Friday, October 30, 2015

Joel. Michawn. {Part 53 - It's Important and Needed, 2}

My last blog post was the Part 1 to this.  I wrote this there:

I hope that you, too, will be encouraged by what you read below.  I pray that eyes are opened to the reality of what you read here and the fact that the things I speak out about are real issues that need reform.  And that honesty and vulnerability are good, healing things.

Sometimes we get bogged down by the naysayers.  Sometimes it seems like their voices are loudest.  Today, and in the next post or two, the encouragers and people without voices are getting their turn...

These are some of the reasons I continue to share our story...

--"I think your blog is important. I see many that don't really talk about anything, but yours has meat. It's easy to put yourself in both of your shoes. I'm not even married but I read the posts and can feel what you are saying and then I see his point of view and imagine how lost he must have felt too, and how he was blinded. I appreciate your posts."

--"I'm here too: gleaning mulling praying. I always wanna learn from somebody else if I can. And I like honesty. I wanna grow closer to God & who he wants me to be. Hoping some of that happens here. Keep going deep, to the root. I think it takes so much humility to do it; strip away our pride & arrogance so we can be real. Stop covering up. Anyways, praying for you & yours."

--"Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your personal life as you know there will be some close to you or your family who chastise or ridicule this openness on a public forum. I can honestly say I enjoy reading your blog!"

--"Your blog is a learning tool to me.  I learn from you each time i read your words... You are doing a godly job here, Michawn. Your honesty is amazing."

--"Thank u for sharing this post and all your posts... Such rawness you don't see with people anymore... Keep it up sister, your genuine heart is beautiful and bringing healing to so many!"

--"You are doing an autopsy here... It's necessary, it's effective. You are teaching here, its a lesson.  I am learning and passing it along. Você tem tratato muitas doenças em relacionamentos através da sua história, mais uma vez, te digo... Amiga, continua!"

Someone shared this with me and said that they thought of me when they read it:

--"Your story isn't just bringing healing to your marriage it's bring light and healing to so much more and those who have been there or are there."

--"The major problem I had (one big cause of our divorce) was not being able to express myself, neither being able to forgive him. That alone prevents our hearts from being healed. So I'm glad that you found your own way to express yourself and heal, no matter what other people might think. Keep at it! Striving for God's will in your marriage."

--"I can't say enough how proud I am of u standing for truth and your family!"

--"As others have stated, I too am encouraged by your story. I admittedly thought at first, 'wow-this is quite the way to make Joel pay for his wrongdoings...' but then I set my judgement aside and actually read most of the posts. I have learned so much about myself and my own marriage, theology and interpersonal relations. There is value in this. I have a friend who I believe desperately needs to read your series...her husband is just plain cruel, all in the name of Jesus who apparently says 'wives must be submissive to their husbands' which frankly has been misconstrued greatly by insecure men, IMO. Anyway, I'm grateful for your willingness to teach because I and many others are willing to learn."

--"Wanted to say that when you are the recipient of covert {HIDDEN} attacks on your personhood and/or marriage it takes *much* time to sort and understand the confusing hidden secret damage. When you are left out of the loop for *YEARS* it takes time to unravel that hidden mess. I am speaking from my own experience. Give yourself time to write and sort out these hidden covert attacks. To forgive w/o understanding what you are forgiving or what was done is not true forgiveness it is *DENIAL*."

--"A very loving Lord is standing by you both. Be encouraged. You have expressed yourself well and have set a new standard that I firmly believe you will live up to. Thank Jesus for His mercy and grace in all situations. This will be an incredible testimony to your marriage, to your children, and all who watch you grow. Keep your head up and your heart strong. You guys will do this. Praying for you."

--" I love u both and I believe sharing your story will help others. It's so brave. I'm saddened by the back lash and ugly words. Especially coming from people who say they are believers. That's not loving!"

--"Praying for your family. Just remember we love y'all so much and want Heavenly Father to restore and heal and be glorified in this situation. I know how hard it is and know have a lot of us who are going to war in prayer on your family's behalf."

--"You're going to publish this, right?  I think there are people out there that need this! It hasn't been an easy comfortable read and it's weird to see someone put it ALL out there. I've known you and Joel forever and from the outside, I'm sure everyone thought your marriage was great (serving in a ministry and doing the will of God as a family and raising beautiful children). But as I've thought about it, life and circumstances stink often and being a Christian doesn't make us or our marriages perfect. People HIDE way too much and choose to attempt to deal with issues alone. We need safeguards and to know that people can get through s#$# (oops) 'stuff' in their marriages. It's not always fluff and love and it gets messy! Some people need to see that that mess can be trenched through and there's grace, forgiveness, and HEALING on the other side...THROUGH the storms."

--"Michawn, I just want to say that I always appreciate your honesty. Many years ago T.D. Jakes preached a sermon called 'Naked and Not Ashamed.' We cannot help others if we pretend to be something we're not. The world needs more honesty! Thank you!"

--"I appreciate your honesty, Michawn. Always. You are nothing if not real, and I value that above all else in my friends."

--"This sounds all too familiar to me. You are not alone. God is close to the broken hearted."

--"You most definitely are NOT alone. The situation I am familiar with sounds so much like what you have described. He had us all snowed. The rocks and rough spots and abysses didn't show. Of course, that's all the people that know him superficially see and they all think he is such a nice guy. And, unfortunately, he is a nice guy when it serves his purpose. I will pray for you. I know that abuse is not always physical and the old saying about words never hurting you is just hooey."

--"To sensor our story is to be dishonest. Authenticity is so rare. If only people really understood how healing and freeing authenticity can be for the soul. Don't let anyone censor YOUR story. Holding secrets and asking children especially to hold our secrets is so damaging. I am proud of you for refusing to be a secret keeper and not putting that burden on others you love. You are right, there are many in your shoes and many who have been harmed by poor church counseling that will and are gaining knowledge, courage, healing, and empowerment because you had the courage to speak your truth."

--"So many people just want to pretend...and to acknowledge someone else's trials may make them notice their own. I kept a journal because for me writing heals and I found it was easier to put on paper than to say out loud. Do what helps you and your family heal. Anyone can choose to not read your blogs."

--Michawn, our stories and trials are our testimonies to help others. Don't get discouraged just trust The Lord."

--After I seperated from my ex not too long into our very toxic marriage, I called to speak with a counselor at my church. I don't remember his name at all or even how I got off the phone with him. Mind you he never asked me any questions. He simply told me over and over how much God hates divorce and how I needed to try to work things out. As if these things were not already at the forefront of my mind! The guy I had been married to wasn't even willing to admit his many affairs to me, he was a pathological liar, I caught him many times looking at porn, and he was very mentally and emotionally abusive. He would threaten suicide often as a means of manipulation and also threatened to hit me once with a glass vase. Yet this Christian lead counselor led me to feel even more shamed and never once showed compassion. Like I said, I have no recollection of getting off the phone with him. I remember shaking and crying and anger. I unfortunately did struggle with my relationship with God after this. I turned to all the wrong things and away from Him. Fortunately we have a God who doesn't let us go."

--"Why is it so hard to believe that one person can just be an asshole for a while? I'm speaking in general, and not to any particular situation. It might take two to tango, but only one partner needs to miss a step for the whole thing to fall apart."

--"Michawn, I haven't experienced gaslighting in my own marriage (thankfully), but did witness it happening with the adults in my life when I was a kid. I didn't have a name for it, but I knew it was wrong and unfair. Looking back I can see that it really messed up my worldview. Since that is the perspective I can relate from, your kids have been in all my prayers for your family. Having all of this 'in the light' and discussed openly will help them immeasurably!!! I just can't even say how much I wish I had been able to put words to what I was seeing and talk about it. You are a great mom! Praying for you all!"

--"I honestly believe the reason cycles tend to repeat in families is because everything is 'secret.' Nobody talks about it, which in turn means nobody learns anything. Children learn how to expect to be treated by watching those close to them...I wish more parents realized that. Through your actions, you are teaching your kids to speak up and to stand up for themselves when they are mistreated and that will serve them well in life. I am so sorry you have had to walk this road, but you are doing it well!"

--"You are walking in uncharted territory. A place so many have needed to be written out and described to help them thru their battles but they had no one just like u. What you are writing could seriously be a book to be an eye opener for everyone and the 'church' world. It bothers me to my core how people (counsellors, church leaders, etc) try to just point fingers and 'label' a person. A shift needs to happen and I believe you are bringing it . Stay strong and hold your head up. You are doing so much good in the face of opposition. You are exposing truth to dark situations hidden within the 'covenant' of marriage and even the church. How are you holding up thru all of this? Will u be able to find a time of rest so you can recharge in the midst of this battle? Praying for u and all the desires of your heart come true."

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