Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mark Driscoll Steps Down from The Gospel Coalition

Read more about it HERE

Earlier today, he resigned from the presidency of the Acts 29 Network.

The Curious Case of "A Call to Reconciliation"

Why would Mars Hill issue A Call to Reconciliation, and then fail to respond to Kaelee, who was featured in the KOMO News story? 

From "A Call to Reconciliation" (emphasis mine):

"Naturally, we’ve been following these stories closely, and a handful of people have stepped out to discuss their experiences. Quoted in various sources are people who’ve given their stories anonymously. Since we don’t know who they are, we’d love to meet with them and serve them and begin a process of reconciliation. So please, if you’re reading this, do let us know who you are so we can do all we can to love you by sitting down to meet, listen, and serve. For the two mentioned in the KOMO story, we’d love to meet with you also to do the same."

Why, when I filled out the form asking whether or not they would be willing to meet with people under the terms I suggested in my previous post, Why I Won't Be Answering the "Call to Reconciliation", did they respond?  I had a pleasant conversation with the Director of Security/Exec. Assistant to Dave Bruskas via email.

A curious case indeed.

(Copies of form submissions available upon request)

Mark Driscoll Steps Down as President of Acts 29 Network

Read about it HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An Exciting Opportunity

Here at Mars Hill refuge our heart is really to help all of those who have been hurt by spiritual abuse. Our focus has been on the abuse occurring at Mars Hill due to our personal experiences, but that doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to those who have experienced abuse at the hands of other churches.

Mars Hill Refuge is meant to be a starting ground. A place where you can come to read the stories of people who have suffered like you and where we can share our experiences as we all move forward in our healing. Our hope is that this is a place you can come and feel safe while beginning or continuing your healing journeys. Neither Sophia or myself are mental health professionals so we are excited to announce that a Seattle therapist has offered us support with this blog. For those looking to work through their healing with a therapist in the Seattle area we would love to refer you to her! She is a Christian with a background in ministry, and would love to provide a safe place for those needing to process the harm they have experienced within the church. I have been in therapy myself for the past year and it has been wonderfully beneficial for me. I would really recommend it to anyone going through this painful and often confusing process.

She has also brought up an exciting idea of starting a resource group in the Seattle area for those who have suffered from Spiritual abuse, whether it be at the hands of Mars Hill or another church. Before we go too far in planning this we wanted to see who would be interested in this opportunity. If you would be interested please email me at and let me know if an Eastside or Seattle location would be better for you so we can get a better idea of how to proceed from here!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Kip's Story

My wife and I were faithful members of Mars Hill Church including active in Community Group, Service Ministries, special events, etc.  We were attending an ever increasing CG that would discuss often its need to split.  My CG leader then approached me about considering becoming a leader.  He informed me that I was already considered a ‘leader’ of sorts within the group.  My wife and I prayed and sought wisdom in launching a group of our own.  After lots of prayer and consideration we decided to answer the call for more leaders.  I attended a few training sessions, completed some course material and lead a few CG sessions.
Then it came time for my pastoral interview.  I met my CG leader and a campus pastor early one morning before work at a local coffee shop.  Pastor X’s first question was, “How is the training going so far?”  I proceeded to tell him things were going okay.  I went onto say that I was very humbled by the opportunity to lead a community group but that in some ways I felt inexperienced and under-prepared.  The pastor stopped me and started grilling me on why I felt that way.  He then informed me that I was “not living up to my true potential and everything God has called me to be.”  He went on “do you truly believe God calls people?” “I do” I said.  “Well then you’re not living up to all that God has called you to be.”  “Hmmm,” I thought, okay I imagine that’s true.  The more I answered his questions, the more ammunition it seemed to provide him and the more he would grill me.  I noticed he didn’t really have an agenda or any questions he was reading from and that his only agenda was to confront and attack any ‘sinfulness’ he sensed from my responses.  At one point he stopped and said “I hope you don’t feel like I’m attacking you… because we do this to all of our leaders.”  After an hour or more, the ‘interview’ was over and I had to leave for work.  I left feeling confused and unsure of what had happened.  My wife called to ask how it went, but I could only reply “I don’t know.”  To this day, it is the strangest interview I have ever been to inside or outside the church.  

That Sunday I asked my CG leader how things went.  He would tell me that the pastor has some “concerns” about me and “why” I want to be a CG leader.  He suspected I was doing it simply to ‘please’ man.  I was thoroughly confused but then was reminded back to a conversation I had had with my CG leader months prior about trying not to please others.  I decided to go home and send an email to the pastor asking for further clarification since I was not doing this to please MH.  I also expressed a few concerns about how the interview was conducted.  Because of this experience and other observations, I suspected MH believed in order to build men up, they must bully them and break them down.  His reply came that he had perhaps misrepresented himself and that he wasn’t simply trying to “sin-hunt.”   He asked if we could meet again to get on the same page – which I agreed to.  A day later he says he needs to involve some more pastors for greater accountability.  At this point I decided that perhaps getting further involved wasn’t the right move.  When I tried to rescind my name from the training process and decline to meet further – I was accused of ‘running’ from community and my leaders who were trying to love me.

So to prove that we weren’t running, we agreed to meet.  When we arrived a little early to our meeting, Pastor X got frantic and explained that it wasn’t possible until all parties were available.  This was getting more bizarre and we began feeling more intimidated by all of this.  What had I done?  Hadn’t I just pointed out some concerns about their ‘training’ process?  Wasn’t this an ‘open-handed’ issue?   I knew they would probably disagree with my concerns but at least we could shake hands and agree to disagree.  We were brought to their downstairs offices where we sat nervously making chit chat with our CG leader.  Finally the door opens and both pastors usher us into this tiny office with 2 couches facing each other.  The door locks behind us where we find ourselves in a room with black walls and a sword hanging above the couch opposite us.  Pastor X sat back and let the new Pastor Y do all the talking.  He quickly looked over my email and then sized us up by questioning us about attendance, serving, CG participation, etc.  He then asked me what the issue was at which point I did my best to explain what problems I sensed with the training process.  I expressed my concern about building leaders up by breaking them down and that it wasn’t good or healthy for us as a church.  He looked at me and said “Then how would you do it?”  After my concerns were quickly dismissed, the real purpose for the meeting could get underway.   Pastor Y stopped for a second, looked at me intently and said “God is telling me that your real issue is pride.  You have a pride problem that you need to deal with.   You came in here with your fists up ready to fight didn’t you?  Well you now have a chance to respond either in pride or humility – what’s it going to be?”  He must have sensed that I was feeling intimidated, but with 2 pastors and my CG leader staring me down and grilling  – I guess you could say I felt a little defensive.   My CG leader chimed in with a laundry list of items where I had “failed” him both in the training process and outside of.   Pastor Y repeated the question “will you respond in pride or humility?”  Pastor X on the other side yelling “What’s Jesus saying! What’s Jesus saying!”  I started to feel like I was suffocating or like a giant weight was crushing me.   I finally broke.  The tears start running and at once my wife and I and everyone else in the room was relieved that I had admitted my sin.  We were convinced that my concerns were irrelevant because I was prideful…  Everyone patted themselves on the back and we prayed together.   But from the moment we left, I felt sick to my stomach like something wrong had just happened.   What happened there was anything but kind or loving.  To be sure, it was the scariest most divisive most manipulative experience I have ever been through.  It was more of an interrogation than anything.  But to answer their question: “yes” I am prideful and at times need repentance from it and will my whole life.  But does that negate my concerns about their training process?  Or perhaps these things really weren’t open-handed...

Later that week my CG leader calls trying to follow-up with an offer to provide assistance in repenting from my pride.   When I declined his help, it only prompted more calls, emails and text messages.  Things started to get even more awkward and uncomfortable at church.  We decided to stay on the outskirts, find a new community group etc.  They went as far as saying that I needed help in my repentance.  Never mind the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit or verses like Philippians 1:6.  What did they want from me?  I imagined the only thing that would satisfy them was to lie before them and recant.  We couldn’t believe what was happening.  We started to suspect that the Lord may be leading us away from MH.   But we didn’t want to accept it since all of our friends and some of our family attended here.  This was our home.  I demanded they stop harassing me, but it only persisted.  Eventually I received an email from Pastor X entitled “Your Unrepentant Heart” in which he would inform me that I was being placed under church discipline.  Pastor X even went so far as to tell me that even if I left and went to a new church it would follow me as “church discipline is binding in heaven.”   By this point friends were avoiding and deserting us.  We knew it was time to leave. 

I could write much more about the painful trial that ensued but I prefer to make much more about how God faithfully protected and provided for us.  Some days it’s still raw and I have to pray for the Lord's help in not growing bitter.  Two years later we still receive disdainful glances from MH members who either know we left or find out we used to attend.  I’m sure the pastors felt they were doing us a service, but they did so at the cost of abuse.  I would later find out that what we went through is considered by some to be spiritual abuse.

Former Mars Hill Leadership Speaks

Former Elder Paul Petry and his wife speak out....I have not even finished reading it yet, but thought I would share the link!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You just didn't try hard enough.

A few months ago, in a different corner of the Internet, a prominent vegan blogger came out with her decision to no longer be a vegan. She had been sick for months and decided the diet was no longer worth the misery she was experiencing. She received a multitude of comments about this decision, some people encouraged her and congratulated her for being honest with herself, and some people threatened to kill her. The most common comment she received was that she had simply not tried hard enough to make it work. Most people responding to her post believed that if she had simply done more research, or added this or that vegetable to her diet she wouldn’t have been sick and the vegan diet would have worked for her. From what I saw of her journey, she had spent years trying everything to make it work. She wanted to believe it was the only way to live, she wanted it to work for her and prove her beliefs, but eventually she had to come to the mindset that it wasn’t right for her, regardless of those beliefs and what people said.
I also hear the, “you didn’t try hard enough” comment quite often, but pertaining to my experience with Mars Hill. It always goes something like this, “You had a bad experience at Mars Hill? Well you probably didn’t try hard enough. Did you join a community group? Did you read his books? Did you become a member? You didn’t, well then that explains it.” Every time I entered those doors I felt my heart and soul dying. I was in complete misery. Why would I join a community group when interactions I had with Mars Hill members left me depressed and bitter? Why would I read Mark Driscoll’s books when his sermons killed all the joy I had previously felt in my faith? Why would I continue down a path that was spiritually killing me? I know this argument will never be enough for those who have said these things to me, and I honestly don’t feel the need to sway them. God has shown me what is healthy for me and what is not. I know this for myself and that is enough.
My goal in writing this is to offer some support to everyone else who is being told they didn’t do enough, or that they needed to just try harder. A lot of you attended community groups, you read Mark’s books, you tried so hard, “to do it right” and somehow it still didn’t work. You believed in everything Mars Hill said, so when it didn’t work for you, you felt that you were to blame. You then gave up everything about yourself to be the perfect "Christians" Mark described and felt your souls die as a result. Some of you were then disciplined and abused for not fitting into the mold. I want to tell you that you tried hard enough, and it is okay to stop. You are not at fault. The misery you are experiencing is not from God, and I would encourage you to question anyone who would tell you that it is. Your experience with church should not be one of enslavement or bondage.
Just like the vegan blogger I mentioned, my own time spent as a vegan made me extremely sick. Hearing her story helped me to realize that a set of morals surrounding food were worthless if they were literally killing me. Her story didn’t change the minds of people who were happy with the vegan diet, except to make some of them more open to the idea that a vegan diet doesn’t work for everyone. What her story did was help people who were suffering and miserable be honest with themselves. That is my goal now. If you attend Mars Hill and are happy there, I have no desire to take that away from you. My only hope is that you would hear these stories and be more open to the fact that the Mars Hill lifestyle doesn’t work for everyone and isn’t the only way to live a Christian Life. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Special Addition to Mars Hill Refuge

I am excited to announce that Kaelee Bates will be joining me as co-administrator of this blog.  I am grateful that she has offered to come alongside me to share in this journey.  Most of you probably feel like you know her, as she was one of the first to share her story here, and she was also featured in the KOMO News story.  Kaelee shares my passion for all of you.  I personally admire her as she was and is willing to put her face and name out there to speak out against injustice.

Less than two months ago, in response to a comment made at The Wartburg Watch, I decided to share my story about my experience at Mars Hill.  Since I left, I had struggled with what to do with what happened to me.  My husband and I wanted to just forget about it and move on, yet we were both constantly troubled by the idea that if this is what happened to us, are there others?  What about single young women?  What about new Christians who have never had any other church experience? If this or something like it happened to them, would they continue their Christian walk? What kind of damage is this causing to others?  How can we just walk away and be glad that we "dodged the bullet"?

I had already submitted my story several days before it came out.  I simultaneously started this blog, which I thought would be some obscure little piece of the internet. I had no idea that just one day prior to my story being told, that  Matthew Paul Turner  would write about Andrew's sad experience.  I could not have imagined the chain of events that would follow.

Shortly after the release of my story, The Stranger wrote an article about Lance, another person with a story.  In that article, my blog was linked (without my prior knowledge).  This was followed by The Slate Article, which was picked up by the Huffington Post.  Then many of us were contacted to participate in KOMO News Story.

The result of all of this unsolicited publicity following the telling of my story has been a response I couldn't have predicted.  People have come forward with their stories in large numbers.  Some are posted here on the site, and some have been shared privately.  The response has been overwhelming (literally), and each time I have wanted to quit, to walk away from it all, I receive another email telling me their own experience.

I am looking forward to laboring alongside Kaelee and am more encouraged than I have ever been. If you write to us, you may hear back from either or both of us.  Please join me in welcoming her!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Former MHC Leader on the "Call to Reconciliation"

I was in leadership at MHC but am no longer a member as a result of some other-worldly interactions and meetings with elders & pastors.  

I have many more thoughts, but here are a few. My response to the latest “Call for Reconciliation” was similar to yours in that it felt misleading.  It seems the church’s responses are consistently evasive or misleading, or both.  In one of the first responses, they made it seem that the pastors involved in Andrew’s Church Discipline situation were fired as a result.  This was untrue (which I confirmed by way of the exact timing with Andrew) and I’m glad that the church has clarified this.  Similarly, it feels deceitful when they give numbers about a small percentage of cases that are actually in Church Discipline.  As you mention in your post, there are many of these conversations that occur on an ongoing basis.  Many people who are wiser or more mature choose to remove themselves before they officially get to the status of church discipline.

When I read the statements about MHC’s Theology of Church Discipline I am struck with four thoughts:

1.      Theology and Praxis are two entirely different things.  While their doctrine may be mostly on track, the application of their doctrine is questionable, if not blatantly abusive in some cases.

2.      The level of detail given to determining “true repentance” in their literature is disturbing.  I’ve researched other mainstream church discipline policies and nowhere else do I find this level of a pastoral discretion in determining true repentance on areas that are grey in Scripture.  Clearly, there are ways to determine true repentance in sin areas that are black and white in Scripture.

3.      If we were to apply MHC’s standard of true conviction, confession and repentance to MHC itself, would the church would be under Church Discipline?  And who would administer this discipline?

4.      Any thoughts on why many of these statements that come from the church never come from a particular person?  It seems like one of them initially was authored by a lower level staff but they currently are all authored by “Mars Hill”.  I don’t mean to be cynical, but it seems convenient that the church leadership can call out individuals when they disagree but hide behind the organization of the church when it comes to responsibility and giving a response.  Does the idea of conviction, confession, repentance, restitution & reconciliation get extinguished because we are dealing with the church as an organization and not each instance with each leader/elder/pastor?

My experience from conversations with multiple MHC pastors is that their theology on submitting to your church leaders is the following.  If a leader in this church tells you to do something that is not specifically prohibited by scripture, then you have a responsibility to do it.  In most churches, if a leader tells you (or asks you) to do something, you have a responsibility to obey if it is a black and white issue in Scripture.  At Mars Hill Church, you are considered in rebellion to authority if you don’t obey a church leader’s request, even if that request is a matter of conscience and something you may have resolved alternatively through prayer and counsel.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why I Won't Be Answering the "Call to Reconciliation"

At least not on those terms...

On Friday, Mars Hill posted A Call For Reconciliation.  Here is my response:

I am glad that Mars Hill has acknowledged that there are many people out here who have been hurt by their church.   I appreciate their call to reconciliation, however, I won't be answering it on those terms.

Please know that I pray regularly for Mars Hill and its leadership.  It is my greatest desire to see good come out of all of this.  I love many people who are still at Mars Hill, and I am glad that most of them are happy there.  The positive experience of some does not invalidate the very negative experience of others though. For every story I have posted here, there are stories I did not share, because the person shared their story in confidence.

The statement seemed to blur the lines and imply that all of the people speaking out against Mars Hill were under church discipline and are taking those matters public.  To clarify, this is the exception and not the rule, as in our case and most others that have been shared here, we were not, in fact, under church discipline.  And since, in this post as well as the last two responses PR issued, they continue to stand by their stance on church discipline, one which I do not now or will I ever agree with, I am unable to be reconciled in the way that they wish to reconcile me.

Please know, that while I do not wish to be reconciled to Mars Hill in the way they understand it, that I am allowing God to give me a heart of forgiveness.  It is a process but I am daily growing it.  And I know that God is more than capable of healing my heart and helping me to forgive.

What the Mars Hill pastors fail to realize is that those of us that have told our stories about our negative experiences at Mars Hill would attribute the abuses we experienced to our Community Group Leaders, Elders & Pastors.  We trusted them to treat us with love and grace then, and that is not what happened.  Why should we trust them to now?  Forgiveness is not trusting someone who has hurt you.  And forgiveness is not neglecting justice for the oppressed.

I am not comfortable submitting my personal information on their form.  And I am not comfortable sitting down and meeting with Mars Hill elders on their terms.  I did not choose to subject myself to meetings with the CG leader when I left for the same reason I do not want to do it now.  It is not clear in their statement whether they are trying to get me to repent and be reconciled to Mars Hill, or if they wish to repent and be reconciled to me.

The only conditions under which I would ever consider the call to reconciliation are as follows:
1) The meeting was held in a neutral place, with an elder I am comfortable meeting with.
2) I am free to bring someone along, be that a trusted advisor, pastor at my new church, counselor, etc.
3) The meeting will not become a theological debate over "open-handed" or secondary issues that we may disagree on.
4) I am free to write about my experience afterwards.

My email is, and has always been, accessible through this blog.  While I maintain anonymity here, I am confident that my former pastors and CG leader know who I am from the details of my story.  I have never been contacted for apologies, reconciliation or the like.   However, I do not need an apology or reconciliation (as Mars Hill would define it) to forgive.

If any of my readers choose to pursue reconciliation through the website, please know that I will support you and pray for you and assist you in any way that I can.  We all need to handle our situation as the Holy Spirit leads us.

Psalm 107

 My very favorite psalm...

 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
   his love endures forever.
 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 
3 those he gathered from the lands, 
   from east and west, from north and south.[a]
 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
   finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
   and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
   to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
   and fills the hungry with good things.

 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
   prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
   and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
   they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
   and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
   and cuts through bars of iron.

 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
   and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
   and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
   he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
   and tell of his works with songs of joy.

 23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
   they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the LORD,
   his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
   that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
   in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
   they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
   the waves of the sea[b] were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
   and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
   and praise him in the council of the elders.

 33 He turned rivers into a desert,
   flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
   because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water
   and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live,
   and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
   that yielded a fruitful harvest;
38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
   and he did not let their herds diminish.

 39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
   by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles
   made them wander in a trackless waste.
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
   and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
   but all the wicked shut their mouths.
 43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
   and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

KOMO News Story

I originally posted this, and then I took it down.  But I have decided that it needs to remain, with links to:

Kaelee's Full Story in her own words, plus a Follow-up to her story


Kevin Potts' Full Story also in his own words.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leaving Grudgeville

I have been daydreaming, thinking about leaving  Grudgeville for a while now.  I have thought about what I will take with me, what I will sell, what I will leave behind without ever looking back.

Where is Grudgeville, you ask?  It is where I have been living, unhappily, for a few months now.  Grudgeville attracts the broken, the angry, the resentful, the abused, the addicted, the victim.  It is not a very nice place to live. The homes are run down, the streets full of trash, abandoned buildings and broken windows.  It is overpopulated. This is not a place to raise kids!

I began asking myself how I would ever move away from this awful place.  What steps did I need to take?  Who did I need to talk to?  Who would I leave behind? What rights would I give up when surrendering my citizenship?  What would I gain by leaving? What would happen if I stayed indefinitely? Would I die here? I don’t know the answers to all these questions.  Some of them I hope never to find out.

Jarrid Wilson, in his Grudgeville post, writes:

I know what you’re thinking.
“But you don’t realize what they did to me.”
“You don’t understand how much they hurt me.”
And to be honest, you’re probably right. But that’s the point of Grace. It’s not earned, but everyone deserves a second chance anyway. Why? Because at one point, it was given to you.
All throughout our lives we will encounter people who will chew us up and spit us out, but that doesn’t mean you get a free ticket to Grudgeville. Grudgeville is the place where leaders fall, families decay, relationships shatter and the population is “Your Choice.” So until you can make peace with your attacker, you’ll always be living as a defender. And to be honest, you don’t want to live a life in defense.
Every grudge dropped is grace given."

But I am ready.  I am selling my place here in Grudgeville.  Do I have a "right" to be here?  Some would say so.

But the truth is, I REALLY DON'T.  The truth is, I don't deserve Grace.  Neither do any of the citizens of Grudgeville or any neighboring towns.  But, I have been given Grace nonetheless.  Do those who have hurt me deserve Grace? No.  But, I feel compelled to extend Grace because it was extended to me.

Grace is the very essence of who Jesus is.  He extended grace to his rugged bunch of disciples, to Peter when he denied him, to the Samaritan woman at the well, to the woman who touched the hem of his garment, to Roman soldiers, tax collectors, the thief hanging on the cross next to him, to Judas, even to those who crucified Him.  I mean, he was God after all, and he could have done anything he chose in those situations.

I hope you will walk with me as I make my journey out of Grudgeville.  I am not sure how long it will take, how windy the road will be, and what pitfalls will happen along the way. I may need help moving the big pieces of furniture, I may need to be reminded of why I wanted to leave Grudgeville in the first place.

But leaving Grudgeville and embracing Grace equates to FREEDOM.

NOTE: If you haven't checked out PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE please take some time to do so!