March 26, 2016

PTHD

In the "fundamentalist" homeschooling community, girls have lucked out across the board.

Denied higher education in many cases, treated as lesser wives, they are expected to make godly matches for weak minded tools of men, with whom they are allowed little to no pre-marital physical contact.

Where has this mindset gotten girls like this?  Working minimum wage jobs, forced to give up lifelong goals or aspirations due to lack of formal education or job skills, they suffer in silence, hoping, waiting for a better day which never seems to come. 

Too often these girls have been abused, either mentally, emotionally, or sexually (and in some cases all of the above), and made to feel like worthless, unlovable, failures.  What can they do with little to no "real world" experience, because they grew up captives in their own homes? 

And so from year to year they work, hard, at low paying jobs, scrimping and scraping, trying to save back money for further education, a dependable car, or an apartment of their own, all the while the grand picture of what their life would be by X-age is becoming a distant dream. 

They feel betrayed; by their moms, and dads, and brothers.  Betrayed by society in general and men specifically.  Betrayed by the church, their denomination, a certain theology or framework, and even by God. Because, if He really is a loving father, why did He allow them to be taken advantage of, molested, and abused?  Why hasn't He provided them with a good, kind man?  And what else do they have to do, to sacrifice, or give up in order for Him to bless their lives?

And so a shift happens - a slant away from anything that resembles their old lifestyle.  They distance themselves from certain family members, from their church, or a community of "friends" in order to form a new identity.  And in some cases, a rejection of God occurs, because these girls feel as if their own fathers with all of the mess they brought into their lives, are the only picture of God they know, and why would they want to associate with a tyrant like him?
Many girls have given up on the values their parents worked so hard to instill in them, because they have become a symbol of bondage, fear, abuse, and a reduced life of shattered dreams and broken hearts.  In short, they are hopeless and in many respects, helpless.

But is that where they have to stay?  Do their lives have to be a hopeless wreck?  Or can they see brighter days?  I would argue that they can.  And even though I have only personally experienced a fraction of the above mentioned situations, I still suffer from what I call "Post Traumatic Homeschooling Disorder" - but I don't want to be defined by that, I don't want that to be my identity, because I know God has much more for my life than a label.  I still wrestle with resentment and bitterness over certain decisions that were made by myself and my parents which will have a negative and lasting effect on my life.  However, I am choosing to overcome as many of them as I can, and not stay in the past with all of its regrets, pain and bad decisions.  

Four things I would urge my fellow girls to do:

1. Don't give up hope.  Even though back then seems like such an insurmountable thing to overcome, we can either choose to live defeated or to move on.  If moving on means getting counseling, or leaving the area you have lived in for years and years, if it means something radical, don't be afraid to take that step! 

2. Keep working towards the goals / dreams God has given you
This might look like getting a job, even something basic allows you to have more freedom and to build up savings so that you can do what God has called you to do.  It might look like taking some basic college classes from your local community college - don't be afraid to go take the basics, and go from there.  The basics are a great place to start.  And just remember, that no matter what others say, the dream God has placed in your heart is special to you!

3.Continue to build your relationship with God.  This might seem like a hard thing to do since you were beaten over the head with the bible for years and years, but I am finding that I need to put my roots down into God's word, for myself.  Discarding what others have planted into your heart is hard, but sometimes it is the best way to grow - clear the rubble of man's opinions and ask for God to show you the Truth of His word.  This is your most important relationship, so put time and effort into growing it.

4. Friendships are valuable, even if they push you out of your comfort zone.  Getting new friends, after you have left your former community is scary, but also highly rewarding.  I have kept in contact with a very small number of my former acquaintances, because they are good people and not from the tyrannical vein.  But, I have also benefited from forming new friendships, with folks who think alike, and those who don't.  Before I was so judgmental, I wouldn't have imagined having friends who didn't share my same convictions (I'm not talking about Faith here).  Being a snob is hurtful, not only to you, but also to possible friendships.  Be willing to set aside your preconceived notions, and explore new friendships with people who love Jesus, but don't have much else in common.  You will be pleasantly surprised and blessed by these new friends.

Most importantly, don't forget that we have Hope because of Jesus, regardless of what our backgrounds look like.  Let's never forget this truth.  

March 17, 2016

My Story


March 14, 2016

The Happy Tag

My friend over at On Solid Ground, tagged me a little while back, with the Happy Tag!  It is a fun one, where I am listing 6 things which make me happy under each category.  Enjoy. :)

Books: 

The Bible - God's mind revealed
Mere Christianity 
Aunt Jane's Hero
The Screwtape Letters
Crazy Love
One Thousand Gifts 

Words:

Hope
I love you
How are you?
Family
Finished
Hello

Movies / TV:

Sherlock
Father Brown
Amazing Grace
Persuasion
Anne of Green Gables
When the Game Stands Tall

Scents:

My perfume
Root beer
Freshly cut grass
Rain
Roses
Babies

Songs: 

Matter (For King & Country)
You Will Remain (All Sons & Daughters)
Your Glory / Nothing But the Blood (All Sons & Daughters)
Slumber (Need to Breathe)
He Knows (Jeremy Camp)
O Holy Night

Misc: 

Babies laughing
Library visits
Volleyball with friends
Cards and letters
Succulents
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