Truth Talk with Wendi
By Wendi Rees
Truth Talk with WendiJul 13, 2022
Season 2 Episode 10 Season Finale - Interview with a Former Sex Addict
firstname.lastname@example.org; Psalms 51:12, Isaiah 55:1, John 6:54, 2 Timothy 2:22, James 4:7 Brandon: It's one of those things where, you know, you're doing the wrong thing and you just feel like you can't help yourself and can't get out of that despair. That's the whole point. The start of the addictive cycle is despair. And despair can be lots of different things. Despair is not necessarily what you think, in the way of discouraged or depressed. Despair can be loneliness. Despair can be boredom. Despair can be guilt. There are so many different things that would fall under the category of despair, right? And then there's a trigger. Right? So, you get triggered from the despair. Then there's the fantasy. So, the trigger can be cleavage. The trigger can be a commercial. The trigger can be a magazine sitting on the rack as you go by, you know, and you're in this despair, you have this trigger. So then there's the fantasy and then there's the acting out. After the acting out, you despair. The guilt and white knuckling mindset of, I'm not going to do this anymore, and I'm going to white knuckle it until I get in that despair again, and then there's a trigger and, you know, so that was one of the things that helped me a lot with counseling, getting into counseling and understanding the addictive cycle. It was the Lord pursuing me. It was the Lord showing me these things. You have a bigger problem than looking at porn. Your bigger problem is you're not looking to me. So, just not looking at porn is not going to solve it. I mean there's Buddhists and Hindus and all these people that are so pure in their way of living and not contaminating their minds and being at peace or whatever. So, they're way more disciplined than most Christians and conquered their selfish desires and all these things, but they're not walking with Christ. They're not walking in the light. They're in the dark. So, the point is not to just not look at porn, right? The point is to be satisfied in Christ and so the Lord is like, okay, yeah, the triage, we're going to stop the bleeding and you know, your wife now knows and so she's going to help you and you're going to have some boundaries. I needed that time. I needed the understanding, the destruction of what this is doing, right. And obviously, I knew it was wrong, but all the things that we say to ourselves is that it's not hurting anybody. It's just between me and God and I know I'm sinning, but it's not hurting anybody else. Wendi: I'm extremely thankful that you have overcome the sex addiction and I'm thankful that you are willing to open up about it here and because I know there are so many people that watch us that have been, you know, affected by people who did not stop and get help. They made it to level three and four and and so you know, and there's so much damage and you know, and so thankfully that was something that you recognized and like you said, you know, the whole getting busted, was God's way of rescuing you from that pit that you were in. And so I know that that if there is anybody that is listening to this or struggling, and they need any kind of resources, you can definitely email us and we will get you in touch with Brandon who can get you some direction in that because I know in just watching you I've seen the change up close and personal and I know that you don't struggle like you did.
Season 2 Episode 9 - Interview with Emily Elizabeth Anderson
www.thrivingforwardblog.com; https://Facebook.com/groups/advocateswithattitude; "Predators" written by Anna Salter with trigger warning https://www.amazon.com/Predators-Pedophiles-Rapists-Other-Offenders/dp/0465071732; www.recoveringgrace.org Trigger Warning: Some listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing because of trauma or bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger emotionally disturbing memories. Andrew J. Bauman — porn recovery resources and support
Anne Blythe — betrayal trauma support
Sarah McDugal — support for momma’s surviving post-abuse
Sheila Gregiore — Biblical sex teaching
Gretchen Baskerville— Biblical divorce support
Emily: It was pretty tumultuous. My parents’ marriage was never good. Not even from the beginning. And I would say as I approached about the age of eight, is when I started to spot my dad's narcissism and I started to realize even when he was playing with me, he was really more self-absorbed with himself and everything was really about him and I started to say things to my mom, like, “I really don’t think Dad loves me.” As an eight-year-old I could pick up on that stuff. And then life really started to fall apart when I was about 10. My father had addictions going on, and I found pornography on his computer. One time, my mom and I watched him pick up prostitutes. While I was in my mom's car, we could see the road ahead, my father's vehicle and we would watch prostitutes get in his car. He was engaged in quite a bit of behavior and the stress really started to affect me and then at about age 11 or 12, his sex addiction turned toward me and the abuse started. I was molested when I was 12. It didn't go beyond molestation, but I was definitely targeted and groomed for at least 10 years. All throughout my teenage years and into my early 20s, I always felt preyed upon, and I always knew that it was wrong even before I knew what sex was, and I know you've talked about this. When you didn't even know what sex was and yet you knew something was wrong, and I was feeling used and violated. And like I said, preyed upon, and I knew it was wrong. Even though I didn't know all the words and the definitions of exactly what was going on, and I really didn't understand it. I was in my mid-20s and in counseling at that point, but yeah, that abuse started pretty early on. As a result, my little 10-year-old body didn't know what to do with all of this. I developed a severe, life-threatening autoimmune disease called Crohn's disease. And so, in the middle of all this abuse as a teenager, I was also living in and out of hospitals just barely staying alive. I think my lowest weight was 73 pounds when I was 16. You know, so I really looked like a holocaust victim. You could see every single bone in my body. I was just absolutely deathly ill. There was a brief separation that was mutually agreed upon for my sake, because the tension in the home was so severe, me and my mom knew that it was making me sicker. And so, there was an unusually made decision with a counselor that my father would temporarily be out of the home, which lasted less than a year and it would just be so they could continue counseling, and so I would be a little bit removed from that situation. But he finally just got to the point, had a couple of counselors fire him because they knew he wasn't willing to do any of the work. And others just flat out wouldn't take him because they would do one interview with him and they would tell my mom he's not going to take them on as a client because he's not willing. He's not willing to do anything. So, I guess after one year he finally just got fed up and came home one night and said, I have found an apartment and I'm leaving tomorrow. And that was it. He took a shower and went to bed, got up the next morning and he was gone, was not a fight.
Season 2 Episode 8 - My First Trip to Israel
https://library.samford.edu/special/treasures/2005/mite.htmlJohn 4; Mark 12:42; Matthew 26:7; John 19 Welcome to another episode of Truth Talk with Wendi. I am so excited to come to you today and tell you about a life changing experience that I just had. I'm sure you guys have noticed that I have not put an episode out in a while and I have been gone. I had the privilege of literally traveling across the world to the place where Jesus was born, raised, died and rose again and I literally walked in his steps. Yes, I went to Israel and I cannot find the words to explain to you the impact that this trip has had on me. Clearly, if any of you have watched for any length of time, you know that my mission in life has been to be an advocate for children and of childhood sexual abuse survivors and you know, to keep that from happening to other children. I love what I do. I love that I've been able to implement stuff here at my own home and then also helped many other families, youth groups and women's groups with the information that God has shown me in years and years of research. That research gets very dark as I'm assuming that you guys would know. But I have never complained about doing it or actually there's times that in doing my own research, it actually validates a lot of the feelings that I've had and the struggles that I've had because I know I'm not alone. I am excited that God opened this opportunity for me to go because it has absorbed my thinking in it. I cannot watch enough firsthand documentaries from people who tour over there and who have gone and just videoed what they're seeing and taught. I mean I'm obsessed with learning. It's different to be there. It's so different to read the Bible. For instance, let me tell you about Jacob's well where Jesus talked to the woman of Samaria. He told her about herself and she was so overwhelmed that he was a Jew talking to her and he knew everything about her and he didn't condemn her. She went back to this town, Samaria, and told everybody she knew and they all wanted to come see him. So by the word of her testimony, and then after they heard from her by the blood of the Lamb, they all believed because this woman was overwhelmed. Well, he met her at Jacobs Well, Jacob like you know, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob like that Jacob. So this well is so old, like 1000s of years old, and we went to the well, stood by the well, and used the little bucket down in the water, which is like 120 or 40 feet down and the water came up, and we drank the water. From Jacobs Well, the same water that this woman came to draw that Jesus asked her for, I mean I cannot wrap my brain around that and it is so convicting when you're standing there. What would Jesus have said to me, like the woman of Samaria? We want to go because he said to her, you know, go get your husband and she's like, Oh, I don't have a husband. He's says, you don't have a husband because you've 'had five husbands and the man you're living with now, he's not even your husband. She'd been married and divorced five times. That's probably nothing compared to some of the things that we've done, but wouldn't like it broadcasted in a book where 2000 years later people are reading about it? Right? So it's just so humbling to stand there and think this is that place.
Season 2 Episode 7- How John MacArthur Triggered Wendi
email@example.com; www.endabuse.com; Southspring.org; www.chrismlegg.com; www.alethiacounseling.com; https://www.amazon.com/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/0670785938/; https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+wounded+heart+dan+allender&gclid; https://www.christianbook.com/wounded-adult-victims-childhood-sexual-abuse/dan-allender/9781600063077/; https://www.denisonforum.org/biblical-living/struggling-with-mental-illness-consider-these-7-ideas/; https://julieroys.com/john-macarthur-church-supported-convicted-abuser-pedophile/; https://julieroys.com/john-macarthur-covered-up-pastor-sexual-abuse-witnesses-say/;@BethMooreLPM; @reachjulieroys
Hey guys! Welcome to another episode of Truth Talk with Wendi. I cannot tell you how excited I am today to have our special guest. This is Chris Legg. He is not only my very good friend, he is my counselor, my sanity, the one who Jim sends me to when he's heard enough. "Have you talked to Chris about this yet?" No, I'll put that on the list. It's been an interesting journey. But you have many many hats. These are the hats you play to me although you have played more hats than that. But I think it's very interesting because he is also the pastor at South Spring Baptist Church. which is a great church here and it used to be First Baptist South, which is when I first met you, and you and I talked, when I got into ministry through No Hungry Children, and very supportive, very onboard. You have had the same heart and I think God used that to bring us together. But what was amazing for me was just in getting to know you. And the fact that you were a Baptist preacher, this is really not a Baptist preacher. Multiple times I said, you need to stop telling people that because even though it's the same denomination, you are a very, very different Baptist, and God has really used you to heal a big wound for me. I have been seeing you for many, many years as a counselor and you've been instrumental in the ministry that I've done. Chris Legg: I think it's fascinating, by the way, I was thinking on the way here, I’d love to hear Ben Shapiro Co-host his therapist on his podcast, like, I want to get his counselor on their podcast. Wendi: We're talking about triggers. And there may be some triggers that they might hear in our conversation today. And that's kind of what triggered this episode is what was recently in the news. There's been a lot of information that has come out in regards to John MacArthur and his alleged cover up of sexual abuse within his church. So the first the first story or article that I read, it was not triggering to me and I don't know why it did not trigger me the same, but the second one, that's why I came and talk to you about it because I thought my head was gonna pop off and I felt so horrible that I reacted that way and was so down on myself because I thought I needed to be further along than this.
Season 2 Episode 6 - I Had No Idea What to Say?
After church was over, we were talking to some people we knew, and my son struck up a conversation with someone, and the Lord really kind of laid on both of our hearts before we left to invite this person to go to lunch. So, that's what we did. This person is very interesting. I hesitate to even share this because I don't know how to talk about this without coming across as being offensive in some way. It will be because of ignorance. This is not a subject matter that I am familiar with, never had a reason to be familiar with it. There are so many preconceived notions of how this works, and especially how it relates to God. And today it just made me stop and think about it. Will it change my mind? I don’t know, it's too early to say, but I want to share it because I cannot be the only person who is a Christian and who's trying to please the Lord and hear the Holy Spirit, who must feel this way. So that's why I wanted to share this. This person is a man and he has a man's name. He introduced himself as a man, but in the conversation, it was obvious by looking at him that he looked different than me, different than my son and my husband, different than a lot of people but you know, we're all different in our own odd, unique special ways. And so I usually don't let that deter me a lot. I try to always get to the heart of somebody, not wanting the outside of them to force me to make a judgment, although that's easy to do just from society and who we are around normally. But you know, I wasn't going to do that. I wanted to find out about him and his life and how it affects where he is today. He was 60 years old. So, I say all that to say that this conversation was very much about God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. He loves the Lord and from little, he was raised as a Christian. If I was talking to him on the phone, it would never have, and in the conversation that would have never come up. I would have thought nothing, but I made a new friend today. But obviously, a difference between him and most men and he was well aware of it and wasn't shy about it. He has been neglected, shunned, abandoned, and rejected by his own family members, and clearly a lot of society because of it. But yet, I'm having a conversation with him about God. I'm not having to convince him that there is a God, that Jesus loves him, that the Holy Spirit can live inside of him. I excused myself, I went to the bathroom and I was just praying God can you show me what I'm supposed to do here? I don't know how to be in this debate. I don't know what to say here. I have no concept of what he's going through. So, I think this debate and this subject matter are so front and center in our society right now. And I feel that we as Christians need to be very much more informed about what is really going on in their head. people who've been through trauma, people who have been rejected and abandoned as a child, there are many different results and roads that someone goes down to cope with or try to figure out and identify with the trauma that comes from that. I would really like some feedback from any Christian, a self-proclaimed Christian who believes, who has any kind of experience with this?
Season 2 Episode 5 - What Happens When We Die?
Imagine Heaven Link: https://imagineheaven.net/ John Burke Books: "No Perfect People Allowed", "Unshockable Love", Soul Revolution" JohnBurkeonline.com We're going to talk about “Imagine Heaven”, a book John Burke wrote about Near Death Experiences as he has talked to close to 1000 people and has 120 stories included in this book. People who have been to heaven and actually met God and they came back to earth and are telling about their experiences. Wendi asked, "How in the world did you first get interested in this topic?" Well, I was an agnostic and really didn’t know what I believed about God. I thought Jesus was probably just a good person and I had kind of rebelled against the church. But my dad was dying of cancer, and someone gave him the very first book on people who researched these near-death experiences where people clinically died. Their heart stops beating in the ER. They have a heart attack and no brainwaves. These were all documented by clinical medicine. They were resuscitated and they came back talking about how they were even more alive than they had ever been, in a place that was more real than this place. Many different commonalities that they shared. I read that book I saw on my dad's dresser. This is evidence that this stuff is real. I was curious. I became an engineer and so I am very analytical. I kept researching as well and during that time I was invited to a small Bible Study and because of that, I was open and so I came to understand the grace of God and I came to Christ. Years later I left engineering and actually went into ministry, a lot because of the picture I got from seeing what the Bible said and what these people were saying and it's not that these people were adding anything to scripture, but coloring in what was already there. It literally took me 35 years of research. When people leave their bodies, and they're looking down, they're watching the resuscitation. They've been able to tell what was going on and corroborate things that they couldn't have otherwise known. The Gallup poll found that millions of people have had these experiences. So this is not uncommon. And the commonalities or, and again, not everyone is exactly the same, right. But if I were to kind of summarize, a person leaves their body, you know, they have a heart attack or some other traumatic thing and as they leave their body... what they're very aware of is they feel more alive than they've ever felt before. They still are themselves. In fact, they're more themselves than they've ever been. They say it's a spiritual body. And so that's what these people say, is that you're more yourself. We have five senses, right? They say no, it's more like 50 senses. It's like, super alive like Superman or Superwoman. Scripture References: John 20:19-20, Acts 14, 2Corinthians 12:2, 1Corinthians 15, Revelation 21, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Daniel 12, Matthew 13, John 8:12, Mark 9:2-4, Romans 8:17, 2 Peter 3:8, Romans 8:1, Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:33, Matthew 25, 1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 11:6, Ephesians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Isaiah 63:9, Matthew 10:16, 1 Corinthians 13, John 15:7, Ephesians 1, Galatians 5, John 15, Matthew 28:20, John 16:13, Romans 8:1
Season 2 Episode 4 - Interview with Kim Westfall of Uncaged.org & Nick Dadich & his daughter Samira
Trigger Warning: Some listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing because of trauma or bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger emotionally disturbing memories. www.Uncaged.org.
Wendi interviews Kim Westfall who has answered the call of God to help women and girls who have been sex trafficked. In 2018, After being haunted by a vision of children in cages, Kim launched Uncaged (uncaged.org), an anti-human trafficking nonprofit that exists to unlock the transformation of girls and young women rescued from the global sex trade. Uncaged is currently launching its first Sanctuary village in Romania, where survivors will live in peace and safety with access to trauma-informed therapies, spiritual care, medical attention, education, and vocational training.
Wendi also interviews the Dadich Family who experienced the possible attack on their daughter, Samira, at the local mall. It is unknown what their intentions were, but quite possibly to traffick her! Thankfully she had a friend with her who sought medical attention for Samira.
Season 2 Episode 3 - Interview with Preacher Boys Podcast and Eric Skwarczynski
Romans 8:1, 1 Peter 3:3,4, Galatians 1:15,16, 1 Timothy 1:15, Ephesians 4:24, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:19, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Deuteronomy 31:8 www.endabuse.com https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Fathers-Heart-Womans-Unconditional-ebook/dp/B07DB9WNPP
https://www.amazon.com/God-Made-All-Me-Children/dp/1942572301 TRIGGER WARNING: Some Listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing because of trauma or bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger some emotionally disturbing memories.
Well, it finally ended because my parents sat us down on December 30, 1983. It was a couple of months before I turned 14. We were told that we were moving to Texas to start another church. So that's what we thought initially. It wasn't very long after that, on our way out to Texas, that the truth came out. Being the oldest, I'm the one who kind of figured it out of course. Because of the abuse that I had been going through for the last several years, I had matured way faster than I probably should have. I was more attuned to even looking for things because I was now starting to question things on my own. And so my dad and my mom, who had been married my whole life. There was also another couple in our church that had been married for however long and they had been in our church a couple of years. She was an elementary teacher in our school. He was my volleyball and softball coach and eighth-grade teacher. They were married and they divorced at the same time, my parents divorced. And I was very close to these people and I would stay with them when my parents would travel. I was devastated. You know, we were moving and I wanted to live with them and stay with my friends. And of course, that was not an option. But what I found out quickly on the way to Texas was that they had all been swapping partners. And so my dad and mom got divorced, and he married the woman and my mom married her husband. So, my stepmom and my stepdad had been married to each other. And so it was like, okay, hold on. Wait, what? Okay, I can't wear shirts with writing on them or swim with boys, but I've got stuff going on in my house that nobody knows about, and I'm keeping the secret that no one knows about and now you're getting divorced! That’s the Big " Word and was just, overwhelming. And, of course, I never was allowed to question anything. But you know, it was always, “because I said so”, was the answer to any question that was uncomfortable. And so it was very, very difficult for me because I could tell that these were not going to be easy conversations. So basically I just said to my dad, I really don't think that mom is going to be happy with how nice you're being to her, referring to this other woman. And that's when he said to me, Well, your mom is not going to care because she ran off with Mr. so and so. And I immediately knew that she must have found out about what was happening with my dad because that's what he told me would happen if she found out so now my biggest fear has come to light. He allowed me to believe that. He really allowed me to feel like this was my fault. So my mom left him and he's now the victim too. This woman who he's now bringing in, is coming in to save the day because now we don't have a mom. And so she's coming in to save the day and at 14, I didn't need anybody to save the day, I just needed some stability, and I just wanted to be with my dad.
Season 2 Episode 2 - What is a MAP?
Matthew 25:45 Romans 5:8 2 Corinthians 12:9, Proverbs 23:7 John 2:14-16 I do have a subject matter that is actually kind of shocking for me, which is saying a lot. I don't know how I have been involved in helping kids with sexual abuse and girls who've been sex trafficked for as long as I have and literally had never heard of this until the past several months. So I want to bring this information to you. When I asked my husband what it was, he referred to the obvious thing you think it is, which is the term map and I am not referring to what comes up on your GPS when you are trying to find a restaurant in a town you've never been or in my case, in a town you've lived in for almost 20 years and you still pull up your GPS to get everywhere. But now the term map stands for a minor-attracted person. Incognito for a pedophile, which clearly most people have heard. The argument is that pedophilia has a certain stigma to it, which in all honesty, it should have a stigma. It's like the word murderer, murderer should have a stigma, because it is not a good thing to be a murderer as it is not a good thing to be a pedophile. But instead of being able to call a pedophile, a pedophile or child molester, they now prefer for us to refer to them as minor-attracted persons or MAPS. So I just have so much to say on this, but quite honestly, I am still in the middle of quite a bit of research. Unfortunately, it's been around much longer than I have even had time to go back and research and I felt the urgency of letting people know because if I don't know, and this is an area of which I dig and dig and dig into research to be able to combat things that I went through during my childhood and fulfill the call on my life that I feel the Lord has me here for and I was unaware of it, it really made me feel as though most people probably have not heard of it. If they have, they're not very educated in it as well either. And let me just say, just right out of the gate here, I have a firm belief that sin that we commit ie., lying all the way to murder, including pedophilia, and whatever our sin is that disqualifies us from heaven. All sin is covered under the blood of Jesus. If we are going to condemn other people or think that those people are not forgivable, or their sin is so much worse than ours; that Jesus's blood is not strong enough to cover them; whatever our rationale is, then we should be more concerned about our heart than what they're doing. There is a YouTube show, I believe. It's probably on other stations too, but I know you can find it on YouTube called, "Gacha Life". Gacha Life actually has episodes about MAPS. Well, if I didn't know what that was, and I was simply scrolling through, you know kid shows, it's all animated. It looks harmless. When you're just looking at it. It looks like just a bunch of animated characters. So you would think it would be kid-friendly. And if you don't know what MAP is, then you might not think it's that big of a deal. So the reason I want people to understand and to know what this is and just be aware of the term so that if you see it, you know if it comes up in a conversation with your kids, that you know what it is that they may be referring to. Again, Jesus never condemned the person, he condemned their sin. He never tolerated their sin. What he did was he loved them.
Season 2 Episode 1 with Trayce Bradford
Trigger Warning: Some listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing because of trauma or bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger emotionally disturbing memories. Romans 3:23, Mark 9:36-42, Romans 8:28, 2 Timothy 1:7 We're so excited that you guys are here today. I have a very special guest with me today. She is going to be the next Lieutenant Governor of the great State of Texas. Trayce Bradford, welcome. So excited. I know how God brought us together, and he clearly is not done with our relationship. The thing that really connected us both was our concern for sex trafficking. The amazing work that led you to this place. I want to talk a little bit about that first and then tell everybody what God is doing in your crazy life now. Let's have you if you don't mind, just give a little bit of background on what even got you involved as an advocate for sex trafficking victims. It's really interesting. I was about five years old and was having dinner and I remember this very clearly telling my mom, “There are still slaves.” She said, no honey. There are still slaves and that had to be planted by God in my heart. And so over the years has just really never left. And then I started to do research and couldn’t really find anything. Just as recent as fifteen years ago, I went to my first precinct convention with the Texas Government and we could write resolutions and so I wrote one in regards to trafficking and trying to do research and I couldn’t find anything so I just tried to write one to get people to hear or think about it. We did pass it and it went to the state and when it was part of the state platform, they put it under child abuse. And at that point, I just remember thinking okay, game on I mean, we are going to have to start talking about this and getting people to see that this is really here. Tell me how the Lord opened doors for you to be as impactful as you have been in trying to make a dent in this worldwide problem that is specifically here in America and Texas? Because at the time, I was a homeschool mom and we started to be a little more involved in the governmental realm. I've always been drawn to that. There were friends who started coming into ministry, that dropped in their laps. And so then we started talking about what they were doing and then it just kept snowballing into my daughter one day started working at Sower of Seeds. We started to research and I came from the Eagle Forum background. When I was under Phyllis Schlafly, you studied and you knew the issues. And so as it kept unfolding and I was working in Austin and it started opening doors and people say that the left talked about it as the conservatives weren't talking about it, not the Christian women's groups like Eagle Forum were not addressing it and so God gave me an opportunity. And they were very open once we got started and she just gave us opportunities to talk to legislators. Christian conservatives and women were totally missing the discussion. So those doors started opening and then just having to have a connection.
Ep 9 - Season Finale
Louie Giglio - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aVsqCLyoU3o and Francis Chan- Rope Illustration: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=86dsfBbZfWs firstname.lastname@example.org James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 1 Peter 1:7, John 3:16 Our journey does not stop because we hit a wall or we have another trigger. We just know that this is something else the Lord is doing in our lives and trying to teach us. We may pause for a moment, but we just keep moving forward. I just want to encourage you in that. I also want to acknowledge the fact that our lives, because of the way we think, the way we view things, and the way we see things and because we're protective over ourselves and our children, a lot of what we deal with is very heavy, and it's very tiring. So, my season may be shorter than some other podcasts that you watch, we are going to take a break because I know for me if I'm not focused on my own health, and what makes me a good mom and a good wife to my husband and I'm not going to be good for anyone else. I want to talk to you about the benefits that come from suffering. The Bible's very clear on this. There are benefits. It's not just like we suffer and God allows these things to happen in our life for no reason. The Bible is very clear, and what I want to do is share a few Scriptures with you that talk about what benefits come from suffering. The first one is James 1:2-4 It says, “Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” It doesn't mean you don't get knocked down, it just means you keep going. And that steadfastness has its full effect. It makes us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. That doesn't mean we are perfect, it means that because we allow the Lord to meet us where we are and pick us back up and keep walking with Him through this journey. Another verse is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” In a nutshell, what that means is, that when we suffer, God comforts us through the Holy Spirit, and that comfort now we have received comfort, and now we can give that comfort out because you can't give something out that you've not received. The last verse I want to share with you is 1 Peter 1:7, “So that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” there is so much fear of man going on today, because there are people being canceled and people being targeted and, you know, there's all kinds of stuff going on. People are being silenced for lots of different reasons, and it makes me very sad. I want to give you guys this example that I saw several years ago, and it was so freeing for me. I don't know if anyone knows who Louie Giglio is? Several of you might, but you've probably all heard of the Hubble Telescope, which is this telescope that they launched many, many years ago and it just keeps going farther in space, and then it turns around and takes a picture of the Earth ever so often. It sends it back to NASA. The Earth was really big and right in the center of the screen, and there was a little arrow that says you live here, pointing to America. The Hubble kept going and turned around and then the earth got smaller. You live here and you could still see it. And after a while, the Earth was so little. It was a tiny dot on the screen, you live here. God just so clearly said, "I say you're precious, you're valuable, and you're worthy."
Ep 8 - Hope and Miracles
Romans 8:34, 1 John 4:4, Jude 1:24-25, Isaiah 55:9 email@example.com
Trigger Warning! Some listeners may find the content disturbing because of trauma in their lives
Today I just want to share some really good praise reports about some things that have happened recently in my own personal life. To try to encourage so many people who have very similar stories to mine, and may have lost some hope on some things that maybe they've had to lose in the process. I know that for me, you get to a point in your life where it's even painful to pray to the Lord and ask him for things like reconciliation and healing in relationships that get broken because you know when you pray about it, you think about it, and for most of us, we don't want to think about it. So, it's this journey that the Lord has had me on and has been pretty intense in emotions and so I'm just going to tell you today, if I get emotional, just bear with me. This journey for me, of course, I've 40 years into having been sexually abused by my father, but it was 12 years ago, we just passed the 12-year mark at the end of last month, that I finally told my dad that I needed to have some time apart from him. I needed to be able to just really focus on my relationship with the Lord, and of course, that was the best decision that I ever made. At the time, I did not have any idea that it would be 12 years later, and we still would not be reconciled. That was never anything that the Lord revealed to me, and obviously, I know why because I probably would not have been as willing to let him go at that point. The first several months were horrible and excruciating and I thought about him all the time. Then the more that I saw that I was really drawn more to find that father relationship with the Lord, the more fulfilled that I became in my relationship with him, the less that it bothered me that I didn't have that relationship with my earthly father. Not to say that I don't miss him and don't love him because I do. It's very, very painful in many different situations and circumstances, but it's not like it was at the beginning. I prayed for a long time that the Lord would bring us back together. I lost several siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, pretty much everyone on his side of the family. It just got to a point where the more I prayed about it, the more painful it was just to even think about it. I had a pastor at one point that said, because I felt like I was supposed to pray about it, that's when the body comes together and lifts that up for you. It's not that nobody's praying about it or if I don't pray about it, nothing happens. It's that the body of Christ bearing one another's burdens. I know that I've had people praying about things this whole time. I just want to report that in the last several months, two of my long-lost siblings have reached out, and we have started talking. They are now grown up and they have their own families. I've been able to meet the family that I didn't know I had and nieces and nephews that I didn't know I had. It is truly amazing when I think about the times that were so hard or so painful for me, especially concerning the safety of my siblings and not knowing if they were okay. If they had experienced anything like I had gone through? It was so hard not to know and not to talk to them about it, but that's really where I learned to trust the Lord, and know that he loves them more than I do. He has a plan for them as well. So, thankfully, recently, I have discovered nothing like that happened and those siblings are absolutely wonderful. We are now back in relationship. I'm so thankful because there's nothing I could do, or even pray about because of how much emotion and pain it brought to me. But what I love about Jesus is He sits at the right hand of God and he prays for us.
Ep 7 - Parenting is HARD! - Challenges at Every Stage
Proverbs 22:6 Ephesians 6:4b Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Trigger Warning! Some listeners may find the content disturbing because of bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger emotionally disturbing memories. Info@endabuse.com I am so excited today to talk to you about something that is very near and dear to my heart, and that is being a parent. Being a mom or you might be a dad watching, you qualify. We're talking about one of the hardest jobs in the whole world, but also one of the most rewarding. Parenting in 2021 is not for the faint of heart. There is so much going on in our world. I wonder sometimes if I had an opportunity to go back and knew what my kids would be growing up in if I would have wanted to bring them into this craziness. You wonder how in the world they're going to get through it, but we know from scripture that God numbers our days. He knows our birthday. He knows our death date. Every single child that we have, God put them in this world, at this time for a specific purpose. So, I rest in that because there are so many hard things when you're parenting, and so many of us have a deep desire for our children to love and like us. Unfortunately, that is not always a thing that can be accomplished, nor is it possible for them. Loving us is obviously something that if we teach them about true love, which comes from God, then they can love us, even when they don't like us. Our goal when they are little seems to be just to protect them at all costs. We would never send them out into the streets and play with a ball. We would never just send them with a stranger. There are so many things that you think about. What does that mean to protect them at all costs? What if it really did cost you something. For instance, in my own personal life, I had two father figures that molested me. Well, one of them, my stepfather, I did not realize the degree that his sickness was until I had already allowed him to form a relationship with my children. The reason is that what happened with him was so much less than what had happened before with my dad. When I confronted him, actually when my mom confronted him, it stopped immediately. Well, other information came out, many, many years later that brought grave concern to me. I had to remove him from their life. Well, that cost me quite a bit! What it cost me more than anything was a relationship with my mom because that was not something that she wanted to hear. And that was very painful for her to hear after years of having a relationship with my kids. My exact words to her were, “You can have a relationship with them, but he is no longer welcome to be around them, whether at your home or ours.” It was very difficult for me as well because my kids didn't understand it. And my mom was very upset with me. But here's what I told, not just her, but myself to allow myself the freedom to make this choice and have no regrets about it. I asked myself, what if one day in the future, fast forward five years, 10 years, what if one of my boys came to me with tears in his eyes, trying to drum up the courage to tell me that he did something to them? I just want to leave you with a couple of scriptures that the Bible tells us are so important, as we are raising our kids at every stage. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way you should go and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Another one is Ephesians 6:4b, “Bring them up with discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” If you don't already have a relationship with God, if you don't know Jesus as your personal Savior, I would invite you to reach out to us.
Ep 6 - Who Can We Trust?
firstname.lastname@example.org 1Timothy 6:10 Psalm 118:8 1 Samuel 16:7 1 John 3:5 John 6:1-15 Deuteronomy 4:29 Malachi 3:6 2 Corinthians 5:7 Hebrews 13:8 John 14:27 Psalm 91:2 Psalm 55:22 Just really felt burdened by the Lord that I wasn't sure what he was telling me, if he was telling me, or what he was going to do when I got to this place. So, we decided to just see what the Lord has to say through me, in regards to what I see going on in the world that has been highlighted here in the last several days. What is sticking out to me like a sore thumb, is it seems to me the evidence why I have trust issues. I don't think anybody on here who has seen any of my previous episodes would ever wonder why I have trust issues or blame me for having trust issues. I think that is just common sense. What I see unfolding before my eyes, is I'm clearly not alone. But it's not just one in three people or one in six people seem to be the statistics for those of us who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, but it literally seems to me that nobody on this planet trusts anybody else on this planet, and let me tell you what I'm talking about. There is so much going on, even here in Texas. We have a governor who will issue an executive order, and then we have judges who just decide they don't like that order, and they will just decide to do whatever they want to, regardless of what their authority tells them they can or cannot do. And so what it does is it puts people like the school boards, and other people directly affected by those orders in the crosshairs. It just seems like every time there is an issue for anything that is then put into an order or goes to court, you have this judge that rules this way and then they take it to the court above them, and then that Judge overrules this judge. Is just a struggle for power and the struggle for control. So, I totally understand that because, for me, I, do not like giving up control, I just don't. I had things taken away from me at a young age, and I blindly followed a person who I should have been able to trust, and it did not end well for me. That person was my authority. Therefore, I do not just trust easily. In fact, I usually don't trust at all. I think some people start with okay if I meet somebody, I'm going to trust them until they give me a reason not to trust. It's the opposite with me, I don't trust you until you prove yourself trustworthy. So it's just from different perspectives.
Ep 5 - A Four-Letter Word
Today, I want to talk to you about something that I wrestle with all the time. I've actually even made it a four-letter word in our home. It's something that I do not like people telling me to do this thing. Can anybody guess what it is? If you're anything like me then, you automatically know the word is r e s t. It is a four-letter word, I don't like it. It is not something that I am very good at, but it's definitely something that the Lord has been convicting me about, and I want to share some of that with you. And first, I want to let you know that when people have trauma in their past, it is a natural human instinct to try to do things to fill up your mind so whether it's a project or a list, whatever works for you. Whatever you can get into your mind, other than your thoughts about your past then it just makes things seem easier. So we tend to fill up our lives with so many people busy with their work, you know the busier they are then the more important they must be. But the Bible is very, very clear that it's not just a suggestion to rest. In fact, in the Old Testament, there's a whole commandment of keeping the Sabbath. Now, we're not going to get into that today, but it's very clear that God is serious about rest and we're going to talk in a minute about how God rested in the Old Testament and gives us an example of that and how Jesus himself rested when he was walking the earth and giving us an example of what to do. But what I want to talk to you about today is the word, still and it means calm and quiet. Okay, now I have four children. That is not something that I get a lot of in our household, especially with two littles. There are two little girls who love to scream all the time. I did not know they liked to do that. So calm and quiet is something that you have to seek out. So that is something that Jesus taught us to do when he was walking the earth. If you think about it when you are about to have a conversation with someone on the phone. Do you walk into the middle of chaos and have this conversation with them? If you're like me, you walk out with your phone and you try to find a place so that they can hear you, and you can hear them. Well, how much more important is it for us when we want to hear from the Lord and find a place of calm and quiet. And so many of us struggle to do that because I know for myself when I go to a place of calm and quiet when it's dead silent in this house, which isn't often, but when it is, my mind seems to go to what it thinks about the most, and that is just a natural default to things that have happened to me. Because I, by nature a protector, I want to protect myself from getting hurt again. I want to protect my children, so I can very easily go to those negative thoughts and feelings, and that's not where God wants our minds. And so, I'm going to give you a couple of scriptures that have really been helpful for me as to the instruction from the Lord so that we know it's not just a suggestion, but it's something he wants us to do. In Psalms 37:7 it says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Ep 4 - A Pathway to Pedophilia
Email: email@example.com Website: www.endabuse.com
Romans 1: 18-32 Romans 1: 16,17 Romans 3:23 There is an author several of you might have heard, her name is, Jen Hatmaker, and she is one of the funniest, best communicators. If you have ever read her books, they are easy to read. They're very relatable and she's just got a gift from the Lord of talking to women. And so I had to read a book of hers called “Seven”, because it's my favorite number, and it was about an experiment that she did. And it was kind of like her journal as an experiment where I think in a nutshell, she took seven different months and picked seven categories. Let's say the month that she did clothing, she picked seven items of clothing and that's all she wore. She would do the same thing with different categories. This woman was a public speaker and she was able to survive with seven items, so I think the whole point of the book was, we can live with much less. So, out of the blue, probably, I don't know, two, three years ago, she made a public statement about her support for same-sex marriage and, of course, you know, the Christian world went crazy again, divided right down the middle. Some for support and some said, oh my goodness what did you just say? You're the pastor and you're supporting same-sex marriage and all that. So she posted about this experiment of just seven experiments on her Facebook page, and you know I was really struggling because I loved her as an author and loved some of the ideas that she shared. I relate to her in so many different ways. But then, this was something that when she came out with this public support, and even went as far as to say that she thought the union of same-sex marriage was actually sacred. There are some things that just did not sit in my spirit right. It's because I don't believe in it at all. I think it is very evident in the Bible that it is wrong. After asking the Lord about this, I believe he made it clear that we don't have to agree 100% with everyone to love them. After all, I'm wrong about so many things, yet God loves me. I believe that he called us to love, no matter what. If we're willing, we can learn something from everyone. Just because I don't agree with her position on same-sex marriage, doesn't mean that I can't learn other things from her that I do agree with. It also doesn't mean that I don't love her or people who choose a lifestyle that I don't agree with. We all struggle with sin in God's eyes. We have all fallen short of His glory and deserve his wrath, but for the blood of Jesus. I'm so thankful that he accepts me right where I am, and I want to accept them. I was right where they are, however, I would hope that if I had some kind of blind spots and was choosing a lifestyle of sin, that one of my sisters in Christ would come to me and in humility with the truth of God's word. I don't think I would even hear what they have to say if they just wanted to be critical and judgmental. Jesus never shied away from confronting sin, but he did it in such a loving way that people were drawn to him everywhere. Let me live my life in such a way as to reflect Jesus in my love for all others.” So that was my post that I felt like, the Lord revealed to me that allowed me to have the freedom to still listen to someone that I vehemently disagree with on matters of the Bible. And I know that in today's world we are so divided. I think part of the problem is that if someone says, one thing that we don't agree with, it's very easy for us to just dismiss everything about them. Whether we really feel that way or not, a lot of it is just the fact that we're not willing to even listen after we find something that we disagree with.
Ep 3 - Reasons To Be Hopeful
Isaiah 43:1 Psalms 56:8 Romans 15:13 Psalms 27:10 www.endabuse.com First Day in Heaven Picture: https://myteashirts.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/First-Day-in-Heaven-poster.jpg Artist Kerolos Safwat firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, I just want to jump on real quick, and talk to you about two things that I struggle with the most and the exciting news that we find in scripture about these two things. One is something that I struggle with within myself and the other one is something I struggle with in regards to others. But we're going to first focus on ourselves, and that is how we feel about ourselves. And the number one word that comes to mind when I think, is “worthless”. That word is something that I have as a description of myself in my own thinking from early, early on. Today as a woman, knowing the Lord and walking with him for several decades. I know that I'm not worthless. I know that I can tell you that because of the blood of Jesus, I am not worthless. But it doesn't change the fact that we have an enemy that tries to convince us of that. Sometimes on an hourly basis. It's something that we have to learn to fight against or else we will find ourselves slipping down into that mentality. And I learned long ago, you can't just stop thinking about something. You can't remove it from your mind unless you replace it with something else. So, you know, kind of like if someone says to you, Okay, “don't think about a blue elephant, don't think about a blue elephant”, what are you thinking about right now, a blue elephant. Okay, so you have to give them something to think about to replace the thought of that blue elephant. So today we are going to look at the scripture and have some actual ammunition. This is the Word of the Lord, this is how we fight our battles, right, this is what we do with the enemy. And these are some words that are coming out, worthless, you know, broken, whatever words that you identified when you think like that. These are some scriptures that I think are really going to help you, but what I would do is, pick one that resonates with you, and then memorize it and then that way, it's just there. No matter where you are. You don't have to have your Bible with you. It's just there, no matter where you are, you replace those crazy thoughts with one of these. Okay, so one is. “But now, Oh Jacob, Listen to the Lord who created you, oh Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.” This is Isaiah 43:1. Now what stood out to me here is, “I have called you by name, okay this is this the God of the universe. He literally called you by name, like he knows my name. He knew what name that my parents would pick for me when I was born, He already knew it. Okay, so this God, that, and everything He would say came into being. He also knows my name. Then, on top of that, he says, You are mine. Okay for those of us who feel like we are worthless and we are broken, and maybe we've been abandoned, or we don't trust the people that should have protected us because they pushed us away or whatever your situation is. When someone claims you as their own, there is a sense of worth. There's a sense of belonging to whatever that is. Sometimes it's a family member. Sometimes it's a church. This is saying, I belong to God. There is no better place or a person to belong to. He says, You are mine. And that is something that, when I am feeling like I have literally no value, I have to stop and remember, that is the lie of the enemy. That is a lie from the pit of hell. I have one thought, that Jesus hanging on a cross and that thought of worthlessness has no value and goes away pretty quickly.
Ep 2 - She Did What?!
Scripture References Romans 8:39 Proverbs 22:6 Genesis 50:20 Philippians 4:13 Romans 6:23 Galatians 1:15 Acts 22 Judges 11: 30
TRIGGER WARNING: Some listeners may find the content of this episode disturbing because of trauma or bad experiences in their lives. Some stories may trigger emotionally disturbing memories.
Today's a deep dive into shame: What causes shame, the effects of shame, and where the feelings of shame come from. Let me first say, this episode I want to share a part of my life with you. That #1, I am not ashamed of; #2, God has delivered me from! And if I don't share it, I feel like I'm doing a disservice to the Lord because the miracle of my life, including this part of it is just that, “the miracle”. The fact that I am where I am today. Having experienced some of the things that I've experienced by my own doing and decisions that I made, of course, based on things that happened to me and how that made me feel, but as an adult, the decisions that I made, those things could have taken the worst turn in my life and I could be in a pit in Mexico somewhere. And would not even be here today to tell you what the Lord has done. So it's important to me to explain to you what the Lord's done in my life and how He's delivered me and another thing is that it is also evidence that there is nothing that you can ever do, ever ever ever, to go so far that God's arms of grace cannot reach you. I always tell people when you're dangling over the pit of hell, and you have somebody that comes and rescues you from that and pulls you up and puts you on solid ground, it is really really difficult not to talk about Him. It's kind of like when we first fall in love right? All of my friends when I met Jim, knew immediately, and probably got sick of hearing about him because he was the love of my life and I wanted to tell everybody that I was so excited about him. Well, that's the same way I feel about the way Jesus rescued me and that's why it's really hard for me not to talk about Him. A lot of that is included in this story and why I'm so passionate about what He's done for me and what I'm doing you can do in your life as well. When I was about 18 years old, (I graduated from high school a little bit early as I had barely turned 17 when I graduated from high school, so I had already graduated), I was waiting tables and I was dating a guy. At that point was looking for somebody to fix my life. The identity that I knew was mine, which was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and somebody who's worthless and broken, I just wanted all of those feelings to go away. And so this guy I was dating at the time, asked me to marry him, and I was so excited and was just so happy that someone wanted me. At that time, we were going to move to Colorado where his dad was, and help him in his business. Well, when we got there, we were living in the house with him. One day, I had just gone off to go tan at the tanning salon and was coming out and getting ready, I was approached by another girl that was in the tanning salon. She asked me just point blank, she said, “Hey, have you ever thought about dancing?” And of course, I had to explain to her that you know as a Baptist preacher's daughter, we don't believe in dancing and I didn't ever dance because I didn't want to go to hell. She starts telling me that's not exactly what she meant and that she was talking about exotic dancing.
Ep 1 - What Is Truth?
Phillippians 4:13 1 Kings 8:57 #victimmentality #endabuse #childhoodsexualabuse #abusesurvivor
This is going to be a place where we're going to talk about everyday life but through the lens of Scripture. There's going to be an emphasis, however, on how the effects of childhood sexual abuse, literally affect our everyday life. I'm a survivor. I'm not a victim. So many people identify themselves as a victim and in the Bible, we are not victims, we are victors. And I want to help everyone to get to that place. It is not a journey that has been easy for me but I promise, it was worth it. This journey has been one that has lasted so far for 40 years. For me, my childhood sexual abuse started at age 11. It has been one that over time has become easier and easier and not because of me, but because of what Jesus has shown me how He sees me. It's not natural for victims of sexual abuse to see themselves in any kind of positive light. Most of us feel broken. We feel worthless. There are so many things in our life that will affirm that if we allow them to, other people, bad relationships, just how we see ourselves; having a bad hair day, I gained 10 pounds, whatever it is, but none of that matters. What matters is how Jesus sees us and until we start to look at ourselves through His eyes, we're going to live in that victim mentality. And that's exactly where the enemy wants us. I stayed there for a really long time and I promise you that the journey is worth getting to the other side. It's something that is very painful, but it's not impossible. The Bible tells us that, "We can do all things through Christ because that's where we get our strength." Unfortunately, so many of us because we have had to be tough, we've learned to be tough from a very early age. It was part of our survival. So we try to do this in our own strength. We try to get better. We do anything that we can just to survive and so we become tough by nature, but Jesus says to lay your burdens at His feet. That is not something that comes naturally to me. I'm not one to ask for help. I usually am the one helping, and I feel comfortable in that role. I'm very independent. It was very difficult to trust anybody to help me. I've had to learn over the years that there's no requirement for me to trust people, my requirement is to trust The Lord. So what I've learned to do, is anyone that the Lord brings into my life, whether it is for a reason, a season, or for my lifetime, I still have to trust the Lord with that relationship, which means that if they leave, then there was a reason that God had them there, and there's a reason that he removed them. So even though those things are really tough and sometimes those things include your own family members, some of your closest friends. And it's not an easy thing to go through, but when your trust is not in people and your trust is in the Lord, then you know that He has a master plan and that there's a reason that He's allowing these things. Sometimes the easiest way for God to get our attention, unfortunately, because we're human, and we live in a fallen world, is through tragedy. Tragedy is not something that He enjoys us going through. Just like as a parent, I don't like seeing my children suffer in any way, but you know what, you know when they're the sweetest is when they need me. Every single time that we have any kind of tragedy, whether it's something very small or something very tragic like childhood sexual abuse, the Lord never leaves us or forsakes us. He is there. He walks through it. He cries when we cry. That's something that for me was very difficult because I originally wanted to not think of Him as my Father as my sexual abuse came from my father.
(Prelude to Ep 1) Testimony of Wendi's Journey
Wendi opens her heart and shares real and raw experiences from her childhood and how God has used those things for her good and His glory.
I was born into a Baptist preacher family, so I literally grew up with a man, that wasn't just my dad, but he was also my pastor. So this man for me was the closest thing to God that I knew, that I trusted, and he actually wanted to be perceived as that. He didn't just make me think that, he made a whole entire congregation of people fall for that, and it worked. What we learned at church, and what I experienced at home, were two different things. Those worlds collided, one day, and my life changed forever. I had noticed that my parents had been fighting a little bit, and my dad would slam the door, which was totally out of character for him and my mom would go visit her parents in Jacksonville, Florida, and we lived in Atlanta. Those visits became more and more frequent, and one of those visits, it was my turn as the oldest (I have four siblings), and each time that my mom would leave, we would literally take turns sleeping in the big bed with Dad. And this had been happening for a long time. It was nothing new, but on this particular night, something very new happened and at the moment, I could not have even described to you. See, I was only 11 years old. My dad was not just the pastor of our church, we had a church school and the kids in my church went and so he was the superintendent of that school as well. And that is where we were educated, and where we were taught things that we were allowed to know. Well, those were not environments where anything regarding sex or anything sexual was ever, ever said. My Dad controlled all of that. So, we were not even allowed to learn about our own bodies, health class was not as it is today. And so the things that were happening that night where my dad crossed the line and changed my life forever. Those things I could not have even explained to someone. I remember saying, "You never get spankings, so you must be perfect" and I remember him laughing and saying, "Well, I get my spankings from God, they're not literal spankings but my discipline comes from the Lord." So he knew that God was watching what he did. But all I knew was that I never saw him say he was wrong, admit he was wrong, and so nothing that he ever did in my head was wrong. What was happening felt very wrong. So I felt like it must be me. Something's wrong with me. And my dad was a master manipulator. He controlled everything around him. And I was no exception. He used my fear of him and my desperate longing to belong to this family that was all I knew, to control me and to keep me quiet because he told me if I told anybody about what was happening, that my mom would leave, and that our family would break up. Well, that was all I needed to hear. My family meant everything to me. This continued and continued, and got more frequent. And one day, my dad sat us down and told us that we were moving to Texas. He was starting a church, and my mom was going to go to Florida, again, and she would be with us in Texas in a couple of weeks. Well, that's not exactly what happened. He said he resigned the church. In January, we took off two days later, never to return. And on the way to Texas, I found out what was really going on.