Why I Blog

Sorry about the unannounced shutdown. As those of you that follow me on facebook and Twitter already know, my blog got discovered by someone I knew in real life, and it was already spreading.

I knew it was bound to happen at some point, it’s kind of hard to disguise some of the unique features my story. I had no game plan on what to do if my blog was discovered, so when I got the news that people from back home could be reading I immediately locked Permission to Live to give myself some time to think.

In many ways it was frustrating to know my anonymity was gone, this has been a safe place for me to organize my thoughts and process my issues for almost 2 years now. Part of me was tempted to shut my blog down for good, and maybe open up a new anonymous blog somewhere to start over. But the more I thought about it, The more I leaned towards sticking it out here despite the flack. I would hate to lose the friends I’ve gained through blogging. And I am not ashamed to have friends and family read what I’ve written. Everything I have written is true. I’ve sought to be very honest about my faith journey, my parenting breakthroughs, and my healing from the past. I have really tried to tell my story, not anyone else’s. And when that story has included someone else, I have kept them anonymous, and tried to stick to only what I would be willing to say to their face, often talking about what I had already said to them.

And so, I decided that I am ready to be the true authentic person that I have been developing here on my blog, even if people who may wish that I kept quiet, are reading. I realize that means that I could get negative feedback, and so I want to summarize once more the purpose of my blog.

This is my own little place to think and process stuff. I have found a voice through writing here.

I write about the little ins and outs of life, but I also write about more controversial topics, such as my journey from Punitive to Gentle parenting and how I was impacted by the Quiverfull and Patriarchal mentality I grew up in as well as my growth out of that mentality. And sometimes my writing has included stories from my childhood as well as my adult life. I have never meant this blog to be a expose of my parents faults, I have written honestly about my experiences growing up, but I have also written honestly about my own shortcomings.

I find it ironic when I get input from readers and other people within the Christian home school community on how my parents were so extreme. The comment will often go something like this. “Wow, you’re parents were crazy. They spanked to hard and to long. I always limit myself to 5-10 swats with a switch, I would never use a spoon like your parents did.” Or “It’s so silly that your parents didn’t allow you to go to college, I encourage my girls to go to college as long as they understand that they will have to find contentment in their god-given role as submissive wife and homeschooling mother someday.”

Yes, my parents were extreme, still are in some ways. But these comments come from people who are also extreme in almost any society, even if they can feel “liberal” in comparison to the people they surround themselves with. I’ve written about this sort of denial before, it’s easier to see oneself as balanced when one compares themselves to someone slightly more extreme than they are.

We all struggle with balance. I know I struggle to find balance in my own life. I don’t write about my experiences with punitive parenting so that everyone who is slightly less violent in their own parenting can pat themselves on the back. I don’t write about the inequality between the sexes in the patriarch movement so that anyone who merely pushes wifely submission instead of female submission can feel good about themselves. We should all be uncomfortable. I write to challenge myself to re-evaluate my own balance. I write to challenge anyone who is brave enough to travel that road with me.

*No blogger should feel pressured to be more open than they are. In my particular situation, I have no reason to fear any major retaliation, and even if I did these family and friends live over 1000 miles away. I merely lose my privacy and risk some superficial conflict. Many bloggers are not so lucky.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03792937108732259684 priest’s wife

    Young Mom- I have an anonymous blog too (except that my parents and family know that I write)—and if I write something that I can say to that person, it's okay. I think you have done a great job being compassionate even when you have written about some tough stuff

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle

    I am glad you are sticking with it. And I respect the way you have written. It has never read like an expose or anything. I struggle when writing about my experiences because I am not sure how I would go about talking to my mom about stuff. The way you write about your experience inspires me to delve in but be honest in my assessment of others and myself.

    My mom would have named me Melissa if I didn't already have a cousinwith that name. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05659143242634568450 Me

    I am so, so happy that you are back and incredibly inspired by your courage. Your posts have caused me to look at my own parenting, self-righteousness, and need for balance. I also blog anonymously, and already took down one blog because someone found it through googling my whole name and town. I hope that I can display the same courage you have if something like that happens again. Thank you for being you, and being completely honest. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11557037093560947882 Anne

    I'm really glad you've decided to keep blogging, and I'm proud of you for being yourself…being honest and transparent, and brave. Haters will always hate, no matter what.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 CM

    I respect your honesty and your openness so much, and I'm so glad that you've decided to stick it out here. That can't have been an easy decision, but I hope it turns out to be very worthwhile for you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08353667980806676067 Ami

    I have learned a great deal by reading here. I'm glad you've made the decision to keep writing and being honest.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00987022971262088932 Pam

    Thank you for posting – I, too, grew up in patriarchy and I wonder how that will affect my (eventual) parenting. I'm actually scared to have children because of the adversarial relationship between parents and children that I thought was "normal" for so long. Your blog gives me hope that I can break that mold, that I can be different, that I can learn better, more gentle skills. So, thanks for sharing your journey…you are inspirational.

  • http://www.janetoberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Love your courage!

    It will help me in the coming weeks.
    I've been writing over the past 5 years on my blog and in a book. On my blog I was not anonymous, so I wrote cautiously. Whereas the book I was writing, no one was reading. So there I was totally honest.

    As you know that memoir will be realized in two weeks … and then the 'private' stuff I've written will not be private anymore. I'm excited and scared about that …

    So thanks for being courageous … you're my hero!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01659200420621854710 Maggie

    All the other commenters have pretty much hit the nail on the head. I'll simply say, I'm happy you are back to blogging!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17825458003284098965 Scott Morizot

    Peace. I've never been anonymous, but I understand why you were. We had completely different childhood and life experiences, yet you seem more like a "kindred spirit" than not much of the time.

    I wish you well and pray that being "outed" does not turn negative for you or your family.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03951937670507565105 Shelly

    So glad you decided not to shut down completely!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    You are so right about the comparison thing. My family criticizes me for being an all-or-nothing sort, and maybe I will eventually find something in between, since life is a learning process. But I grew up surrounded by people who justified their own stance by comparing it to others. (To be clear, my parents were not among them. They truly followed their convictions. But many of their friends were.) And I feel like you have to envision as much as possible the extensions and eventual fallout of any course before you embrace it. You can't just look at a Bible verse and say "Oh look, this means I have to do X…." and then run with it. We were given the Scrpitures, PLUS a conscience, a mind, two eyes, and the ability to pray for guidance. Anyone who doesn't utilize all of those for a new decision is missing a chunk of the puzzle.
    I wish you all the best in your battles ahead. You are in my prayers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15172112981244682382 shadowspring

    As a parent of adult home school children, I want to say something to the parents who do/should feel convicted about the things you write. So, to older moms like myself, I want to say: humble yourself. Repent to your children when you need to do so, no matter how old they are now. If they try to spare your feelings by saying, "It's okay, mom. I forgive you.", say, "No! It was not okay! It was wrong! And thank you for forgiving me, that is worth the world to me. I need your forgiveness. I need your forgiveness because what I did/said/left undone/unsaid was NOT okay! You deserve better."

    Don't make excuses. I'm sure you have good ones, but save them for another conversation. The repentance conversation should be 100% about the truth that your children deserved love and support and instead got (fill in the blank).

    One of my main motivations for home schooling was to build a close, loving Christian family. I thought close, loving and Christian were all synonymous. I thought Dobson (for example) was an expert in this where I was a complete novice. I had not grown up with a loving, close family and I wanted that so bad for my children.

    Thankfully, in the end, love did win out in my home, but my children's growing up had more trauma than they deserved. I have owned it, and that makes all the difference.

    Of course I would rather have a time machine, to go back and do things over, but that's not possible. Anyone can start focusing on the unconditional, extravagant love of God today, though. What's that saying, "today is the first day of the rest of your life?"

    Signed, an older parent SS

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08275746622439541690 Rachel Cori

    Way to go! I'm so glad you're still blogging. I really like reading your thoughts, your story, parts of your heart that you choose to share. Thank you for keeping on even though it's not easy. Blessings.

    I especially like "we should all feel uncomfortable." And I do. And that's important because then the change can come.

  • Kori

    I think you are incredibly brave. A long time ago I was struggling with infertility and was really sad, bitter, and just unhappy in general and decided that an anonymous blog was just what I needed to get out the venom. Well, it was discovered and I shut it all down. I was so angry, and felt betrayed by the person who found it even though she didn't actually do anything wrong (except google my email address). I wish that I had the bravery back then to have kept writing. YOu are a wonderful writer and have built a loving family despite the circumstances you were raised in. I have nothing but respect for you. And I would LOVE to see you write a book someday. I'll be first in line to buy it!

  • Anonymous

    I'm so glad that you're going to continue blogging while my own upbringing was very different from yours in many ways, my husband's was quite similar, I've shared many of your blog entries with him and he's really appreciated them, especially your writings about deciding against corporal punishment.


  • Emily

    AHH! I'm so happy you're back. I think I'd be way too frightened if I were in your shoes. I have so much admiration for you. It's so beautiful to see how you started this blog giving yourself permission to live and now (even though you wouldn't have chosen these circumstances) you've come to a place that you feel free to live even in the face of adversity. Those chains can't hold you anymore.

  • http://www.flatheadmama.blogspot.com Rebecca

    I have always wondered what you would do in this situation, or if someone from your husband's church found your blog. I think your response shows courage and is absolutely consistent with the more authentic self you are trying to live out. It's scary to think that you can be criticized when you are real but people who really care about you will be friends with you whether they agree or disagree. Take care and carry on. I would hate to lose your voice. You're definitely in my top 5 of favorite bloggers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15991265512226039592 Like a Child

    Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us in spite of the loss of anonymity. You are a role model to us anonymous bloggers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04738076740941616678 Rebecca

    So glad you are sticking around – this bloggy world needs more of you!

    Just don't decide that this gets you out of writing that book, ok ;)?

  • Anonymous

    I'm so glad you came back and that you're ok. :) I had a completely different childhood that I'm also trying not to repeat and I think it's inspiring to see a mom making a happy life for herself and fighting against the errors of the previous generation. <3

  • Anonymous

    I'm glad you are back. Your posts are always interesting and thought provoking. I hope you do not suffer too badly from losing anonymity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02979828437531268794 Rebecca in ID

    I'm glad you're staying around! And wow, there are a lot of Rebeccas who read your blog…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07676507138237490522 Musical Atheist

    You are a very brave woman, and I greatly admire your integrity and strength. I'm glad you're still here- the blogosphere is richer for thoughtful voices like yours.

  • http://foreverinhell.com Personal Failure

    I am so glad you are continuing to write. You have a real gift for it, and I'm always excited when your posts pop up in my reader.

    I hope everything stays okay with you, and if you do eventually decide to quit blogging, let me take this opportunity to wish you the best in whatever you do. You deserve it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01850858881428005498 Brashchick

    I am so glad to see you are back, though I worry about the repercussions should someone in your husband's church find your blog. But, if you shut down again I will be grateful that I got this opportunity to tell you how amazing, and wise and willing to grow I think you are. I wish you and your husband and children much love and growth and grace and joy on your journey.

  • Rosa

    Another who's so glad you're back, and a I respect your courage – any conflict inside a family or circle of friends is hard, even if it's "superficial" – and none of the issues you've tackled have been superficial.

    I can't believe you got an email saying spanking with a spoon was extreme – my folks were just mainline protestants, though influenced by Evangelical friends and Focus on the Family, and my mom kept her wooden spoon on hand at all times, just like half the other moms, of all churches, in our small town in the '70s. The move to positively affirm spanking as a Christian value had barely started back then, because the move away from physical punishment in mainstream culture had barely started.

  • David

    I am a pastor in the church where Melissa met her husband. My two oldest daughters are college-educated, married, and are working at jobs outside the home. My third daughter is now in college. All the elders in our church, and most other church members, encourage their daughters to develop their talents and get a college education. My heart aches when I read some of the things Melissa and her siblings endured in her family setting.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    David- Since I have only mentioned your church once or twice on my blog (and never by name) I have no idea why you feel the need to defend yourself. I have not atempted to take you on personally or attack your church, like I said in the post above, I am telling my story, not anyone else's.

    I am glad that you were influenced enough by your middle class cultural background to take your daughter's educations seriously, I have other friends who were raised in the Quiverfull/Patriarchal movement who were sent to college as well. My not being allowed to go to college is only one of the damaging aspects of this theology that I’ve written about.

    Your church played a relatively small part in my upbringing, considering I was only there for a year before I married my husband. However, my husband was the son of the other pastor, and after we were married we worked to plant an extension of your church, so we are familiar with the theology. You’ve promoted courtship, parental control of children, and male headship and appear to practice them in your own family. You’ve preached against birth control, even using fear tactics like Muslim demographics to scare Christian families into raising full quivers of children for God.

    You’ve stated that my family was extreme. Yes, at that time in my life my family was very extreme, and though your church was not the most extreme church of your type, the fact that my Dad was willing to attend at all says something. Your church is full of stories like mine. For me, it rings rather hollow when you attempt to disassociate yourself from the people that you lead.

  • Diane Marie

    I've been a lurking reader of your blog for a while now. I found it through a connected series of blogs I don't even recall now. Your posts are so thoughtful and sincere, I just kept coming back. I was so sad when I saw your blog had gone private, and I'm so happy that you've made this decision to keep your blog active after all. I know I'm just a stranger on the internet, but I still wanted to offer you my support and encouragement, and also my thanks for sharing your story and experiences.

  • David

    You are an eloquent writer, Melissa. As you grapple with your past and with your still-forming identity, my main desire is that you come to trust in Jesus and His love for you. If you come to know Christ and be glad in Him, any disagreements we might have won't matter all that much.

    Meanwhile, here are a few matters to consider.

    It's not quite true to say that you are telling only your own story. You also generalize about churches, movements, theologies, and child-rearing methods, as seen through the lens of an agnostic, sometimes depressed woman who grew up in an abusive family. This does not always result in accurate statements.

    My married daughters and some other young married women in our church do not yet have any children, whereas you and your husband have had four children in four years. Why is that? Although I have preached the importance of cherishing children and not despising larger families, I have never believed nor taught that birth control is always wrong. Your husband took that position for a time, going beyond anything taught by his father or me, based in part on his study of Roman Catholic condemnations of birth control.

    I do teach male headship patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ, in keeping with the Bible and centuries of mainstream Christianity. This kind of headship is very different from what you experienced in your home.

    I do not disassociate myself from the people that I lead, though it might be a stretch to say that I ever led your father. He recognized no leadership but his own. When he came to our church, he had not been involved in any church for ten years. When he was introduced to me as a pastor, the first words out of his mouth were, "I don't believe in pastors and elders." He never chose to become a member of our church, and after attending for awhile, he left and took the family with him.

    Over the years at our church, some people who started attending were running their families in extreme control freak mode. In my experience, such families either have become less extreme after awhile through ties to healthier, more balanced families within the church community, or else they have eventually left our church.

  • write on!!!

    Your readers are with you. I often am afraid to be honest in certain settings of my parish. I'm Catholic and unable to really express where I am at with my faith with many. I need to get over it as I should be most concerned about what God thinks and not be so influenced by what people think. I am afraid to be blacklisted and gossiped about. I need the grace to move ahead and be honest.

    Write on!! Write on!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    David- ??? Is that why I have 4 children in 4 years? I had no idea that you were in on our marital conversations about birth control, family size and spacing.

    I am relating my experience within these theologies and mentalities, and different child-rearing methods that I have tried, some of which I believe to be damaging, I hardly see how that could be called “generalizing”. I didn’t realize that being an “agnostic, sometimes depressed, female who grew up in an abusive family” means that I am not entitled to an opinion or voice. Good thing we have Christian, Male Pastors to give me a more accurate understanding of my own experience.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree.

  • David

    Melissa, I speak not as a male pastor giving you a more accurate understanding of your experience, but as a person who knew your husband for years, and whom I continue to care about very much. In an earlier comment, you claimed that I preached against birth control, even though I never did. You were silent about the fact that your husband strongly argued against birth control, based not so much on his upbringing or congregation as on an encyclical of the pope. I don't claim to know your private marital conversations, but I do know very well your husband's beliefs about birth control at the time he married you.

    "The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." (Proverbs 18:17) You are entitled to your opinion and voice. This is your blog, not mine. But as you tell your story and occasionally your version of your husband's story, your readers should keep in mind that they are hearing one person's side of things. They are hearing an agnostic person's view of faith, an abused person's view of discipline.

    Since you are an agnostic despite your own husband being a pastor, I as a pastor am not likely to be a voice you want to hear. So I'll try to respect your wishes, Melissa, and not comment too much on your blog. I wish you well and pray for the day when Christ dwells in your heart through faith and you know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

  • David

    Just one more thing, Melissa. Although you and I have argued back and forth a bit here, I want to be very clear that I am deeply moved by much of what you write, and I agree with much of what you say about practices that are very damaging. There are cruel and nutty patterns that some parents inflict on their children. Rather than pretend nothing bad has happened, you rightly voice outrage against terrible wrongs, and you boldly question some parenting gurus and ideologies that may tend to foster such wrongs.

    If I gave you the impression that I wish you would just shush up, I apologize for not making my appreciation clearer. Obviously I as a committed Christian don't want your agnosticism to spread, but my daughter and I, in recently discovering and reading your blog, think that you frequently hit the nail on the head in depicting physical and spiritual abuse and the self-deluded, self-serving attempts to rationalize it. On some things, you and I must agree to disagree, but on others, let's just agree to agree.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    David- You knew my husband for many years as a minor. And your opinion always mattered highly to him. You are %100 correct that both my husband and I were openly anti-birth control for several years, I’ve been clear on this blog about the fact that we were Quiverfull at one time. But despite what you think you knew when my husband was a nineteen year old marrying me, we were not Catholics. In fact, Catholicism led me out of the Quiverfull fundamentalist thinking I was trapped in, and I will always be grateful for that.

    Since you approve of my writing about my issues with my parents, (they of course would also argue that I am telling “my version” and “one side of the story”) I guess you are still feeling this compulsive need to defend yourself and the church you lead, despite my having never attacked you in any blog post. I mentioned your church in passing, as the church that my family finally chose to attend after years of “home churching”, and mentioned the positive change that happened in my parents’ family afterwards. And I have never mentioned your family at all, despite your conjecturing about my husband and I.

    I am sorry my being an agnostic offends you, and that you feel I have nothing to say outside of talking about my parents mistakes. My parents decisions (including their physical and spiritual abuses) were highly influenced by their theology, so I will continue to write about Quiverfull, Patriarchal, Fundamentalist teachings, that I feel are damaging. I think it’s silly that you’ve decided to nitpick about whether or not I personally was Quiverfull or Patriarchal “enough” to have a voice on these topics.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17871256362646081536 Amber

    Melissa: My heart aches for you. As you know, my blog is not private and I have been publicly grappling with issues from my own religious upbringing. The questions I have, the pain (not physical, spiritual) that I endured, are things I need to write through. However, having people come out and attack me has been exhausting. I completely admire your courage to write the things of your past as it has given me the strength to see past the lies I was told as a child. (Even though this sounds venomous, it isn't supposed to be, it's my experience and I don't claim to have all the answers.)

    You are strong. Don't let people tell you otherwise.

    And David? Please stop commenting. Clearly you are misreading what Melissa is saying and speaking from a place of defensiveness.

  • Anonymous

    Melissa, I've been reading your blog for several months now and admire you for keeping your blog public now that it's been "outed". But I have to say, in defense of David, that his comments sound quite caring and charitable, even despite your venomous rebuttals. I don't detect the defensiveness you accuse him of, but rather compassion for the turmoil you're still experiencing. And, I agree with him: your one side of the story will necessarily be influenced by your unique experiences, but those experiences won't necessarily be the same for everyone in his congregation. I hope you'll take his words to heart and hear the compassion with which I think he wrote them, rather than automatically labeling him as an enemy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa


    I think he is trying to be nice, but he's coming off as very condescending and know-it-all. Telling me what I think and why I think it, saying that he is nothing like my parents (when I never claimed he was) and throwing around bible verses. All while saying that my perspective is invalid because I am a female and agnostic. It's all stuff I've heard before, and it gets tiring sometimes.

    I have never said that my experience is the same as everyone in his church, in fact, I have never mentioned his church as a factor in my story other than it being the church my family finally attended after years of non-church attendance. Being part of a community after years of isolation did wonderful things for my parents family.

    I did not seek to be to venomous. But since it appears that I am coming off that way, I guess I am done trying to have this conversation here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Anonymous of 10:43 – I've seen this sort of thing before, where someone who holds patriarchical views but, say, sends his daughters to college will point at others who hold the same views but are slightly more extreme and say "I'm not like that! See, I have no problems at all, because I'm not like THAT!" They use it to pat themselves on the back and say they're not extreme, when, compared to the normal world, they ARE, or that their views aren't detrimental when, in reality, they are.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07676507138237490522 Musical Atheist

    You're not coming across as venomous. Just legitimately frustrated. Just wanted to say.

  • Anonymous

    I'm sorry, venomous was not really the right word. Frustrated, for sure, but certainly understandably so. I can't presume to know the thought process behind his comments so maybe I was wrong in defending him. I think there is a whole lot more to this story and philosophy than any of us who have never experienced it will ever know. I really hope my previous comment was not perceived as being against you; I really do respect and admire you for sharing your journey of self discovery. If I wrote as beautifully as you did perhaps my words would do a better job of conveying my thoughts. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11557037093560947882 Anne

    I agree with Musical Atheist, Melissa. I know how frustrating it is when people say these things, and come off the wrong way (even when it's not meant). I find no venom in your conversation, I think you are doing great on your blogs and in your replies.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15377583333000789903 Mrs. Anna T

    I have gone through this dilemma twice: once, when I decided to come out and tell I'm Jewish and live in Israel, which earned me death threats, and again when my family and friends discovered my blog, which forever eliminated a part of my unreserve. There are sometimes things you don't mind admitting to a blog community, but don't want your mother to know. I'm glad you're back.

  • http://tawnyzengierski.blogspot.com/ Tawny

    Melissa (it is pretty sweet to have a name for you), I love your blog, and am so glad you are going to continue to write.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08075072259006322851 Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website

    I pray for your peace of mind, joy of heart, and for you to find the Truth you are seeking with regard to God, theology, families, churches, faith, education…the whole nine yards. How is it going with the new counselor you mentioned on FB? I hope, well:)

  • http://www.liberatedfamily.com Rebekah

    I'm glad you've re-opened your blog. I hope it continues to be a place of growing and freedom of expression for you. I appreciate your honesty.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18143444014185512909 CPass

    I'm another who is glad you're back and back to stay! I am relatively new to your blog (a few months)and am impressed with your honesty and thoughtfulness.

    I'm proud of your courage!

  • Anonymous

    Christianity, Jesus' love, and reading verses of the Bible helped ME deal with sexual abuse in my life and mental disorders from the abuse. I am not offended by your blog, just sad that anytime someone mentions Christianity you are allergic because of something your parents or other extremist people did. God and Jesus weren't the ones controlling your parents. In fact, Jesus did say, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." To a group of people who wanted to stone an adulteress. They all walked away because they realized their lives were just as messed as that woman's. I have a question for you. Why do you judge Christians using words crafted to attack people for something that brings healing and joy to someone's nightmare of a life? Jesus's presence and compassion on my soul is like the warm glow from a fireplace in the winter. You've been abused and I know how that is, I wasn't abused by my parents, but I know how much it can hurt keeping silent about something that hurt you very much for so many years and how it feels making people think that you're okay when your soul is screaming. :'(

    ps. I sincerely hope my Christian faith doesn't darken your opinion of my little post.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to say, also in David's defense, that despite your accusations toward him he never once said your opinion doesn't count "because you're female and agnostic." What he did was express concern as a devoted Christian and a pastor that your agnosticism might cause a believer who read the blog to stumble in their faith and point out that you had spoken a falsehood about him in one of your comments, oh, and (heaven forbid) quote some Bible verses. How dare a pastor and a devoted Christian quote the Bible?!
    I share his concern for you. Your agnosticism may well affect somebody's faith, or worse cause somebody who is close to coming to faith to reject the gospel. This is something you should be concerned about, for "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!" (Matthew 18:7).
    I am very sorry for your circumstances growing up. Though parents such as yours do exist, they are not the norm in the Biblically based male headship family. To denounce everybody who approaches parenting and family from the male headship perspective because some families take a wrong view of what this means is no better than taking the other extreme. Abuse is never right and should never be discounted or shrugged off. However, not all discipline is abuse. One of the commandments God gives fathers is to "bring them [children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
    I will continue to pray for you, as I have been since I started reading this blog. I will pray for healing, but more importantly for a healed relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Grace

    Hi there! I'm sorry to see how much you are struggling. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and having doubts. And I think everyone who has commented on here has agreed with that point. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. We must all remember that God is LORD. He does not fit into any "box" we can try to create for him. Don't give up on searching for him. He loves you. Jesus Christ can give you peace, if you will let him.