Jill and Jessa as Quivering Daughters: Hillary McFarland’s Book is Available Again!

Jill and Jessa as Quivering Daughters: Hillary McFarland’s Book is Available Again! June 17, 2015

Undermuchgraceby Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace

The previous post explains the plight of Second Generation Adults of Patriarchy (SGAs) — those who suffer in the confinement of thought and in the circumstances in life created by Christians who sought to help their families.  The SGA describes adults who grew up in a family that followed high demand religion — a process that has profound effects for those who endure it.  Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland seeks to help those who have lived a “Duggar-like lifestyle” but found that it worked to destroy that which it was meant to create.  Rather than a nurturing environment of safety and love, many of its daughters and sons were met with pain, rejection — and sometimes, with abuse.

I am grieved to see that some of these misfortunes have also touched the Duggar Family.  I feel pity and empathy for all of them, especially for Jill, Jessa, and those unnamed ones who don’t even fully realize that they were abused.  They also do not realize the nature of the system of belief that they follow not only puts them at risk for physical harm, it also packs a punch of emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse.  That is where most of us who were involved with Gothardism find ourselves when we wake up to the reality that formulas for living that eliminate the problems in life simply don’t work.  It takes time and valiant courage to face the tragic consequences as well as the end of the fantasy that promised us “a better way.” 

Available Again!

But today, I am pleased beyond words to hear from Eric Pazdziora that Hillary has again made a pdf copy of her book available for purchase for those who have such a great need for it.  Visit her website to obtain a copy if you haven’t done so already.  Perhaps a good place to start might be the Christianity Today review of the book.

It was written for those who have found the Quiverfull and Patriarchy movements disappointing, to say the least, especially those who endured a host of abuses — including those that the Duggars now face. It is now available for those children of patriarchy — even for those who don’t yet know that they are Quivering Daughters.  It is my prayer that the whole Duggar Family and those like them will find the book to be a vital resource that can help them transcend their the many crises they face.

May the book be a blessing to all of them.  If not today, we can pray, for there is always tomorrow.


Some of my first thoughts about the book: 


(some originally posted in June 2010)
It was very surreal for me when I first held the actual book in my hands for the first time.  I’ve been looking at the cover of the book before publication, so it had become familiar to me. Hillary and I had talked about the little girl in the photo, and I prayed for her and all those little ones like her.  You know those kind of prayersone where your aching spirit just says a volume in an instant with a silent groan of travail that spills out of your chest and floods your arms and face with His presence mixed with your aching empathy.
Many years ago, I heard Francis Schaeffer (the father of the author of Crazy for God) say in an interview that he would likely have benefited more in a spiritual sense if he had not spent considerable effort addressing the more difficult aspects of living in an imperfect world.  But as Schaeffer explained, he believed that God called him to address some of the more unpleasant issues that we Christians face in life as opposed to a focus only and exclusively on the ideal.  
He obeyed what he understood as his calling to be faithful to do what God had called him to do.  I also wish that I knew nothing of the painful elements of the pains faced by Quivering Daughters, spending all my days singing, playing the piano, strumming my harp and guitar, and gliding the bow over the psaltery in worship and communion with the Lord.
I read the beautiful Foreword by Elisabeth Esther and was haunted by her so aptly stated comment, “…and yes, sweet one, it is abuse.”
I tightly clutched the book to my heart with my arms crossed over it, praying, weeping, groaning.  I joined my heart with Hillary’s in a prayer for this to become reality for many, as she writes, 

“To my quivering daughter-sisters – you inspire me with your courage and bravery.  Every day I wish I could throw my arms around you; thank you for reaching, for asking, for searching.  Thank you for your faith, for seeking the narrow way that leads to life.  Thank you for loving truth, even when it hurts.  Thank you for living, even when it hurts.  For daring to step into the unknown so that He may become known.”

I also prayed with Wade Burleson that many will, Read it and weep.  Read it and think.  Read it and quiver no more.”
I have endured many deeply painful things in life, and just recently, it seems like so many of them have not been for naught.  I want those griefs to be transformed and exploited for good — things which God can use for good to comfort others and save many.  (That “saving” often and simply means “ to be saved from circumstances.”)  For me, Quivering Daughters became one of those good things that allowed my own grief to birth a sense of blessing.  I’m honored to have been a part of Hillary’s labor to bring the message of hope and healing to those who most need it.

O wise men, riddle me this: 


What if the dream come true?What if the dream come true? 
And if millions unborn shall dwell
In the house that I shaped in my heart, 
the noble house of my thought?



Cindy is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network.

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.

Read everything by Cindy Kunsman!


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