How Do You Fix Homosexuality, Heal Abuse Victims Instantly, and End Depression?

canstockphoto18606555As I contemplated what title to give this post a few ideas popped in my head before I settled for this series of questions.It could as appropriately been titled, “Are we asking all the wrong questions?” or “Are We Looking For Solutions Rather Than Pursuing Hearts & Lifting Up Jesus?” or any variety of similar titles. But I opted for question examples instead, to make a point, of some of the bad questions we ask.

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And the answer to all three is, You don’t. Neither you nor I have the power to fix or heal anyone instantly. And an attempt at ‘fixing’ isn’t what people in a place of struggle need from us, as though they are some troublesome project and we their saviour. Apart from a miracle of God, these things are often long-term, even life-long, struggles that don’t get ‘fixed’ by humans. And we’d do well not to try.

Recently I’ve thought quite a lot about this: ‘Are we asking the wrong questions?’ And, more specifically, am I asking the wrong questions?

It’s difficult to fully engage in ‘other-wordly’ thinking, in a society so wrapped up in  the ‘here and now’. Because the here and now is what we see and experience. It is tangible. The other world is invisible, making this present world a glaring distraction.

I’m asking these questions because I am, by nature, a ‘results oriented’ problem solver, with an opinion on pretty much any topic I know much about. That can be a good thing, but it is also a bit of a curse, at times.

The past few years, in working with people, I’ve had to carefully ‘master’ that instinct and, in fact, in most cases silence it. Many of the struggles and issues people face are not problems to be quickly solved, with a formula where progress is easily measured for a motivating ‘feel good’. (Most are deep heart struggles that are more likely to be intensified by pat-answer solutions, rather than helped.  Spiritual healing comes with compassionate listening, and constantly pointing hearts back to Jesus. There are aspects of healing that require care I cannot give. I leave this to medical,  mental health, and various other professionals. I refer here only about the spiritual element of finding hope and healing. Inevitably each area of healing impacts the rest, yet each one is unique. )

Human struggles are very complex, and to have real and meaningful impact, we must ask the right questions. Where we have set out to ‘fix’ the homosexual community, we do well to enter into their journey, and hear their deepest heart cry, acknowledge their most intimate struggles, and care first for them as individuals. Regardless of labels, names or titles, we need to see each person as having an identity apart from their sexual orientation ‘label’ and the identity given to them, by that name.

They are not their struggle. They are humans. We all are. I am a woman of God, created in the image and likeness of God. Period. That is who I am. Whether I struggle with same-sex attraction or not, I am female, made in the image and likeness of God.  Whether I believe in Jesus, or not, this remains true.

The question, then, is not ‘how do I fix them?’ but ‘how do I love them effectively?’ We forget, sometimes, that we can love without compromising our views, and that it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict mankind of sin.  Apart from that conviction, change is meaningless, and serves only to comfort us.

We need to ask ourselves the same question about the individual wounded by abuse, and the one struggling with depression. How do I love them effectively? How do I support them without judgement, and yet invite them to a place of freedom with God? And that place of freedom with God may not, for a long time, be a place that appears ‘healed’ to the onlooker.

The solution is quite simple: Love them broken. Love without agenda. Commit to loving, long-term ‘as they are’. And listen to their heartbeat.

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Our deepest need is always relationship with God.  And if we can lead people around us to the heart of God, by our example of love, He will tend to the other things. We need to stand firm on the Word, and never apologize for believing every word written, and upholding it. But we don’t need to carry any ‘anti-anything’ flags, whether it be anti-divorce or any other thing. It is the ‘Jesus flag’ carried, often folded and close to the heart rather than waving wildly, that will draw people around us to wholeness.

And that brings me full circle to what it was that made me contemplate asking the wrong questions. It was inspired by a growing awareness, and a painful one, that started to settle over me around New Year, or just before, of my own ministry.  The conference aspect of ministry has been, from the beginning, very focused on the healing of victims, as have one-on-one sessions. The question has been, from the beginning, ‘How can we bring hope and healing to lives devastated by abuse, sexual confusion, and ongoing struggle?” We have also asked “How can we help? How can we support?  How can we shed light on a very heavy and difficult topic?” None have easy answers.

In the bigger picture, and particularly relating to this blog, the questions have been less defined. In my mind, and my heart desire, I have asked, “How can we shed light on the darkness and bring Jesus to this horrendous crime and cover-up in so many churches?”  But the path has not been clear, or easy. And I have not always stayed on track with that question. I set out to write truth, without agenda, and with no desire to bring harm to anyone.  While far from being a ‘high traffic’ blog, I never anticipated going from 5000 hits in two years time, to nearly 160,000 more in the next two years, as I wrote more faithfully. I had no such aspirations when I set out. But I also didn’t anticipate what I’ve seen an heard, that, rather than opening the door to help children and bring change on any large scale, some would use this blog (as well as Facebook friendship) and the broken stories shared, as a source to fuel gossip, and eventually let me know it. These was a devastating blow for me, several months ago.

For this reason I took several months disconnected from familiar relationships on Facebook, wrote less, and spent time regrouping with God. I’ve asked some very hard questions of my own heart.  What is my mission? What is my motive? What do I want to represent and focus on? How can I share truth, influence change, and give broken hearts a safe place, while keeping my own focus pure before God?

As a result, I have started to design a new blog, focusing less on sexual abuse, and more on faith and ‘worship’ writing. The weight of intense ministry needs the balance of more time with God, reflecting more on the relationship I was first created for. This new blog will not go live immediately, as I am still working on it, but when it does, it will be the url formerly used here: http://www.trudymetzger.com.

This current blog, you will notice, has a new url of http://www.splash4ripples.com and will stay live. (Note: trudymetzger.com will lead you here until the other blog goes live.) I will continue to post stories of overcoming abuse, depression,  and other testimonies and writings here related to overcoming sexual abuse and violence.

I also welcome story and testimony submissions from my readers. If you would like to share your story or your testimony on this blog, write it out and submit via the ‘Contact Trudy’ page, with a subject line of ‘My Testimony’. It does not need to be related to overcoming sexual abuse or violence, though these stories are welcomed, from all backgrounds.  (Pseudonyms are acceptable, as is disguising the story to protect your identity. The only thing I ask is, if you disclose your religious background, that it be accurate. If you are/were Baptist, please don’t change to United, Mennonite, or some other religious identity. If you are not comfortable disclosing this detail, simply omit it.)

Beyond this my criteria is quite simple. Writing must be transparent and God must be represented with truth and honour. You need not be overly ‘spiritual’ in the sense of ‘having it together as the perfect example’, however, ungodly lifestyles and practices cannot be represented as acceptable.  My highest goal is to honour God, and lift up Jesus Christ in everything that is posted here, and respect the Word of God. If you are an atheist, agnostic, or non-believer, stories are welcome as long as they respect what I stand for in my faith.

Cultural differences and interpretations are also welcome in submissions. For example, if you wear a veiling and this is your understanding of the Word, and fits into the testimony/story you wish to share, include it. (I met a woman last week who, after many years away from her Mennonite roots, felt God ask her to wear a veiling for the purpose of ministry, and she surrendered to this call. This is a beautiful testimony of commitment, faith and obedience to what she sensed God saying.)  However, presenting these beliefs as judgement of anyone who understands differently, or in a way to lift up self or culture, will be edited out and sent back for approval.

As I learn how to ask God the right questions, and ask myself the right questions, I look forward to growing in Him, in faith, and in purpose, and sharing my testimony of this journey. I invite you to join me. Share your testimonies, whether here and publicly, or with your lonely neighbour.

Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy through the blood of Jesus, and through our testimony.  I am an overcomer, and am committed to fighting well.  Let’s fight together, for the deeper issues, and the hearts of mankind.

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
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The Hammer, The Nails, & the Heartbeat

canstockphoto8390883On a beautiful day in early summer the sound of a hammer, pounding nails into wood, echoes through the air. Birds, startled in the trees, stop their singing and fly away.

A little boy, playing in the sand, stops to listen. Horses hooves add their beat to that of the hammer and soon other hammers join the rhythm. Men’s voices—some talking, some whistling, and others singing—blend in pleasant welcome. There is a purpose, a mission.

The little boy runs to his father, “Papa! Papa! What are you making? Why do you have all your friends here?” he asks.

The father smiles at his curious son. “We are building a stable for the animals, son,” he replies. “Now run and play. This isn’t a safe place for a little boy.”

Years go by and the little boy, now grown up, tends to the animals and keeps the stable in good repair.

On a dreary day in autumn, he cuts some wood and gets a hammer and some nails. The sound of the hammer pounding nails echoes through the air and a little boy, playing in the leaves, stops to listen. Mice scatter and find a quieter place to nibble.

The little boy runs to his father, “Papa! Papa! What are you making?” he asks.

The father smiles at his curious son. “I’m building a manger for the cow I bought yesterday. She needs a place to eat her hay. Would you like to help?”

The little boy nods and takes hold of the hammer and nails his father offers him. He feels so grown up helping his father in the stable.

Many years later the sound of a donkey’s hooves, walking briskly, echoes through the air. It is a crisp winter night, and they must hurry. It is time.

They pause in front of the inn. The man leading the donkey knocks on the door, awaking the innkeeper from his sleep.

“My wife is pregnant and about to give birth, sir, do you have any room for us?” he pleads.

“I’m so sorry sir, the rooms are all full,” a gray-haired man says apologetically. “Follow me,” he says, leading them down a cobble path, “you should be warm enough in my stable. The animals help keep it from getting too chilly and the stable is well kept.”

“Thank-you, kind sir”, the younger man says, “We are grateful to have a place to stay. Better to give birth in a stable than to be out on the street.”

The young man lifts his swollen wife down from the donkey’s back and carries her into the stable where the older gentleman is preparing a bed in the hay. He drags the manger from the cow’s stall, into the humble birthing room. “A crib for the baby,” he says.

The sound of a hammer, pounding a nail into the stable wall, startles the animals in the stable. The old man creates a hook for the lantern that will give light for the young couple in the night.

A baby’s cry pierces the silent night. The young man takes the lantern from its hook to have a better look at his newborn son. A tear rolls down the young woman’s cheek, as her lips touch face. Her heart beats with love and passion for this new life. He is her son.

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The animals stop eating and turn their heads, curious at the unfamiliar sights and sounds.

Throughout his childhood the little boy listens to his father, and watches as he works with his hammer, pounding nails into wood. The little boy talks and laughs with his father as they work side by side.

One day, when the boy becomes a young man, he gives his father and mother a good-bye hug and kiss. “I must go do the work I was born to do,” he says.

Years go by, as the young man moves from place to place, feeding, healing, loving and telling people about His Father.

Then the sound of a hammer pounding nails into wood echoes through the air again. The atmosphere is sad, dark and heavy. There are no singing birds, no sound of horse’s hooves, or men whistling, talking, or singing. No little boys to ask curious question and bring a smile to the man’s face, as he goes about his work.

He didn’t want this job. But he was desperate and they were willing to hire him. So, morbid as it was, he decided to do it. He needed to provide for his family and better to put bread on the table, by building crosses, than to see them starving and destitute.

The carpenter’s son, now in his thirties, runs to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Tears mingled with sweat fall from His face, like drops of blood. “I hear the sound of a hammer, Father. Can’t you take it away? It has been a pleasant sound all my life, must it be the sound of my death as well?”

Then as He listens. Through the ages of eternity He hears the sound of millions of hammers, cursing, condemning and judging… sentencing all of humanity to an eternal death.

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Love overtakes Him. His agony has purpose, a mission. He cries out again. “If there is no other way to redeem them I will take this cross. Not my will Father, but Your will be done.”

The Father weeps with His Son, longing to stop the sound of the hammer, but the price is too great. His arms around His Son, He commands an army of angels to strengthen and minister to Him, preparing Him for the sound of the hammer, for it will echo again; not once, not twice, but three times.

The irreverent stomping of soldiers’ boots, shakes the ground, coming to take the young man to be judged for crimes he never committed.

The pounding of the judge’s hammer, striking the wooden table, silences the crowd. Utter silence and anticipation…

A voice breaks the stillness, “Take him, and crucify him.  I find no fault in him.”

The thunderous applause of the self-righteous and deeply religious crowd creates an electric atmosphere. There is a purpose. A mission.

The man walks into his chamber. Water splashes over his hands as he scrubs away the blood of an innocent man.

Up on a hillside a hammer, driving nails into a cross, echoes through the air.

The pounding heartbeat of a mother’s love, blends with the hammer. Her tears fall to the ground, water spilling in symbolic passion, as she kneels before the cross.

Not far from her the scoffers stand, laughing and taunting the dying young man, “Well, if you really are the Son of God, save yourself! Come down from that cross and prove to us! Then we’ll believe you!”

The spring sky, once bright and blue, turns black as ominous clouds roll in. Lightening splits the skies. Thunder shakes the earth.

A cry of anguish pierces through the darkness, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?!”

One last heavy breath, and then, “It is finished!’ He cries.

A deathly silence falls on the earth.  The young man’s heart stops beating. The hammer lies silent.

The devil dances around that cross with great delight. Oh the victory! He calls his demons to join in the celebration. Finally mankind is doomed and hopeless for eternity; destined to be victims of his torment forever. He has conquered the Son of God!

A centurion’s voice shatters the silence, “Surely this was the Son of God!”

The patter of running feet, as the crowd scatters in every direction… questioning… wondering… uncertain what to believe.

Even the scoffers have stopped their laughing. This is no ordinary crucifixion day.

A sword pierces the young man’s side. Blood and water rush down the hill of Golgotha. The place of death.

The devil and his demons flee in terror at the sight of the blood of the Holy One. The place of death has become, suddenly, the promise of life.

The hammer rips the nails from the cross and out of the young man’s hands and feet, tearing at His flesh, ripping at His wounds.

The reverently subdued footsteps of one solitary disciple slip across the hill as he carries the young man’s body to the grave. A large stone scrapes against the tomb as it is rolled in front of the door to seal the His body safely inside.

Several days of silence and darkness reign as hopelessness covers the face of the earth. Family, friends, and followers of the young man, mourn his death. The devil orchestrates a careful guarding of the tomb to ensure the young man will not escape, His body not be removed.

But on the morning of the third day the sun peeks over the horizon, wrapping the world in brilliant light. The birds sing in cheerful chorus. The flowers burst in vibrant colours.

The stone rolls mysteriously away from the tomb and the angels smile at the young man rising from the grave, as if from an ordinary rest.

All creation bursts into song, “He’s Alive! He’s Alive! The Son of God has risen from the grave! He’s Alive! He’s Alive! Christ Jesus will not be death’s slave! He’s Alive! He’s Alive! Hallelujah! He’s Alive!”

The sound of the hammer, is silenced. A new rhythm is heard, echoing across the earth. More powerful than the hammer, it is an unbreakable beat, uninterrupted, and accompanied only by a whisper of Love; it is the heartbeat of Jesus. The never ending, undying invitation to eternal life in Him.

This heartbeat continues for all of time, so that, one day when He is called to bring justice to the world, the Judge’s hammer will shatter. Replaced with the sound of blood and water rushing down over a place of death, it will cover our sins. With one breath we will breathe in eternal life, our heart beating in perfect time with Eternity…

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
(Tax Receipts will automatically be issued for all donations over $20)

Trudy’s YouTube Channel

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Unleashing the Next Generation: Full Length

The 4-part version of ‘Unleashing the Next Generation“, are still up, but I have also created one full length version, for those who prefer.

Unleashing the Next Generation__Full Length

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
(Tax Receipts will automatically be issued for all donations over $20)

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Why I’m a virgin at age 23- and I could scream it atop Pikes Peak (uncovered)

Originally posted on H O P E:

On top of Pikes Peak- haven't climbed it yet but hoping to this year! I thought this picture was quite relevant to this particular post (heh).

On top of Pikes Peak- haven’t climbed it yet but hoping to this year! I thought this picture was quite relevant to this particular post (heh).

This is a raw, transparent piece that I am about to write. To write about my purity is something God has told me will touch someone’s life that is going through the urges of sexual temptation before marriage. This is for you, my dear friend.

Before you continue, pause whatever music your currently listening to, and listen to this by Jonathan Helser- it drips with God’s holy spirit. I wrote this post listening to this masterpiece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC33reo0Cz4

I’m 23. I’ve never had sex- and I’ve never come close (yes, no oral sex). Before you think, “Oh, she’s young.” About 3% of Americans wait until marriage to have sex. That’s 1 in 30 people. It’s still minority, but still large in number size (at least)-…

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Dead for One Hour

Yesterday I received a most fascinating message from my friend Norma Blank, from Pennsylvania, after she read that I had died:

“O my word friend…the post that someone put on ur wall made me go absolutely crazy…Like u passed away….I’m just so relieved that u r still here!! What In the world…”

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About an hour earlier, another friend, who lost her daughter in March, had posted a note to my wall in memory of her daughter, and Norma saw it. Not knowing my family, she had no idea that the woman posting it was not my mother, or that the note was not intended as written to me.  What my friend saw, looked like this:

A note to my daughter

I close my eyes as I wipe a tear.
I just keep wishing you were still here.
I will hold all the memories deep in my heart.
Through these memories we will never part.

I close my eyes as I wipe a tear.
I just keep wishing this pain would disappear.
I didn’t get the chance to say my last good-bye.
I just didn’t think you could ever die.

I close my eyes as I wipe a tear.
All of your love I will always hold near.
In my heart and my mind I will never be alone.
When my time comes……
I will meet you in heaven!
(Unknown)

To be perfectly honest, I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to die, and watch people as they react to it. And I’ve even wondered if the spirits of the dead are aware of our goings on, as we try to reconcile our loss with all the other facts that play in. If the person has been ill for a long time, we are relieved that their suffering is over. If they died in a crash, instantly, we are thankful they did not suffer long, and yet the horror of it torments us. If they are elderly and all their friends have passed on, they may have longed for the day, and we are glad for them. But regardless the dynamics of the story, and ‘how’ or ‘why’ of death, we are left with grief and loss, and need to somehow reconcile that with every other aspect of these dynamics.

Do the spirits of the dead see this? Hear this? Who knows for certain. But it is a curious thought that has entered my mind, on occasion, since childhood. Having contemplated this in the past made it that much more intriguing to experience it in real life.

I read Norma’s message again, and that is when it struck me. She actually thought I was dead! I wonder how long she thought it… What did she feel… think… do?  I wrote her and asked her…

“Is it okay that I’ve had a good laugh about this? Too funny! Now I know what it feels like in real life, to have someone’s heart sink when you die. Sorry that I find that funny. I have to ask… how long did you think I was dead?  (and how did you figure out I’m still alive?)”

She wrote back: I thot u were dead for like an hr….so in the middle of not knowing I decided to wash my car and I was like goin in circles literally and wondering how in the world this all happened so fast ..and ur poor kids ..and husband ..and the funeral will prob b on Sunday and I’m just wondering why I was so crazy with it all!” Her next message was, “And then !!! U posted something!!!!’ and u were alive!!!!!!!”

I could see it all playing out in my imagination. The need to do something, to be busy, as the adrenaline of the shock runs its course. It’s distressing, that kind of thing. If not quite funny under the circumstances.

I responded with: “LOL!!!!! I’m so sorry for your loss! Your grief… whatever! But that just kills me laughing!”

I gave Tim a play by play, as I read the messages, and his very calm response was, “Maybe she could come any way, and wash our car for the funeral”.

Norma agreed. “Lol!! Yes I’m a pro car washer by now!! Went in like 35644749 circles today!!! It’s clean!!”

Then a few minutes later she wrote, “Hav I told u how glad I am that u r alive? Well I am.  so after I finally realized that u were still alive and kickn I pumped up my bike tires and went cruzin’ down the road for another hr! Not goin in circles lol! Just cruzin’ and feeling so relieved.” 

“That was a great way to celebrate,”  I wrote back,”I dream of owning a bike, one day, but as I get older, I dream less of it  So…. if ever I do slip into heaven… Go on a bike ride for me to celebrate my life.”

“awww yea”, Norma wrote back, “I’ll make a Tshirt just for u…cruzin’ for Trudy! Or make a shirt for when I go see Gods not dead….God’s not dead and neither is Trudy!! Lol’”

Now that I know what it’s like to die, and be missed and have my life grieved and celebrated by a friend, I can lay that question to rest. However, the mystery of what lies beyond that moment of exhaling here for the last time, and breathing eternal life for the first time, is left to my imagination, and I will have to wait for it.

I think of heaven often, these days…

This world is tired. The darkness that hovers all around has exhausted it. It groans, and I groan with it. I’m tired. My spirit is not at home here…. Never really was… Never really will be… Even as a child, before anyone taught me, I longed for another world and knew I was not made for this place…  And, even if I live to be 100–God helps us all if I do–that truth remains. This isn’t my home.

Don’t get me wrong. I love life. I love my family, my friends and I love what I do. And there is still so much I want to accomplish. I want to publish my first book, and a second, and a third and a fourth,… And maybe more. I want to travel to numerous countries to speak, not the least of which are plans-in-the-making for New Zealand and Australia. But the unrest, the tragedies all around, and the ‘dark side’ of my work with ongoing sexual abuse in Christian cultures… These are in desperate need of redemption.

While I wait, I will celebrate the life of One man who died for me… A God-man, who allowed Himself to be cast into the grave and hades, for my sin. Like my friend Norma, His friends rejoiced–and we still rejoice with them–because His soul was not left in hades, nor was His body left to decay in the grave. (Acts 2:31) After three days, He rose to life again to be my eternal hope.

Because of what He has done for me, I have no fear of death. What’s more, because of Him, I am offered full life, abundant life, while I here. So, because of Him, I will give the best that I have, and all that I am, to Him and His cause, and live life to the fullest, while I am here.

 

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
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Return to First Blog: September 2010, “Running on Empty”

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Sexual Abuse Conference, Unleashing the Next Generation (Part 4): Personal Healing

To hear the closing thoughts, and ‘We Draw Near’, by Andrew Thompson, click here.

Unleashing the Next Generation__Part 4

 

 

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
(Tax Receipts will automatically be issued for all donations over $20)

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Sexual Abuse Conference, Unleashing the Next Generation (Part 3): Speaking Truth & Affirming Identity

We break generational chains by speaking truth, and affirming our children’s identity. Truth about sexuality. Truth about life experience. Truth about Jesus Christ.  To listen to Part 3 of Unleashing the Next Generation, click Here.

WARNING: Some content may offend. Homosexuality is something I refer to briefly.The statement I make is a true statement, based on my experience with clients. It is not a blanket statement, or the sole cause for girls/women struggling with homosexuality. It is one of many reasons. I make the statement in context, and time did not allow me to expound. Please bear this in mind.
Unleashing the Next Generation__Part 3

© Trudy Metzger

To Donate: Generations Unleashed, and Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church
(Tax Receipts will automatically be issued for all donations over $20)

Trudy’s YouTube Channel

Return to First Blog: September 2010, “Running on Empty”

Return to first post in Sexual Abuse Series

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Return to the First Post in ‘Abigail’s Story’ Series