Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 10: It's in the Lord's Hands

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly Cruz I walked over to the phone, and dialed Cecilia’s number. My first thought was that it would possibly be disconnected, but who knows, maybe they finally moved. Cecilia always talked about how the time would come, and their house would be demolished, and then they would have to move. They were living rent-free in an old farmhouse. Someone had blessed them years ago with a property. They had to care for it, and in return they could live there for free, but once the owner passed away, they'd have to move. They were even given a 15-passenger van as a b … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 2 ~ First Prison Break

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess Willoughby1993 was a rough year. It was the year that Nate was fired from his engineering job in Tazewell, Virginia, and first started thinking about studying the law. It was the year when we went to a conference and met a pastor who advocated corporal punishment for wives, and Nate took to his teachings like a duck to water. It was the year I had Jack, who was conceived a few months after Daniel’s birth. Most notably, 1993 marked my first attempt at a separation from Nate.Daniel had been born at home. Nate and I were part of the Christian separatist movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s, rooted in the belief … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 1 ~ Twisted Communion

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyOn my wedding day, I embraced a new religion.  I marched up the aisle on my father’s arm, in a white lace gown with monstrous leg-o-mutton sleeves—very fitting for a lamb going to the slaughter.No bride was ever more madly in love, or more giddily romantic, or more enraptured with her white church wedding.  It was my greatest accomplishment; it was my reward from God for being virtuous and pure. Saying vows that I wrote myself, I outdid every right-wing, anti-feminist bride on earth. I promised to obey and submit and never speak a word against my husband until either I was dead or he was—but I think I … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 9: Draw Near to God

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzIt was not until a period of distance was placed between my family and Cecilia’s, that I began to see the blessing that Cecilia gave me. It was an ABUNDANT blessing in disguise! At the time, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and even angry with her and with her whole family. I felt that Cecilia divorced our friendship, and I had no idea why.I went from being a babe in Christ, to a woman, desiring nothing more, than to love my Savior Jesus. God was changing me little by little each day. I began to pray for specific things, and within weeks, sometimes d … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady ~ Prologue: Final Break

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyJuly 12, 2000.  I woke up with one thought in my head.  I am going to die.I don’t know where this conviction came from, unless it was the cracked ribs.  It hurt to move; it hurt to breathe.  I was also dizzy.  I had awakened dizzy for five months straight, ever since Maggie was born.  I never went anywhere without a cup of crushed ice to chew on.  This, too, had lasted for five months.  Maggie—exclusively breast-fed—looked puny and pallid.I knew Nate was going to kill me unless I did something to save myself.  I guess I should explain that Nate didn’t crack my ribs.  They had been cracked in the acc … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 8: Somehow, I Lost My Entire Identity

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzThere was so much to read about this man; I didn't even know where to begin. I stumbled across a message board that had a whole bunch of people who grew up following his teachings. They were adults now. The thing that perplexed me the most, was that these folks were calling him a religious cult leader, and that did not seem right to me.Cecilia and her family were very strong, mature Christians. They would never get involved with something cultish, would they? The time I spent reading about this man, seemed so déjà vu to me. Everything I was reading f … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 7: A Godly, God-Fearing Man

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzI was feeling inadequate as a wife and mother lately, but had no clue why. Maybe it was because Cecilia called her husband Sir, and was always hanging on his every word. This had been making me nervous for a while now.I remember asking her about it one day and she only shared, that Sarah called Abraham "Lord." It was a matter of respect.I took a moment, trying to imagine myself, calling my husband Lord, or even Sir. I could not help but chuckle each time I said it to myself. Is this something that a Godly wife was suppose to do? Should I be asking … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 6: Cecelia's Secret

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzThe secret was "ATI", which stands for, "Advanced Training Institute." This was a word of mouth ultra-conservative home school program Cecilia told me about. It taught "Character First." It made children obedient, God fearing individuals, Cecilia explained to me. Cecilia shared examples of how much more obedient children were who were taught with this style of curriculum. How these children differed from other children.I was intrigued, and wanted to find out more about it. This was what I have been waiting to hear. If Cecilia's children were walking, … [Read more...]

Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull: Hierarchy & Control

 by Kristen Rosser ~ aka: KR Wordgazer Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. I John 4:1Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:30Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  Galatians 5:1The above passages warn us that not every movement that says it is following Christ and His teachings, actually is.  How can we know the difference?Jesus said “Ye shall know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16).”  Galatians 5:22-23 says that out of the … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 5: A Leap of Faith

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snowby Shelly CruzOur family was planning an out of state move soon. My husband had been praying about our life up North. For him, everything seemed mundane, so he started praying that if the Lord had more for us, he would have to shake things up a bit. For me, I felt that everything had already been shaken up enough.As always, the Lord answered my husband’s prayer almost instantly. The job that he thought he was going to have until retirement became very stressful for him. When folks at work found out that he was a believer, they started playing little tricks on him. … [Read more...]


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