Saturday, October 17, 2015

Not Silent

I've been thinking quite a bit on last weekend and how my blog went crazy. I got so much positive feedback from people saying, "You are saying what I am thinking","Your experience is the same as mine".

As I'm sorting through my emotions our family therapist was so polite, instead of saying your emotional from the immense amount of transitions you and your family have experienced  in the last 4 months ...  she said "Your emotions are dis-regulated."  You gotta love her!

I have not come to the conclusion that the easy path would be to put it all behind us. Least said soonest mended!  First Peter 4:8 comes to mind. At GFA I recall David Carroll serving this verse up (I'm paraphrasing) that if we are noble enough to love another, we protect our brothers and sister by covering their sin and not exposing it.  This is so reasonable, so easy to swallow.  Who would want their sin to be exposed? Not me! Do you?  Inherently we are human and want to keep the ugliness of our lives from being exposed.  It sounds so good doesn't it, I don't expose my family to pain by covering the sins with love.  This covering is a action of love ergo if I love my family I keep sin a secret.

But we have a family rule of No secrets. (This protects our kids from predators).
How do I reconcile this?

I believe this is one place that spiritual pain/confusion is originating from.  Here is a sampling of the thoughts running around my brain:

I love my GFA family "covering sin" loves them.
We are all sinners I need to forgive.
I don't want to hurt my GFA family.
If I stay quiet they won't hurt me.
If I speak out I have to show the world my errors and eat humble pie.
It's so easy to be silent.
It is what leadership desires.
Christ is my leader not man, I need to follow only him.

I wonder how many other ex-staffers are feeling this way?

I felt like a hamster in the running wheel, my thoughts whirl around me, running running but getting nowhere.  Much energy was spent on this thought train. Until the wedding dis-invite I thought if I stayed quiet they wouldn't hurt me or my family. I was wrong. That kicked me out of the infinite loop and into new thought patterns.

We left when we felt our integrity was at stake.  Core value number 2: Being a people of integrity and excellence.   I see the pain in my Knights eyes, how he feels like he has wasted 12 years of our life. How he feels like he has lied to people.  It had become a burden to him.  He believed in what we were doing so strongly. How could our leaders who hold these core values do this to him?

I know not all of these core values are going to be upheld at all times, we are human after all.  Deep in my soul I felt grieved each time my community did not show trust to us. For example this post  The Joy Thief  which I was "encouraged" but not required to take down because it "hurt people" and not "good for the ministry at this time." I find it so ironic that what got us thinking about trust and how important it is to any business for profit or not, was books from the ministries library.  (This library is full of required or recommended reading and only contains books the president has read himself.)

We used to check out a book before a long trip and I would read it to my husband. This is following the example of my parents. My mother always read to my father while he drove and discussed the material. My father and her had lively discussions every road trip we took.  Little did we  know we were bucking the norm at GFA. Leadership wives are encouraged to NOT be at all interested in the inner workings of the stuff at the top.  I recall KP coming to me after a Tuesday night prayer meeting  to encourage me about the report my husband had turned in.  He told me it was wonderful and I should be proud of him. I laughed and mentioned how I managed to cut it down by 6 pages, so he didn't have to wade though so much verbiage. His head came up and he stared at me. So I continued and said "You don't think anything hits your desk without me proof reading it do you? He is so wordy." His response was Ohhhh...

Later on when my husband was peremptorily assigned to the Ministry Leadership Team one of the things KP told leaders as Standard Operating Procedure to do was to not tell their wives anything regarding stuff at the top.  Is this the CIA???   I recall from the pulpit KP declared he never told Gisela anything, none of the burdens of his leadership were shared with her.  It was off putting to me, and made me understand KP's response to my "proof reading/editing of my Knights reports. Ohhh we bad... We didn't roll that way, our marriage is based on love, trust, and respect.  It is not respectful to say to your wife "Don't worry your pretty little head" while patting it, this is 2015!  This attitude of keeping people in ignorance further drives wedges in between groups, husbands and wives, men and women, ministry and church. I could see deep down a pattern of distrust that was repeating.

I could not shake the distrust displayed from the top and the core values we were all trying to follow.
  1. Knowing the Lord Jesus more fully and intimately
  2. Being a people of integrity and excellence
  3. Living in submission to God’s Word
  4. Being a people of faith
  5. Being a people committed to prayer and worship
  6. Having a servant lifestyle
  7. Being a people of grace and love
  8. Serving sacrificially
  9. Being a people sold out to win the lost at any cost
  10. Being a people who work together with the Body of Christ

If you cannot trust people reaching for such lofty goals can you really trust anyone?


  1. Very very sad! But also very very true! I do not know what it is like at the top levels of leadership at GFA, but I do know from 4-1/2 years there that what you shared is true and has been experienced by many others, though maybe not all. Looking back, my wife and I see how a wedge is driven between husbands and wives from the very beginning of our time there when we were told during one of our initial mentoring classes that all new staff have, that when a couple leaves it is usually because of the wife. This can make the wife feel she can't be open and express her concerns or problems with her husband because that may distract him from his "call". When we left it was not because of my wife, but because of the deceptive and unbiblical practices we both saw at GFA, as well as other concerns we had. We left with very heavy and broken hearts, but with clear consciences.

    1. Oh yes the dreaded be careful of what you say. It is your job to keep your husband in the fight. Oh how I wished that day standing on a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean I had not convinced him to not quit, but I felt it was my duty to keep him serving... As if that is my responsibility and not actually between him and The Lord.

  2. When we were leaving I was so afraid that I would get blamed. I remembered so vividly being told in a new staff class that most of the time people left because of the wives. The men didn't want to leave, but the wives became to discontented and talked their husbands in to leaving. I made Joe promised to not even mention my name and if they did ask about me to be sure that leadership knew this wasn't my doing.