That one time I chose freedom over soul death

This month marks four years since I escaped.

Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels like another lifetime ago. In the spirit of celebrating my independence, I’m going to be posting some mementos, from the days when I was first learning to fly, slowly and painfully.

This is an email I sent to some friends, after my parents had given the ultimatum (go to Bob Jones or move out) but before I’d been kicked out of my church and my pastor told me that he had nothing more to say to me because I was deceived by Satan.

I had almost decided to give in to their demands because I believed that was what my God required.

I’m posting this for anyone who is in the same place, who has been beaten down, who is about to give up.

You’re not alone.

—– Forwarded message —–
Date: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 3:29 PM
Subject: Yet another update on my insanity…

Basically, what happened is this.

I feel like maybe I’ve lost my mind or gone insane.
You know how bad I wanted to go to Moot [an annual meetup with my CleanPlace writing friends] / was looking forward to Moot? Well…
Don’t be mad at me.

It’s something I really wrestled with. Ack, it’s so hard to say this.
*gulp* Well…I have been begging for years for Moot, literally. This year, I kept talking about it and finally my dad was like, “Well, I guess I can’t stop you from going.” But he never officially blessed it. I…felt a little guilty about this, brushing it off, saying I was an adult and over 21. But…after talking to my taekwondo instructor Sunday afternoon… (who is a Christian) and my pastor for a long time Sunday evening, I realized….if I think about it very honestly, maybe it isn’t honoring my parents. *gulp*

And a friend of mine told me recently (a CP friend) that I might need to be willing to give up something big to show my parents that I’m serious about fixing the relationship.  And….after crying a lot…I told them Sunday evening that I was willing to give up Moot and transfer to Bob Jones University (despite how much I don’t want to go there)…if it would show them that I really did want to have a better relationship with them.

So I don’t know if I did something immensely stupid or really good.

But then the next day, I felt horrible and just kept crying and crying and crying and like I was oppressed or something. I thought giving in might give me peace, but it was anything but. I’ve never felt quite like that in my life before. At the end of the day, I thought it must be God telling me that going to BJU and all that was the absolute wrong thing to do. I don’t normally go by emotions, but I also have lots of reasons why I don’t want to/shouldn’t go to BJU anyway…and I wanted God to tell me strongly one way or the other, and this just confirmed it in a way that couldn’t be any stronger.  When I have intense gut emotions about something and I have no logic to sort through something…I listen to the emotions.  Not often, but every once in a blue moon.

I went to Mangy’s house Monday night and talked to her, Elraen, and Legolas for a while, and they said if what your parents are telling you to do is contradicting what God is telling you to do…you know who you have to obey. And that your parents don’t truly want you to be miserable, and if you made a two year mistake and were miserable, your parents would just be miserable, too.

And plus, my parents told me this was all up to me and they were giving the decision and me as a person back to God like He gave me to them to raise back in June or so…and now they say me not going would be “not obeying.”

My parents basically gave me an ultimatum–either go to Bob Jones and we will help you (with their blessing) or move out and go to UCCS (without their blessing and they believe this is not God’s will for me.)  I told God after we came back from BJU that I would do either option.  I felt so muddled and confused.  Like I was 50/50 either way.  And I would go to BJU if that was the only way to fix things with my parents.  I prayed about it for a week.  And I asked Him to make it really, really clear to me which way I should go.  The purely academic/physical aspects seemed about the same to me, and the spiritual aspects seemed like I would face challenges either way.  So…to me, since I’d been praying for God to make it really clear and I was willing to do either, it seemed to me that horrible oppression I felt on Monday was the indication I was looking for.  And, to be brutally honest, I used to read my Bible a lot in high school, but I got out of my regular reading habits in college to some extent because there was so much other reading to do.  But I have been reading it more in the last couple weeks, too.  But I have been honestly trying to seek God’s will about all this.

And even though I pleaded with my parents not to do this–on Wednesday last week, they paid a $250 non-refundable fee to register me for classes at BJU, even when I told them very clearly after Monday that I thought this wasn’t what God wanted for me.  I even begged my parents that morning over the phone not to do it, but once I got to school, I got an email that afternoon saying, “Your BJU Student Portal has been created.”  O.o

So…I’m so confused. But I think I know what I have to do. (After talking to CPers and to my college profs the other day).  I have to follow God no matter what my parents say.

And today…they took away the $10,000 dollars I had in a savings account.  (Some money they’d put aside when I worked at the office through high school and after high school that they gave to me with some extra money added when I started college back in fall 2009).  I was very honest and open with them that I was looking for apartments and that I cannot go against what I so strongly feel like God is telling me.  So…that’s what I got for being honest and open.  (They’re on all my bank accounts.  Nia suggested I take them off back in May. I didn’t though.  😳  Maybe I should have listened to her.  But I felt like I was already doing enough sneaky things. And I didn’t want to be any sneakier.  But maybe I should have readjusted my definitions of sneaky.)   But my integrity is worth more to me than the $10,000.  And I’m trusting that if this is what God wants me to do, He will provide.

And I will find some way to pay them back the $250, even though they’ve already taken my money.  I just think it would be the honorable thing to do.

I just kind of want to cry sometimes. 😳 This means more debt and more loans that I had originally figured.  But I know now that I CAN’T do the other. I would do literally anything to make my parents feel better at this point or feel like I was safe. But I can’t disobey God. I felt so miserable giving in…I know that must not be what He wants.  Every time I make arrangements to stay or work on an apartment, I sense tremendous peace. Not that I’m going by emotions, but my emotions are confirming everything.  And I have a plan, too.  I’ve looked into apartments, I made arrangements to rent a truck from a friend, and I’m looking into loans for tuition to finish my degrees.  And my two part time jobs on campus in the fall should really help.

Please pray for me, though. Let me know if any of you have any words of wisdom.


– Eleanor


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