private information about my husband and myself?  Did they do so already? Is it really possible to maintain the one friendship I still have, when I cannot be myself and express my pain?

Will others share their stories?  Is the pain so deep and the fear so great that they can’t?

How can I best glorify God in this situation?


  1. I know the lack of support can be deafening. I came from an abusive church in 2007 and began blogging as I came out. I blogged anonymously at first then put my name to it and just recently named the church. It is the scariest thing I have ever done but frankly I would not take back one word. The community that I found online helped me understand my experience as I saw it over and over again in others lives. I found resources, friends and my courage to stand up and finally know that what my heart knew was true and I could trust it. The past few months we even started a site where those who went to our church could post their stories. It has been simply healing at at least one person has left because of our stories and them seeing that they were not alone in what they saw at the church.
    My encouragement to you is to write, write and write some more. Others will make their way here and write their stories. Some will be too afraid. Spiritual abuse is a prison that simply will not turn loose of people's souls even after they leave the abuse.
    I am proud of you and will link you to my blog to help others find you.

    1. I concur with Barb!

      Thank you to both you and your husband for being willing to share your story. I hope it moves you forward on your journey of healing. The questions you're asking here are very normal and I hope you accept them as such! These situations and stories are very hard, and walking through them requires constant trust in God.

      Part of my own healing from an abusive controlling church has been learning about a God who is not interested in punishing my every mistake, even as I make many in my healing process. Anger, doubt, fear, and loneliness are part of the process, but they are not the end of any story where Jesus is involved!

      I hope you continue to find peace and strength in Jesus as you engage with your own woundedness and those who have also been spiritually abused.

  2. My advice would be to have patience and keep working on this blog. Change can be slow. I know it's frustrating. Mars Hill Church has been doing outrageous things for years, and yours probably won't be the story that blows it wide open. But I feel like the storm is coming. Eventually they will cross a line, or the testimony against them will mount up so high, that it can no longer be ignored. In the meantime, this blog serves as a beacon of light that others who have been harmed by the toxic culture of MHC can rally around, and you can help one another to heal. That's definitely a whole lot better than nothing. Hang in there.

  3. Most stories take a few days to travel around the net, until they hit the Big Player blogs - once they do - they go viral. Unfortunately, the less written on a post, the faster it flies. Having the word Driscoll in the title probably makes it fly faster than Mars Hill. Give it time, it will be added to the chorus of hurt voices out there.

  4. Do not give up! And do not let your experience and the lash-back or lack of support define you. The enemy would like nothing better than to let you question who you are in Christ, Who Christ is and what is correct discernment.

    If you lack wisdom, ask of God and he will give it to you liberally. But if you doubt you will receive it, you will be double minded, like a wave tossed by the sea. James.

    Trust me, I know. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. The betrayal, doubt and lack of confidence in God, others and myself has been a huge struggle because of how people responded to me.

    I am forever shy and quick to discern unhealthy relationships, both secular and spiritual now.


  5. I am in Australia reading your story and am thankful you shared it. It will have a ripple effect - the impact will be bigger than what you get to see. Sadly, it's going to take more stories like this for Mars Hill to gain widespread awareness and recognition as a cult. It is perfectly valid to feel outraged and at a loss as to why there aren't more voices supporting you. I am angry and saddened with and for you. There will be support in due time but the perceptions of this church are only just changing - from being perceived as a 'doctrinally correct' megachurch to what it is in reality: misogynist, hypermasculinised, filled with 1950s male privilege, psychological manipulation and spiritual abuse.

  6. Hi.

    I'm glad you put your story out there. It's an important contribution and is likely doing many things you cannot see.

    Ninety nine out of 100, other people who have been hurt are having the same struggles of whether or not to share, what would be the personal cost, is it worth it, etc. that you are having. I can't help but think you will provide encouragement to them, letting them see it was not just them.

    Please don't use visible results for a measure of whether you did the right thing. In sharing the word God had burdened him with, Isaiah said, "Then I said, 'I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, and my work with my God.'" Isaiah 49:4

  7. I've been griping about Mark Driscoll since June of 2009, starting with the rumblings concerning his pornographic handling of The Songs.
    Then as I learned more and more, I had more to gripe about.
    Believe me when I tell you, many more are talking about this now than back in 2009. I found very few people who shared my concern over Driscoll and Mars Hill.
    But there are more voices joining in with us all the time.
    Take heart. Your story adds so much. It needed to be told because those of us who claimed that Driscoll's doctrine was damaging were met with, "Where's the proof?"
    I knew there had to be proof. It was a long time coming (in blog years). But finally the proof is here.

  8. I linked the wrong comment from Freedom's blog, so I link this one too.
    Plus, I wanted to tell you that you are now on my Blog list at my blog.