Friday, February 28, 2014

The Long Goodbye

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:20 PM

the long goodbyeOnce or twice a week I go and feed my mother lunch. Most of the time I fight myself to go more often…and I do…then I don’t…THEN I DO!

On occasion I see a small glimpse of her with a facial expression, smile, or movement. Memories of our past are front and center, and then reality sets in for me.

She will talk to me, but doesn’t make any sense. Majority of the time she is in her own little world that Alzheimer’s created for her.  You can only get a glimpse of her early in the day, and pretty much nothing after lunch.

She used to belong to the group that would wander the halls, and check out all the spaces her unit had to offer. Most people feel bad about the confinement they live in, but you do notice once you bring them to some place new? Their fear that you saw at the beginning of the progression of the disease quickly returns.

The stress they have at that moment makes you realize what we see as ‘confinement’ makes them feel safer. It’s not confinement to them at all… but the warmth of home.

It was plain at the beginning when mother would have a hard time finishing a sentence, or even spitting one out. I would help her along by assuming where she was going in the conversation, and gently help her continue. The days of deep conversation were over.

I would laugh at myself when speaking of the aspect of human forgetfulness we have all experienced, but this time it was to ease her frustration and fear with her own. These things helped a little, but I know both of us were still scared to death.

It was the first step of our journey of The Long Goodbye.

The words of wisdom or comfort – or heck even general conversation would slowly be removed forever. She will stare off into space now, and if she acknowledges you? She will give you her gentle smile that you remember, but the person you once knew just isn’t there anymore.

I could tell by how wobbly she was getting it was just a matter of time before she fell. Yes, she was starting to lose that ability to walk the halls and to investigate every inch of the unit. What we all take for granted was also slowly being taken from her. At first she knew what to do even as it became harder as she would sway or bobble. She would slow down, and then speed up – and slow down again.

We had a routine at lunch. I would try to keep her seated long enough for her to finish her lunch, but once we were done? She would grab my hand, and she would pull me up and down the hallway. In and out of the rooms in her part of the building, and maybe even touching furniture or items left out.

The attention span was less and less, and it just turned into an endless wander. After a while she would let go of my hand, and I knew at that point she wouldn’t miss me if I left. I wasn’t with her anymore, nor did I exist.

Just another part of The Long Goodbye.

alzhermer 2Mother’s fall did happen, and she fractured her hip. We had to make the decision to allow it to heal naturally, because a trip to the hospital for surgery at this point would be too traumatic for her.

The morphine would keep her sleepy, and that urge to wander was stifled by it…and of course the pain.

Normally, physical therapy will help a person bounce back to a point. Yet, mother at this time has to be reminded to swallow her food or drink. She can’t feed herself anymore, and much of time she really doesn't understand what is going on around her. She is incapable of learning to use walker, or cane. I do see her trying to get out of her wheelchair on occasion.

You have the urge to want to help her out of that wheelchair, because you know that desire to wander is back. You have to pull yourself back, because you know she will fall again. It might even be worse this time, because the ability to balance is gone.

They keep her in a special wheelchair that helps her balance to be upright in the chair, and I long for her to be like some of the other patients…that use their feet in the wheelchairs to wander up and down the halls like she used too.

It breaks your heart knowing that the world of Alzheimer’s has taken her in more deeply, and she has lost the ability to learn the very basics of the wheelchair. So she sits, smiles, and makes her nonsense conversations. Most of the time she is just silent.

Just another part of the Long Goodbye.

alzheimersI once had small glimpses of her every now and again, but it truly is never there anymore. She looks at my face and smiles, but she could never tell you who I was. She meets you a little and then she is gone within seconds.

I notice I’m one of the few visitors her section really gets. I’m NOT going to tell you it isn’t painful each time I visit, but I know my mother wouldn’t leave me there alone. I push myself, and most days I do just fine.

Don’t get me wrong, because I know why visitors aren’t there. I fight the urge myself every single visit! It’s hard to watch someone that once loved you look right past you. They don’t know if you were there or not to be honest. Their existence is far beyond what I’m capable of grasping, because they are in their own little world. You have to go the world of Alzheimer's, because they can’t come to your world anymore in anyway.

At times when I leave I go cry in the parking lot, or stop along the road on the way home. Then there are the days in which my mood just goes right into the ditch, and I can’t seem to pull myself out. My mother just isn’t there anymore. She is just a shell at this point. Yes, dead in way. Yet, you aren’t really allowed the cycle of mourning yet…because she isn’t really dead literally. The shell is still there, and the long goodbye is even longer.

Mother has been slowly but surely losing weight, and I know something will happen soon – even if its minor to majority of us. She will not have the ability to fight in sense we all can relate to, and then Alzheimer’s will finally have to let go. God will take over, and bring her home.

It’s been a long and painful goodbye. I hope most don’t blame me, but I hope God takes her soon. The visits are getting harder, and I can’t even explain the feeling you get when you watch your mother lose the ability to shallow. When she loses the ability to know whom she is when you call out her name.

One thing I did for myself? I had them color her hair. Mother was always one that was well kept, and groomed. (The hair, makeup, clothes – shoes and purse to match.) She used to LOVE to get her hair done, but it was uncomfortable this time. Yet, the hair color warmed up her face in such a way it made me more comfortable for HER! She was beautiful!

She once was the person that told you no one (meaning me) shouldn't go anywhere without her face on (expression meaning makeup, hair, etc), and I guess that is the last portion of control I have to hold on too. Everything else just slips through your fingers forever.

Another Step in The Long Goodbye

Did you know that they don’t know what causes Dementia or Alzheimer’s? They don’t even have anything to slow the progression of the disease. For as widespread as it is they know next to nothing about it.

There is a too much fear and stigma surrounding this disease, and what truly hurt? Seth Rogen this week made an Opening Statement before a Senate hearing on Alzheimer's Research, and only 2 senators showed up to hear him.

It’s similar to the amount of visitors that the Alzheimer’s unit gets. Sadly, I know why family doesn't come…its very painful. It tears your heart out to watch them.

What I don’t understand is those with the power that can help and influence much needed research and support don’t show up. Why bother calling a hearing at all?

Hilarity for Charity
Alzheimer's Association
Alzheimer's reading room

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Olympic Lesson or Spiritually Correct Rudeness

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:02 PM

I read something on Desiring God that to me seemed like nothing more than a propaganda piece, and it truly shows how some will only see what they want too.  In the meantime, WHY not throw a couple of barbs towards the other side just for good measure.

It has always amazed me how some can come across as so soft and sweet on the surface, and then you feel their whip of mockery towards others as a show of some TRUE gift they feel they have.

As you read the piece, you learn why it is so hard to speak to them.  It also reminds me why I find it so hard to trust, or even respect their views at times as much as I try. 

To me quite frankly…they aren’t safe people to be around.  I don’t care how much they use the word biblical, or Godly to describe the individuals that represent them.  When you read articles like this?  Its so far off the ‘biblical’ map that is quite amazing that they don’t see it too!.

My parents always taught me that individuals that take time out of their day to tear you down just so they can feel uplifted…aren't’ decent people you should spend time with.

It reminds me of the political realm we have presently within the United States.  You question one portion of what the other side is proposing, or how they are approaching it?  You labeled a hater of the group of individuals that the program was drafted to help. 

They all do it today, because it seems popular within the atmosphere we have presently. Is it any wonder why its almost impossible to find that middle ground somewhere?  They have too many excuses that they allow themselves…not too.  Then WE The People get to live that reality.

Below is example of this that I truly felt was off color.  Groups of Christians are labeled with what they TRULY stand for…well in their eyes of course. To me, it would hard to explain how this in any way shows, “Mature Masculinity’ of the benevolent kind.

It’s an Art Form

They do not fight for equality on the ice; they possess it as a given. They are not jostling about fairness. They are focused on doing their part well. No one yells, “Oppressor!” as he leads her around the arena, lifting her up and catapulting her into a triple spin. No one thinks she is belittled as she takes her lead from him, skating backwards to his forward. No one calls for them to be egalitarian. “She should get to throw him into a triple Lutz half the time!” They complement each other in their complementarian approach to becoming one majestic whole. No one, least of all him, minds that the roses and teddy bears, thrown onto the ice when they have collapsed into each other’s arms at the end, are for her. It is his joy.
This is a visible model of what male leadership and female support are all about. It’s an art form, not a mandate. It’s a disposition, not a set of rules. When it’s done well, it’s a welcome sight in which both partners are fulfilled in themselves and delighted in the other.

If this is all the author has heard from the Egalitarian position?  I feel like I’m in the political arena, and the other side is purposely ignoring things so ONLY their opinion can be heard.  In this case – he is speaking to his base.  Sadly, whipping up the show of mockery that seems acceptable to them.

Look at us compared to THOSE people…Its just so Christian right?!

We have all seen it!  The Politian telling their audience THIS IS what my opponent ‘really means’.  This is what they REALLY said.  This what they REALLY stand for!

Then they go on to point how they have never offered up anything of substance.  How WE are the ones that truly represent you.  It really doesn’t matter what side of politics you are on – they all say pretty much the same thing.

Then they go off to Washington, and they have to play their game there as well.  We at home get to roll our eyes at all the silly politically correct stuff that never truly matches reality…they just try to convince us it does.

Today, it seems popular to be ‘Spiritually Correct’.  View your fellow Christians that don’t view things as pink and blue, and turn them into those 1960’s bra burning feminists.  Its perfectly acceptable to belittle their women, and mock their beliefs.  I mean it’s the Spiritually Correct way.

God gifts us all  - everyone of us.  We learn from scripture that God is pleased when we use these gifts to gloried him.  If you are Christian this is truly something you wish to do as well.

God made us all just a little different.  Some may have the same gifts, but the way they use that gift is different.  People may have similar styles, but there is always a uniqueness there as well.  It seems to me like God made everyone like that.

If we look at leaders?  We can find some very effective ones in history, and yet their styles are unique just to them.  They may use tactics, forms of speech that similar to past leaders that they admire…yet they are never EVER the ‘same’ or interchangeable. 

If we look at teachers?  Encouragers?  It’s the same thing.  Their unique gift is all their own, and they use it to Glorify God in their own way.  To me this is a good thing.

In reality of the Olympic Pair Skaters?  Their coach is the leader, and both individuals come together with their gifts, strengths, and work ethic to put on a performance that is awesome to watch.  They follow the lead of the coach if you truly wish to get down to it, and rely on their partner in more ways than I guess this author can comprehend. 

When you look closer?  You have many other staff members that work with the skaters, and the energy goes into each individual skater themselves – strength, athletic ability, etc. is honed even before they are paired together.  There is so much to see in their performance that is outside the realm of leader and follower.

If being an egalitarian to this author is all about, “She should get to throw him into a triple Lutz half the time!”   Its clear he didn’t take the time to listen. 

In reality that isn’t a show of MANHOOD, or leadership, authority, headship or any of the other labels you need to use to identify yourself in your ‘role’.  It just shows to me anyway your lack of capacity to hear what other’s have to say.

I realize that is the 'SPIRITUALLY correct way, but it really doesn’t show to anyone outside your ‘group’ the traits you claim is there. 

Quite frankly, its rude and shows a completely lack of understanding and compassion for others different than yourself.

You want to speak of the oneness we all saw?  That’s great!  We all saw it!  Heck I bet we would even agree there! 

You want to use that as a weapon towards others because some strange beliefs you have about how ‘those’ people believe?  That’s isn’t okay.  It shows an ugly underbelly.

An Olympic Lesson for Husbands and Wives?   Hardly.  You do get the Gold Metal for rudeness.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mary Kassian, the Beta Boy Husband, and the gaslight SPECIAL!

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:02 PM

Alpha Women Beta Boys

Mary Kassian wrote an article about Alpha Woman and Beta Boy: She is pointing out once again how to avoid the mindset that is:  celebrated by those who have swallowed the feminist/egalitarian claim that male-female roles are interchangeable.

Mary Kassian article though tends to contradict the teaching itself, and is also short on facts.   To me is seems like a good example of gaslighting!

Her teaching speaks about women breadwinners turning their female role into a position of the Alpha power seeker, because of the unnatural balance of income generated.  So don’t make more money than your partner, because it shows your possible usurping of his headship.  Why?  Less income makes the Beta Boy!

(Where do they come up with this stuff??)

Now, she does say woman can have jobs, and make a decent living.  Yet, they have to be OH so careful.  Then uses examples off another article where even myself felt the women were rather short sighted, and self centered.  It seems to be a norm in her examples.  She doesn’t like to use everyday women to make her point, but searches out examples most never come into contact with.

Yes, she found a feminist to use as an example of how everyone else lives, believes, and does life outside the complementarian belief system.  Its just not realistic for most people, but she uses it anyway.

Mary Kassian’s article is called, “Alpha Woman and Beta Boys’.  Her beginning paragraph makes you think she is basing it off a Pew Research Poll based on Breadwinner Moms.  The study was based off the rising numbers of women’s incomes, and goes into many factors that are a reality in this world. 

Yet, its not based on any power grab that Mary tends to present as the true message, nor interchangeable roles.

According to Pew Poll nearly two-thirds of homes where women are the primary or sole breadwinners are homes headed by single moms, while the other one-third percent are homes where a woman earns more than her husband. Both of these groups have grown dramatically over time. 

So, actually the majority of the women in this study?  Don’t have a beta boy or husband, so it’s a little misleading.

The second article Mary Kassian was referencing was from a successful older woman, that has a retired husband.  I did a little reading about the author herself, and sounds like she was pretty independent for quite a while.  She also started her family late in life.

What the author found is even as the bread winner of the family she still finds herself responsible for most of the domestic work around the house as well.  Cooking the dinners, planning the Birthday parties, etc.  I, myself would also find that rather odd if my circumstance was the same.  I mean what does he do with his retirement time?

Now, remember we are speaking of a one third that would be considered having a partner, and we still may not even know their circumstances (disability for example).  The ladies the second article references seem to be professional women on the higher ranks of their profession.  Most of us – don’t fill that description.  So, again it not really relatable.

So using them as a ‘see what I mean ladies’ type of example is rather silly.  They aren’t the norm here after all.

Its quite a spin!

Income doesn’t make a person ‘Alpha’

The “Alpha’ personality is normally something people are born with, and its cultivated in life.  They naturally tend to take charge, are outgoing, and seek solutions without ‘blaming or whining’ about others not giving them the affirmation that certain people claim they need. 

Don’t get me wrong its always nice to hear affirmation, but they don’t ‘need’ it in order to be an Alpha Personality.   Their personality is normally that of confidence.  They tend to be risk takers, and are successful in life. 

Income in that sense may follow of course, but that doesn’t make them the Alpha.  The natural confidence is normally the key trait. 

That is NOT to say it doesn’t have its negative side, and people don’t push their confidence into power hungry positions.  Yet, it doesn’t automatically happen that way either. 

From what I have seen in life those ‘power hungry’ positions normally have enablers that hand over this power to them.  It can quickly turn into arrogance and conceit. 

This is one of the biggest issues non complementarian’s have with their belief system.  Yet, one comp’s will claim isn’t present if you ‘do it right’.  Forget human nature and all that. 

Could be why God doesn’t’ encourage his followers to seek this power to begin with.

Don’t make your husband the Beta

As much as the Complementarians don’t wish for others to view their lists of traits of gender roles in a negative light, and not entirely ‘biblical’?  Its not that hard to put the puzzle pieces together with their descriptions, and articles that they write such as this one.. 

To be perfectly honest?  Mary Kassian herself tends to have some ‘alpha’ traits herself, but I doubt she would view that part of her as non feminine.  Yet, it’s quite the opposite of what they claim to be feminine.  There is nothing wrong with her Alpha traits, because that is how God made her.  Its just kind odd if you compare that to what they present as the proper lady.

No doubt her diversion in response is that her husband is the breadwinner.  Yet, that doesn’t make any sense in light of the reality of many pastors within their group aren’t the bread winners. Also, it doesn’t address their stereotype of women that goes against her VERY nature (I mean that is what teach right?).  It also has nothing to do with Alpha Traits.
The opinion that Mary Kassian takes is that the ‘breadwinner’ status places her in the man’s role, and her husband then must be in the ‘Beta’ role (using the second article as the prime example).  Yes, pretty much the role reversal they whine so much about. She uses the professional women in the other article to prove her point.  Yet, realistically?  The point wasn’t made.  They are in the minority.  Also, bread winner women don’t all act like this – remember the Pastor wifes!

I believe a more realistic example is needed.  I have friends where the husband is in construction for example, and his work is seasonal.  She does customer service, and works all year round.  Now depending on the construction season?  She may or may not be the ‘bread winner’. I mean in his off season he does find work, but it can be hard to find at times.

What Mary never mentions is that MOST people are able to be realistic about these arrangements. 

What Mary Kassian hints at is: If she makes more money she will have a hard time dropping her ‘Alpha’ mode when she gets from work, and it makes things even harder in the bedroom.  He on the other hand is placed automatically in the ‘beta’ mode.  OR she wants him the beta mode, and he is only allowed to surface to Alpha mode in bed only!  Notice it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with personalities types, but job incomes.  Income makes the ALPHA right?  In reality, NO.

Heck, I have seen beta males that were bread winners….never mind that doesn’t fit here!

Conflicting Messages about the Alpha

In our present day most mature couples view supporting the family as a JOINT effort, and they are both doing their parts to help the family unit as a whole.  The way this article is presented is that men should be almost threatened by the woman’s part if she happens to find a job that generates more income.  She is at risk of stepping over that imaginary line, and turning into the ladies in Mary’s second article!

No acknowledgement of any kind that this is a sense of insecurity that is very unhealthy for his sense of self….nope!  It’s a threat to his manhood!  Yeah, That's common sense and a healthy outlook right?!  Sigh.

This is NOT a healthy elevation of the husband, but playing games in life to make him FEEL his role.  Notice the ‘emotional’ component there.  It also doesn’t prove their ‘male-female roles are interchangeable’ fear either.

I think the part that really eats at me is the negative, and almost doomsday opposing views in response to this disagreement.   The Christian Post had an article about this issue, and showed opposing views even within the complementarian realm.

What does the bible say about men being the breadwinner

"The American man is struggling – I think we will have a monument for the modern 21st Century man, and he will be on a couch, etched in stone, playing an X-Box," said Owen Strachan, vice president of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and assistant professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Kentucky's Boyce College. In an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday, he argued that "men are called by God to take responsibility for provision for their families."
Notice the women will be like the professionals that Mary Kassian pointed out in the second article, and the man will be like Owen Strachan describes above – The Xbox professional. 

Notice once again the ‘emotional component’ they use to WIN their argument.   Your suppose to ignore all the real life examples that tend to go against their stereotypes they have presented.  That’s not persuasive, but the use of rhetoric we see to often today in politics.

Now, the second pastor in the article on the Christian Post?  I may not agree with whole heartily, but you notice his definition of ‘headship’ isn’t so hard nosed and unrealistic.

"I think the man should be the head of the house, but a wise 21st century position would be consultative leadership," the pastor said. He referred to I Chronicles 12, when King David consulted with the heads of tribes after becoming king. "He consulted with them because they had functional authority because of their experience, their knowledge of warfare – he was wise enough to get help." Jackson argued that a wise man would "utilize a wife who may be a medical doctor with a multimillion earning potential."

Quoting Ephesians 5, Jackson argued that the order for wives to "submit to your husbands and to the Lord," is a military term, which means for a wife to align herself to the strategic goals of her husband. The husband, on the other hand, is told to love his wife as his own body. The pastor argued that this means "he's going to have to take into account her career, her passions, her desires, and put them on at least the same level as he would put his own career and personal aspirations."

This opinion of course sent Owen Strachman into a tizzy! (Tizzy Definition:  a state of nervous excitement or agitation.)  Owen feels that he doesn’t need to take her into account, but remind the world of their roles – and his account.

Most mature couples I know look at income generated as ‘our’ money, and there isn’t any power grab that Mary and Owen concentrate so much on.  They can say what they will, but their definitions of ‘roles’ in their presentations do reveal this.  Owen no doubt feels the power struggle is from Genesis, but has a hard time some realizing people find ways of moving past these ‘curses’ he uses to justify the roles.  To him?  It has to be there!

Yet, these types of articles and teachings that Mary Kassian and Owen Strachman tend to encourage this type of stinkin thinking!  It encourages the THREAT to power structure they claim they are against, and then hand you a boogey man reality in its place.  Their logic just doesn’t follow reality.  I mean you are suppose to go WITH the ‘curses’ of Genesis – not work against them!  Its only natural right?

Addendum To Add the Interchangeable Pastor Wives

Mary Kassian’s final note in her article about the Alpha Women and the Beta Boys was rather telling to me.  It seems she heard from Pastor’s and their Wives, and because of HER salary.  So Mary attempts at the end to change the tone:

Note:  I’ve heard from several complemententarian pastors who say their wives must work and do out-earn them. However, they also tell me that though this is the situation, they don’t feel it’s ideal. They wish they earned more, and wish that their wives didn’t have to bear the burden of being primary breadwinner.
It’s not “wrong” for a woman to out earn her husband. That wasn’t my point. My point is merely that such a circumstance can and often does put an unnatural strain on relationships, and that a woman in this situation needs to take care to make sure that her higher wage doesn’t cause her to usurp her husband’s headship in their home.

Hmm.  How sad.  Their churches don’t pay their pastor’s enough so their own families don’t have an ‘unnatural strain’ on their marriage.  Leaders within this belief system are to busy writing books, having seminars, and push teachings that their own pastor’s don’t even have the luxury of living.  Wow.

Somehow I think we all know that isn’t the reality for these couples.  He was called to do God’s work, and she is doing her part to support him in this call.  They live their life’s against the roles they preach, and if she believes in his work?  No doubt its not such a heavy burden for her in that sense – even though its ‘unnatural’. 

So, as their pastor’s live life is in this ever present ‘danger’? The families that attend their church live this as well.   That’s the reality of it from their viewpoint.  I will never understand WHY they feel this ‘think the worse’ about aspects of life like this are in anyway encouraging. 

Think about it!  She hints in her article that the greater salary from the wife creates the Alpha Woman whom is: celebrated by those who have swallowed the feminist/egalitarian claim that male-female roles are interchangeable.

Yet, ends her article with an example of those who do make greater salaries WHOM I would assume she states is NOT the Alpha Woman with her Beta Boy.  They are living the feminist/egalitarian male-female interchangeable roles in life…but really aren’t.  Why?  She takes great care in making sure her salary doesn’t usurp his authority. 

Okay Then.  Sounds like gas lighting to ME!

Mary’s article:  Alpha Women Beta Boys

C.S. Lewis describes that kind of alliance—a real partnership/a deep friendship—as he lamented the death of his beloved wife Joy.
“For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was [she] not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress, but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more.... Did you ever know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left?”

Fascinating Womanhood Review: feminine role vs. working wife

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Alicia Gray Detachment From Reality

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:50 AM

I watched a video of Alicia Gray, a former high school teacher in Mobile, Alabama that was sentenced to jail for Child Rape.
I’m not going to call it a ‘inappropriate relationship’ to make it more palatable for others, but I will call it what it is.

It was a crime of rape against a child of 14 years, and she will have to register as a sexual offender for the rest of her life once she is released from prison.

I realize some feel that direct approach is harsh. Hardly. That’s like saying someone that got caught stealing was borrowing with no intent of giving the item back.  “Borrowing’ isn’t the proper word, and nor is ‘relationship’ in the context you have used.  Its minimizing the crime she is attempting to address.  Ownership is part of this.

Someone (the child) in this circumstance was given a life sentence, and it does no good for anyone to make that reality palatable for others and the criminal.  Her poor husband and child also have a great deal of hurt, and a life sentence as well.

Christian’s being direct about certain sins, and sugar coating others?  It just doesn’t give you the appearance you claim you stand for.  There is no show of firmness when you waffle back and forth like that.  Think about it!

Caught on tape: 5 self-serving responses by sex offenders in the church – Recommended reading

Sinister or Naïve

I have to be honest I don’t know much about Alicia Gray’s church, but what I have found is some churches its plain to see their sinister side. I don’t think that label applies here.

The Tina Anderson story, and CJ Mahaney story are more along the lines of what I feel is sinister. They know the game, and are playing it for their audience well.

I see a more naïve side from this group, and lack of the understanding of the dynamics of the crime involved. To be more specific the dynamics of this type of criminal.

The second group allows themselves this spiritual naïve nature to often at the expense of others. It may not be their intention, but they allow their good nature to override their common sense.

They spiritualize things instead of directly confronting them.  God doesn’t ask us to distance ourselves from our crime, and tell others my OLD person did that in the fashion they presented this.  You see detachment, and not ownership in a healthy fashion.

I honestly don’t have a problem with this church ‘supporting them’ as the pastor mentioned. Jesus would have us support criminals as much as victims. Yet, they so clearly didn’t understand the harm they were doing, and I’m sure still feel they did a good thing in releasing this video.  They wanted to show the world they were showing Grace to her, and yet Grace is not suppose to be at the expense of others.

Here is a quote from the pastor,
"The purpose of the video was simply to say to everybody, there is hope for you. If you have failed, if you have failed God, if you have fallen further than you ever thought you could, the love, grace and healing of God will be able to forgive you," Wyatt, who leads Deeper Life Fellowship in Mobile, Ala., told The Christian Post on Wednesday.

Alicia Gray never mentioned how she had fallen further than she never felt she could – or even went near that in this message.  She excused herself by stating she did this because of insecurity, and a void that was left because Jesus wasn’t in her life.  Yes, among other things.

Honestly?  Grace should have shown a humble and contrite person who fully acknowledges the harm they have done to others.  It would think about the impact this statement from her would have towards her  victim and his family:

Because of that joy he has given me, and the changed identity I no longer have to feel shame about the person I once was.  And I will never be again, and because I know who I am in Jesus.

When you are given grace from God, and FEEL it in your heart, soul and life?  You want to give this sense of grace to others, and not tell a hurting family that you harmed that you have no shame because of some faith transformation.  Discernment was completely absent here.  She admits later on she hasn’t even truly began to feel the brunt of the harm she did either – we will see that later on.

The way she presented this message is she pretty much has detached herself from her crime in a unhealthy fashion, because she truly doesn’t feel the harm she has caused.  I mean the ‘old’ person did that – not the new ME!  Yes, you can show ownership of this crime…and God’s presence can still be there firmly in your heart.   Do they feel Grace can’t be present under those circumstances, or are they in a rush to wash the sin off them? 

That’s the feeling most get – her rush to wash this sin off her.  She used the transformation to distance herself from having to deal with it, and sadly you have to wonder does she realize her uphill battle has just begun?  She has built herself up SO HIGH will she be able to handle things when the down hill parts come?

Sadly, from what I have seen in life?  They get very upset that others don’t accept this ‘new’ person, and still treat them like the old one.  The true test will be after the harsh realities of prison life, and how this crime will impact her from then on.  The detachment I see today won’t work as well later on.  It won’t properly process the harm she has done to her husband and baby.  It won’t understand WHY she will have problems finding a job.  How will she handle things when people question her presence alone with her baby.

You don’t see that preparation in this video at all.  Do they think this is not needed?  That this isn’t part of it?

The Merit Badge of Being A Christian

Some use the label Christian, or their relationship with the criminal as a merit badge that the criminal will have this air of honesty, integrity and character as they walk with them during this crisis.
It’s almost like since they have our merit badge its okay to assume they will deal with us in honestly and truth. It doesn’t matter that their crimes tend to call that into question. You have to wonder if they feel they can’t serve them properly unless they use this naïve mindset.  They also are refusing to face this detachment you can clearly see in her performance.

At this point common sense leaves the building, and we enter the time and space of the spiritual la la land. You witness and hear all the correct keywords and phrases that make Christian’s swoon with joy as the criminal plays it for them.

YES her character and integrity can be called into question due to her crimes. A person that is truly contrite in their repentance isn’t going to get defensive about that. They expect it.

If you read her transcript instead of listening to it with the music, emotion, and watching her smile at her transformation?  Its not the same, because you can clearly catch things that don’t make sense while looking at the words – and not just watching her speak them.

Acknowledging the Dynamics of a Criminal

There are different characteristics of criminals depending on their crime. There are similar characteristics as well for most.

Criminals like Alicia Gray use manipulation to draw her victim in, and they are con artists. Those aspects of their personality didn’t just appear one day, and disappear the next. They couldn’t hook their victims in if they were not GOOD at it. Being good at something takes time and experience.

Now, when you point those ‘realities’ out to some individuals? They tend to do the very thing they accuse the ‘world’ of doing…assume the worse. They state in reference to the convicted criminal, “I hear you saying that there is no hope for a perpetrator!”

Actually, no one is saying that.

Sure, the criminal DID say all the right things! Remember their merit badge. They used their keywords, and phrases…and maybe even wailed in response when they reminded the criminal that God forgives …and loves them.

No one is saying to not do what you feel convicted to do, but do it in a wise way.  In this case admit she wasn’t speaking of Grace that your church showed her, and the place she found herself in.   Remember your purpose of the video?  She didn’t even mention anything regarding that purpose.  She was too busy sailing around with the Jesus Language.

I mean she didn’t even mention how God is going to help her with her struggles in the days forward, and to me that a huge portion to leave out.

She concentrated mostly on the transformation, and then shamed the victim by telling them she hopes they get over the bitterness, and sadly does NOT show she understands the implications of her actions.  

I don't expect that the forgiveness might happen.  I understand the implications of pain and bitterness that I have caused.  Your completely justified to feel that way, but I do pray that each of you be free of the pain and bitterness, anger, anxiety or whatever you feel.  Those are not things that are from God.  God does not want that for you.  He didn't want the situation to happen, but Thank God he uses the hurts of others. He redeemed me.  And he placed it in my heart to just glorify him.   And I pray that he uses this situation to heal all those involved. 

What victim in their right mind wants to her their abuser say that God used the harm that was done to them to redeem their abuser?  How their righteous anger is not of God?  How the abuser is all better now, and I hope you get there too! 

Your keywords and phases are there, but they make NO SENSE under the circumstances!  Its selfish really.

She may have acknowledged the entire REALM of what she did within the presence of her husband, your church, your counselors or whomever.  Although I have to be honest – I doubt it.  Sadly, if she wished to show the Grace she claims God has shown her?  She also would had to have felt the entire impact of what she has done.  She didn’t do that she admits, and then tells people it would be a performance for them if she did.

Its one of those things that peace and rest, which are thrown around alot but...God really gives us overwhelming peace when you know who you are, and you don't have to do something to make God happy with you.   You don't have to perform for other people, because I have had a lot of advice from people:  that they need to see me cry more, and people need to see me fall apart.  And my body makes me think, 'Shouldn't I be a mess right now?  Shouldn't I have to do this?  But God just lets that peace fall, and gives me that security of knowing that I'm just not that person anymore!

Seriously?  She doesn’t have to fall apart knowing what she did, and then allow God to lift her back up again?  She bypasses that all together, and then tries to tell people she understands the implications.  Where does that happen in your bible, because it doesn’t happen in mine!

I just can’t picture Nathan letting David get away with that can you?

Sadly, people get to carried away with this ‘instant’ glorification of being transformed…and don’t realize they get played more than they are willing to admit.

Time, words and actions show the truth!   Time with Action was overlooked here. Pride is holding you back from acknowledging this.  You got caught up in the emotion of it, but time will show us if it is truly real.

Christians are quick to bring up stories they have seen or heard of this INSTANT transformation, and they refuse to face the fact we are all human. It doesn’t happen as often as they want to believe it does.  It also doesn’t change the reality here.  It just shows how willing they are to quickly go into some naïve mindset.

All Christians are in a constant state of repentance after all. All transformations take time, because breaking habits is never easy for anyone. I mean remember someone in your life that has something SMALL they are fighting to overcome…like biting their fingernails! This is MUCH bigger than that. Why is it people think the dangerous stuff is easier to overcome if they put on the proper show for others?

Keep in mind what she did was more than a bad habit, and she will need intense therapy for some time.  She didn’t even acknowledge that, because her old person is gone……Wow.

A Truly Repentant Person Naturally is Contrite

A person that is truly repentant isn’t going to resist all the extras that are required from them, and at times I feel some Christians feel it maybe TOO much for them to handle…and they may flee.

Sadly, that is a sign they are not ready to do what you are wanting from them. You need to figure out a new approach. If you refuse to face this fact? You want a fantasyland, and not the biblical turning you claim you are for.

They shouldn’t resist holding their feet to the fire, because they need it! God wants it! Remember those speeches they gave you, because they told you they wanted it too! If they keep running sometimes prayer is the only thing you can offer.

Choosing to Believe Survivors Or Criminals

Lastly, to those people that are all ready to hand her over your faith in her repentance need to listen to those that have gone down this road before.

You tend to downplay, minimize, and make excuses for why you refuse to take their counsel. You assume the worse – they have been hurt, and are marinating it…so what do they know.

Granted some people are marinating in their hurt, and I don’t deny that. You might be surprised at how many have moved beyond that, and want to save you the pain of what they have learned and experienced. Instead, you treat them like a perpetual wounded animal that just wants to bite you. 

So your okay with taking the word of a person that has bitten others, and willingly ignore the ones that got bit.  Why does this make sense to you?  Honestly, that never made a lick of sense to me!

Think for a moment! You are willing to give your all to someone that has shown they are able to harm others, but you aren’t willing to listen to the ones that have survived this crisis.  That lacks common sense when you distance yourself enough to look at it clearly.

Much to often I see people telling experienced survivors they are speaking from hurt, and that hurt has jaded their outlook. They never consider they themselves are being naïve, and in some ways very arrogant. Instead of dismissing them try listening.

What is it going to hurt? Open your mind and heart as you have with the criminal. Can they NOT be authentic too? Do they not have the right to the same respect? It may give you ideas of how to better approach the next crisis, and actually stop the games that criminals tend to play almost by their very nature.  Sadly, this game is VERY easy to play within the Christian environment.

Sure, criminals will admit certain things at times. They will speak of their struggle, and if you use too much wishful thinking instead of wisdom? They are going to play you like a concert pianist! Some aspects maybe on the purpose, and other aspects are just plain old habits that are hard to break. It is what it is.

Victims that are overlooked

Regarding the church in question? I think they were caught up with showing the world how they offered grace to Alicia Gray. Alicia spent much of the time proselytizing, and her apology was too generic.
Her journey is too premature to have experienced this turn yet. It’s going to be a life long journey for her, and she has some HUGE hills to climb in the future. I do pray she walks the walk as well she talked the talk.

Sadly, this church was so caught up with doing what they felt was right that they missed aspects that no doubt hurt the victim and his family.  I also think they are having a hard time admitting that, and just think their introduction – or purpose – of the video could have been done better.  I mean they didn’t even realize Alicia didn’t even address the question at the beginning of the video, nor the purpose of it that the pastor mentioned.

I think their hearts were in the right place, but they completely missed was really needed. I don’t fault them for supporting a criminal. I do hope they yearn to understand why so many felt their production they made in good faith was so triggering, and tragic to so many others that walked down that path before they did.

Side note from me!
I saw the news casts of her walking into court with her husband. That poor man had agony dripping from his pores, and he needs support completely and absolutely distanced from what you feel his wife needs. Separate from the marriage vows. It should be all about him – the poor man needs it.
   He needs more than your keywords, and Christian phrases…that they have sadly turned into more of platitudes at this point.   He has a child to consider as well.

Besides the victim and his family? That husband broke my heart just watching him. Learn about the dynamics of the circumstances you are dealing with, and give him the fruitful grace he needs.  I wouldn’t do another video about it.  No doubt he has enough to deal with.  Guilt by association by people, etc. 

I can understand her NOT mentioning him in her court statement, but she didn’t even give him one syllable in the video either. That’s downright hurtful from my viewpoint – no show of grace regarding his support? Yet another HUGE aspect your good intentions completely missed.

Additional Resources:
IT wasn’t a relationship! By Watch Keep – Amy Smith
Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles
Remorse, Repentance, Recovery

Transcript of Alicia Gray Video

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:49 AM

Below is a transcript from Alicia Gray that came from a video that you can find on Youtube.  This is part one only.

Alicia Gray Video Part One

Pastor Mark Wyatt Introduction:

Hey everybody as you know umm about 11 months ago last February we got word at Deeper Life that one of our church members Alicia Gray had been arrested and charged with umm a sexual relationship with one of her students. 

She is a high school teacher here in Mobile.  And we decided then and there that the degree of her guilt and innocence would not be a deciding factor on how we loved her and how much we loved her.  So we decided the rally around them. And we knew that was the right thing to do, and so over the last 11 months its been an amazing thing to watch as Alicia has had her identity redefined in the context of the fact she is the daughter of God.  That she is fully loved no matter what she does.

In talking with Alicia's Lawyer - Chris and Alicia decided a few months ago to a plea deal.  So they agree to plead out umm for time for her.  And so this morning umm a sentence was handed down.  And a number of us were able to be there at the court room for her to be there for sentencing. 

And in that moment Alicia got to make a statement to the judge before he sentenced her that honestly I have to tell you that was one of the most powerful things I have ever heard in my life. 

Alicia's statement preached the gospel,  It showed the power of grace and how grace has saved her.  And the love of the father has saved her life.

In that statement she apologized to the young man involved in that relationship, and his family.  And she talked about what she wants to see the Lord do there. So after the sentencing umm I was able to sit down with Alicia and get an interview with her on video.  We had talked about this beforehand.  She wanted to do this.  and   We want you to hear Alicia's heart.  We want you to hear what God has done in her life in the last 11 months.

Here is Alicia Gray.

(1:52 minute Mark in Video)
What is the difference between regret and shame?
(Question presented at the beginning of video)

Hmm.  I actually just explained that to some of my in-laws on the way here.
Umm This is something...

So of course I'm very sorry for my selfish actions, and the choices that I made out of insecurity and hurts that I felt myself.  Umm And I'm sorry for those, and I'm thankful that God has changed me and shown me my identity in Jesus Christ where I don't make those same selfish decisions and hurt other people. 

umm So because of that joy he has given me, and the changed identity I no longer have to feel shame about the person I once was.  And I will never be again, and because I know who I am in Jesus.

Its one of those things of peace and rest, which are words we thrown around alot but...God really gives us overwhelming peace when you know who you are, and you don't have to do something to make God happy at you.  

You don't have to perform for other people, and ahh because I have had alot of advice throughout this:  that they need to see me cry more, and people need to see me fall apart.  And my body sometimes makes me think, 'Shouldn't I be a mess right now?  Shouldn't I have to do this?  But God just lets that peace fall, and gives me that security of knowing that I'm just not that person anymore!

And I don't have to live the way I used to live, because it was different, but I had DID.  I had insecurities.  I umm I had pain in my own heart, and a void I thought I needed to fill. 

Though attention and all kinds of other things.  And that void was just needing Jesus.  And having absolutely  no lack, and that he completely fills everything and makes me secure in whom I am.  Happy in whom I am.  and makes it where he is the only person I want to please .  The great thing is I don't have to do anything to please him.  Because when God sees me he just sees Jesus... and Jesus absolute finished work on the cross, and he is very happy of me.

The statement I made in court today, and I would like to everyone to didn't hear in fullness:

I just want to say this in regards to the victim, and the family...and anyone that has been hurt though this:  I wanted to apologize for my inappropriate, and selfish and very hurtful actions.

Selfish really is the word.  I acted out on my own though my own insecurities without thoughtful concern for anyone else's well being.

I realize I have hurt many people, and I've also realized the implications of what I've done. 

And the possible difficulties that can cause for people who have been hurt:  Bitterness, angry, fear, anxiety, depression and insecurity...and so on, and all those things we think those things that led up to my behaviors.  And I don't wish that on anyone else. 

Umm Complete healing is needed for you to be able to walk in and umm in complete grace that God gives. 
And I apologize for what I have done, and that person from a year ago is gone, and has changed forever thanks to the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.  And God our father and the renewed mind that he has given me. 

Everyone that has been hurt is constantly in my prayers, and I pray that my unwarranted actions and the hurt it has caused don't have a hold on anyone's life's.  I pray for peace, healing and restoration. 

And my ultimate prayer is you kingdom come, and your will be done God. 

Take this situation and that should have never ever happened, and provide healing and rest in the ones that have been hurt. 

Um Jesus has brought me to a place of peace in which I'm ready for the consequences that should befall me.
He showed me the continued difficulty that people would experience should this case go to trial. so, I have no desire to drag anyone through that.  Or require people that have been hurt to have to testify publicly, or hear the testimonies.   

Thankfully God presented another option which I can confess my actions alone without requiring others to have anyone have to endure that.  I confess my sin, and I ask forgiveness whom each person involved.   Anyone that has been hurt or touched by this.  Whether small or big is all the same.  Hurt is hurt. 

I don't expect that the forgiveness might happen.  I understand the implications of pain and bitterness that I have caused.  Your completely justified to feel that way, but I do pray that each of you be free of the pain and bitterness, anger, anxiety or whatever you feel.  Those are not things that are from God.  God does not want that for you.  He didn't want the situation to happen, but Thank God he uses the hurts of others. He redeemed me.  And he placed it in my heart to just glorify him.   And I pray that he uses this situation to heal all those involved. 

God is the business of loving people and restoring lives.  Nothing compares to his great love.

There are several people that have been victim to this situation.    All those that have been hurt.  It should have never happened to you, but God still makes beauty from ashes.  He can restore your life’s that are broken, and because I chose to act out of selfishness and hurt... people.  I continue to pray that the healer of all healers can give you freedom from the pain you have experienced.  I will ask my friends, family, and church congregation to keep you in prayer for complete healing, peace and restoration.   Grace and peace be with you. 

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