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...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 4: Everything Was So Confusing to Me Now

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 CruzGetting back to the Cabbage Doll story. Let me explain. In the eighties, a very well known Evangelist that Cecilia's family was personally taught under, taught that Cabbage Patch Dolls were causing strange and destructive behaviors in children. They could only be alleviated when the dolls were removed from the household, or better yet, destroyed completely!There were some reports claiming... ladies were miscarrying while having these dolls in their homes. It was explained to me that when you got a Cabbage Patch Doll, they come with birth certificates … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 3: My Very Own Titus 2 Friend!

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 drew closer to Christ through my relationship with Cecilia; there was no doubt about it. The more time I spent with her, the more I opened my bible to see if all the things I was learning, matched up with the word of God.I was learning so much from her. Some good things, and some things that really made me scratch my chin in dismay. I learned that if you were a real Christian, then you were to only home school your children. However, My church taught us that we could also send our children to a Christian school. That was acceptable too. This really … [Read more...]

Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull: Isolation

by Kristen Rosser ~ aka: KR WordgazerBeloved, 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. Even when there is sincere desire to follow Christ, the ways beliefs are practiced, instead of bringing healing and liberty, can bring pain a … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 2: It was a beautiful vision of faith to me

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 night before my dinner engagement was a nervous one. I wanted everything to be extra perfect for my get together the following day. I stayed up praying that evening. Morning came and I felt more at ease. After church service Cecilia’s family followed my family home and for the next 4 hours we talked and joked as if we had been friends for years. I seemed to connect really well with Cecilia even though I had nothing much in common with her. Cecilia was ultra conservative, modest beyond words. She was a skirts only, tailored neckline type of woman. S … [Read more...]


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